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Childs Drawing Analysis

Beth Nelson

University of Missouri


A Childs Drawing Analysis

Each year that I grow to be one year older, I notice that the world of

education is rapidly changing around us. More specifically, Art education has
become less prevalent and can be viewed as useless or unnecessary- particularly for
children in elementary schools. However, Carol Seefeldt, Art and young children are
a natural combination. Uninhibited, anxious to explore their environment,
experiment with materials, understand their world, and communicate ideas and
feelings, children find creating art an intriguing and gratifying experience.
Furthermore, a childs drawing could be identified and categorized into one of six
different stages that indicate a childs cognitive, social, emotional and physical state.
Every child develops particular skills regarding his or her artistic ability at different
times. However, all children tend to walk through each developmental drawing
stage. It is essential that teachers are able to recognize and understand these
different stages because it will develop and strengthen your relationship with
students. As an educator, it is significant to understand and know your students
beyond the curriculum, and at a creative level. If one is able to explore students
creative minds and ability, on will be able to maintain a deeper relationship and
trust with a student. According to R.A. Salome and B.E. Moore, Each of these stages
refers to a combination of visual characteristics found in the art work of children.
For this assignment, I have selected an anonymous childs drawing (Figure 1) that I
will analyze and identify using these six stages: The Scribbling Stage, The
Preschematic Stage, The schematic Stage, The Gang Age, the Pseudo-Naturalistic
Stage and The Adolescent Art stage.


Description and Analysis

The Childs drawing that I have chosen appears to be created with some type

of black pen, pencil or marker. Tim (pseudonym) has outlined his drawing with a
rectangle displaying some type of boundary or border. On the inside of the
rectangular border I notice that there are three circles that continue to get
concentric as they travel inward. The outer circle almost touches the longer sides of
the rectangular border. The shorter sides of the rectangular border have what seem
to be, goal posts that are shaped as rectangles. These overlap with the field on both
the bottom and top of the rectangle. On the circles, Tim has drawn three people with
circular figures. These figures have shirts drawn on them; one figure also has a face
drawn on him as well. One figure appears to have his arms up while the other two
do not. One figure is standing next to a circular shape that may be some type of ball.
This small circle that is placed next to this figure also has six small and short black
lines coming out of it at the top. Down in the bottom left hand corner of the
rectangle there are six different musical notes drawn along with a small circle with a
very tiny circle placed in the middle of it that is also bordered by a square box
connecting with the outer rectangular border.

Figure 1. Example drawing in

the Schematic Stage


Analyzing Tims drawing, I feel that Tim is in the Schematic Stage. The

schematic stage tends range from seven to nine years of age. An article from the
website,, states, Children tend to be developing skills
through trial and error, shapes and interpretation. The schematic stage implies that
a child has reached the achievement of a form concept. The main characteristics of
this stage are the repetition of symbols for familiar objects, and the use of the base-
line (Salome & Moore). According to Lowenfeld, Tim exhibits a drawing that
shows concept, not percept Bold, direct, flat representation as well as his active
knowledge of the environment. Tim displays these characteristics through his
evident knowledge of the environment of a sports game and what perhaps a soccer
field may look like. It is clear that he understands the concept of a soccer field and
that particular type of environment. Tim also presents his ability to show space
representation through the establishment of a base line (W.L & V. Lowenfeld,
476)- the rectangular border of the soccer field. Tim also does a great job regarding
human representation. Tim was able to make a body that consisted of arms and legs
that were correctly placed. He also was able to display the emotion of his figures;
one figure had a smile drawn upon his face while another had his arms raised in the
air as if he was screaming IM OPEN! in a soccer game. Tim has demonstrated
schematic drawing characteristics, a sense of space representation and human

The successive stages of development found in childrens drawings has

advanced the theory that children draw in accordance with their general


development; this has been documented to be proven as accurate (Seefeldt, 202). I

have viewed and analyzed one anonymous childs artwork; I was able to learn a lot
about this child from one drawing. Therefore, childrens artwork and what they put
into it has a much deeper and significant meaning that travels beyond what a
teacher can only see. Understanding students through the art they have created will
help the student comfortably grow in the classroom. Childrens artwork gives
educators the ability to view the world through students eyes. This type of lens for
teachers is crucial regarding the trust and strength of the student- teacher
relationships that are being built in the classroom. Ignoring this type of artwork or
passing it up as a simple drawing on paper could severely damage a teacher-
student relationship. Some students are only able to express themselves through
art. If they are not given the opportunity to do so, the teacher is holding those
students back from succeeding to the best of their abilities in the classroom.


Lowenfeld, V., & Brittain, W.L. (1970). Creative and Mental Growth. New York:
Salome, R.A, & Moore, B.E. (2014). The Five Stages of Development in Childrens Art.

Retrieved from

Seefeldt, Carol (1999). Art for Young Children. Retrieved from The Early Childhood

Curriculum: Current Findings in Theory and Practice

Steel, Bob (1997). Developmental Stages of Childrens Drawings. Retrieved from