(2 to 4 years)
The Scribble stage is made up of four
sub-stages. (a) Disordered - uncontrolled
markings that could be bold or light
depending upon the personality of the
At this age the child has little or
no control over motor activity. (b)Longitudinal
repetitions of motions. Demonstrates
visually an awareness and enjoyment
of kinesthetic movements.
Circular - further exploring of controlled
motions demonstrating the ability to
do more complex forms.
Naming - the child tells stories about
the scribble. There is a change from
a kinesthetic thinking in terms of
motion to imaginative thinking in terms
of pictures. This is one of the great
occasions in the life of a human.
It is the development of the ability
to visualize in pictures.
(4 to 6 years)
The preschematic stage is announced
by the appearance of circular images
with lines which seem to suggest
a human or animal figure. During this
stage the schema (the visual idea) is
developed. The drawings show what
the child perceives as most important
about the subject. There is little understanding
of space - objects are placed in a haphazard
way throughout the picture. The use
of color is more emotional than logical.
(7 to 9 years)
This stage is easily recognized by the
demonstrated awareness of the concept
of space. Objects in the drawing have
a relationship to what is up and what
is down. A definite base and sky line
is apparent. Items in the drawing are
all spatially related. Colors are reflected
as they appear in nature. Shapes and
objects are easily definable. Exaggeration
between figures (humans taller than
a house, flowers bigger than humans,
family members large and small) is often
used to express strong feelings about
a subject. Another technique sometimes
used is called "folding over"
this is demonstrated when objects are
drawn perpendicular to the base line.
Sometimes the objects appear to be drawn
upside down. Another Phenomenon is called
"X-ray". In an x-ray picture
the subject is depicted as being seen
form the inside as well as the outside.
(9 to 11 years)
Dawining realism is also known as the
gang age. Group friendships of the same
sex are most common. This is a period
of self awareness to the point of being
extremely self critical. The attempts
at realism need to be looked at from
the child's point of view. Realism is
not meant to be real in the photographic
sense rather than an experience with
a particular object. In this regard
this stage is the first time that the
child becomes aware of a lack of ability
to show objects the way they appear
in the surrounding environment. The
human is shown as girl, boy, woman,
man clearly defined with a feeling for
details often resulting in a "stiffness"
of representation. Perspective is another
characteristic of this stage. There
is an awareness of the space between
the base line and sky line. Overlapping
of objects, types of point perspective
and use of small to large objects are
evident in this stage. Objects no longer
stand on a base line. Three dimensional
effects are achieved along with shading
and use of subtle color combinations.
Because of an awareness of lack of ability
drawings often appear less spontaneous
than in previous stages.
(11 to 13 years)
In the previous stages the process in
making the visual art was of great importance.
In this stage the product becomes most
important to the child. This stage is
marked by two psychological differences.
In the first, called Visual, the individual's
art work has the appearance of looking
at a stage presentation. The work is
inspired by visual stimuli. The second
is based on subjective experiences.
This type of Nonvisual individual's
art work is based on subjective interpretations
emphasizing emotional relationships
to the external world as it relates
to them. Visual types feel as spectators
looking at their work form the outside.
Nonvisually minded individuals feel
involved in their work as it relates
to them in a personal way. The visually
minded child has a visual concept of
how color changes under different external
conditions. The nonvisually minded child
sees color as a tool to be used to reflect
emotional reaction to the subject at
Note:The above is a brief summary of
the subject, for more information
refer to the following book. With the
exception of the illustration all of
the above content is from:
CREATIVE AND MENTAL GROWTH, Viktor Lowenfeld,
Macmillan Co., New York, 1947.