Sunday, January 22, 2006


a child's drawing of a tyrannosaurous rex

At his day care center, his caregivers have been trying to convince the child to "draw." In their eyes, drawing means rendering reductive, cartoonish, clipart-like images and coloring inside the lines. "Don't scribble," they admonish when the child fails to cover some bounded region with a thick coat of crayola. Undeterred, however, the child scribbles on, and today, sitting with him as he created the image above, I realized something: he doesn't scribble; the child draws! "What's that?" I asked him. "A T-Rex," he answered. And darned if he wasn't right -- it was the freest, and rather the scariest drawing of a T-Rex I've ever seen.

Disclosure: I am the child's father, and so maybe somewhat biased.


Art Guy said...


Seriously, you might want to read this article (link leads to page 3) that talks about the stages of artistic development. It's good stuff :)

Dan said...

Hi, art guy,

Thanks for the reference.

I particularly appreciated this bit:

"When a child begins to be interested in representing complex narratives, has good fine motor control (drawing accurate shapes) and begins to express the desire to draw how things look, then they are ready to begin learning to draw realistically."