Four year old drawing ability? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 11-09-2005, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone have a website that shows "typical" artwork at different ages?
My four year old is drawing really amazing things, and he is a bit drawing obsessed. My other two were never that into drawing, so I don't really know how to compare. It won't change anything about our lives, of course, I just want to see if what he is drawing is typical?
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#2 of 19 Old 11-09-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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When my 7yo was 4 he was drawing amazing pictures too. He'd draw spider man in detail. My girls, on the other hand, could barely make a straight line at 4, lol. I don't know what's typical but keep encouraging him. My ds is an amazing artist and uses his creativity in so many different ways.
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#3 of 19 Old 11-09-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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Here is a thread I posted recently.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d%27s+art+show

My 4yo (almost 5) LOVES to draw! I don't know if her drawings are typical or not. I have no drawing ability and she probably draws as well as I ever will.

Today she amazed me with a drawing showing a cow running with bent legs, and a horse rearing up on it's hind legs. These are the first real action drawings she's made. I love seeing her develop her skills. Makes me glad to be her mama.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#4 of 19 Old 11-09-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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My kids are amazing artists as well. I don't know of any online resources to show 'typical' work, but I know that when we go to classes or get together with friends, my kids tend to be far ahead of their peers when it comes to drawing ability.

Oh, and I was recently at the pediatritian with my DD, and was asked to fill out a development assessment form. It indicated that by 18 months, a normal child should be able to scribble with a crayon. By 3 years, a normal child should be able to make circular shaped scribbles.

IIRC, I've read that most kids are around age 6-7 before they can start drawing people in somewhat correct proportion. Before that, many kids will draw a circle for a face, and then hands and legs that emerge directly from the face. But both of my older kids were drawing somewhat lifelike bodies by age 3, so I don't know how accurate that is.

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#5 of 19 Old 11-09-2005, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Abi's pictures are great.

This is a picture of Larry Boy:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y87...s/6bf88868.jpg

And this is a picture of Eli rocketing to another planet. Notice the projection of rockets, and how they get smaller as it goes away. The guy standing out there is a robot. Notice also how he colored only part of the sun, bc the rest is behind the clouds. The circles up in he corner are all the planets. here is a bow and arrow being shot at the rocket:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y87...s/511e7e25.jpg

These pistures were drawn on the back of paper that had been written on, that is where the black lines come from
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#6 of 19 Old 11-09-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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Those are good pictures! I love how the sun is hiding behind the clouds in the second one.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#7 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 01:49 AM
 
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To give you an idea from the other side of the spectrum, my ds is 4.5yo, and the only "real" things I have seen him draw are a very rudimentary face and a sun. He mainly scribbles. He doesn't really seem to like drawing. He kind of likes painting. But he has always been an incredibly phyiscal kid. He loves anything that is running or jumping or throwing or catching or spinning or . . . you get the picture.

From what I have seen in his preschool of mostly 4 year olds, I would say that your son's drawings are above average, and that my son's are below average, so somewhere in the middle would be "typical".
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#8 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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Heres something I found on Google. http://www.arts.ufl.edu/art/rt_room/...symbolism.html

My dd has never done these tadpole people. She seemed to go overnight from scrible to people with bodies. (about 2 months short of 4) One of her first ones even had ears.
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#9 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 03:08 AM
 
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http://www.learningdesign.com/Portfo...iddrawing.html


This is the reference we always refer people to over at the advanced board on a different site. What seems to be similar with the few people that have asked about their kids 'advanced' drawing abilities... their kids are 'obsessed' with drawing.

My personal opinion is the reason for the obsession (besides that they like it and can do it well)... it's a form of pretend... they can really be creative. I've found with my 3 year old, that I'll do white board stories with her. I draw them (she can barely draw a circle), but she non-stop talks about what she wants me to draw.


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#10 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 09:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quaz
http://www.learningdesign.com/Portfo...iddrawing.html


This is the reference we always refer people to over at the advanced board on a different site. What seems to be similar with the few people that have asked about their kids 'advanced' drawing abilities... their kids are 'obsessed' with drawing.

My personal opinion is the reason for the obsession (besides that they like it and can do it well)... it's a form of pretend... they can really be creative. I've found with my 3 year old, that I'll do white board stories with her. I draw them (she can barely draw a circle), but she non-stop talks about what she wants me to draw.
I've seen that page, but I've always taken issue with the "4yo drawing". That person has knees and a belly-button, for crying out loud. Most 4yos I've seen in my limited experience have recently come out of the scribbling stage and moved onto trees, tadpole people and blobs.
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#11 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so, from those two links, it looks like Eli is pretty typical of a 4 yo?
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#12 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boysrus
so, from those two links, it looks like Eli is pretty typical of a 4 yo?
I'm not sure. I LOVE the space rocket one, absolutely love it. The projection line, IMO, is not typical for 4. I mean, there are two aspects of drawing at this age, I think. One is the level of detail. There's actually a drawing test (Goodenough Test?) that estimates IQ based on how detailed a young child draws a human figure. They get points for adding things like eyebrows and things. That's why, to me, that 4yo drawing on one of links is not typical, because I don't know any 4yos that draw knees and such on human figures. I mean, it happens, but it's not typical, IME.

The other aspect is the conceptual level. There are some art concepts that most children do not grasp until a later age. For example, my son uses occlusion in drawing, which is to draw something so that it appears behind something else. He drew a building with the front of a car protruding on one side and the back protruding from the other side of the building, because the car was parked in a parking lot behind the building, he said. That's an advanced concept, but the level of detail in that drawing was not that great. Then there's perspective, drawing to suggest motion, using multiple base lines, drawing to suggest distance (like your son's rockets)....lots of concepts to suggest a certain degree of sophistication.

There's a link I was looking for and cannot find. It was a paper based on Eisner in which children's drawings were analyzed to understand typical art development. It went into occlusion and using more than one base line, etc. I think there were like 13 or 14 different levels of art development in children. Anyway, I will look for it again, but I'm not sure if I can find it. I tried google; hopefully, I bookmarked it.

To me, the first drawing doesn't look atypical for the age. But the second drawing with the rockets flying off into space in that arch, that one looks very sophisticated.
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#13 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would be interested in seeing that article.
I was trying to get him to draw a self portait. Because Larry Boy is a very "childlike" drawing, yk? But, of course, he wont
The sun behind the clouds was what really threw me on the rocket drawing.
But, right now my boys are obssessed with Veggie Tales and they watch the How To Draw segments a million times. SO, that is where he is learning it. But, then again, m other two boys watch it too, and they are older, and yet they dont draw with the detail and clarity that Eli does?
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#14 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 05:04 PM
 
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Argh. I cannot find the link I'm looking for. Anyway, it was a paper talking about Dr. Elliot Eisner's 14 spatial categories in drawings.

I did bookmarked this:
http://faculty.indy.cc.ks.us/jnull/eledstages.htm

And this was somewhat helpful too:
http://www.arts.ufl.edu/art/rt_room/...symbolism.html
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#15 of 19 Old 11-10-2005, 06:36 PM
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IME, there's lots of variation...

When Rain was 2 1/2, she drew people who had heads, eyes, legs, breasts, and knees. They cracked me up so much. It would be a circle with two smaller circles for the eyes, then 2 long lines coming down for legs, then two circles about 1/3 of the way down for breasts and two more about 2/3 of the way down for knees. I thought it was so odd, that these were the body parts she found important enough to include. She was nursing, so that might explain the breasts (although all of the people she drew had them, not just mamas) but knees?

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#16 of 19 Old 11-11-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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> but knees?

When you're 33" tall and in a crowd, knees are very important.

One of my very few memories from age 3 or so is walking with my mom in New York city- the memory is basically all knees.

My DD is also among the prodigious and obsessed 3-4 year old artists, and has been doing stick figure people for about a year (proportioned- the baby much smaller, but with a bigger head wrt her body than other members of the family, for example), with increasing sophistication of detail and scenes (but not perspective or occlusion or even a whole lot of baseline)- this thread is interesting to me, and I really love looking at children's art.

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and DD2, 11/2004
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#17 of 19 Old 11-11-2005, 04:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eris
this thread is interesting to me, and I really love looking at children's art.

Me too! Can we start another thread just for everyone to post pics of their child's art? That would be so fun.

My DS is four and has just started really drawing recognizable images this year. It's been interesting. I LOVE how little kids draw people.

My DS is more into 3D stuff, he's always building something, and my favorite piece of art in my house is a sculpture he made out of wood and paint. He calls it a castle but it's really abstract. He loves watching me draw things (I'm an artist) but he doesn't spend much time drawing or painting himself. He's the same way I was, art was really frustrating until I had developed the hand-eye coordination to put onto paper what I saw them in my head or in real life. So I hated all the drawings I made as a kid and DS seems to be the same way. He's always pouting when he draws, "that's not right" or "that's a weird looking ____" and eventually comes..."mom you do it, I can't". Sometimes artists have a tendency to be overly critical of their work.
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#18 of 19 Old 11-11-2005, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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YEp, we get alot of that frustration too. "You do it!"
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#19 of 19 Old 11-11-2005, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mz_libbie22
Me too! Can we start another thread just for everyone to post pics of their child's art? That would be so fun.
I am spinning off...I love art threads too! Ok, come on over and post your favorite pics!

Darshani, can you repost your link there? I love the ribbon dance, btw!
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