Ages 2-3 Toddler Scribbling
At this stage, usually 2-3 years of age, children manipulate drawing tools and make random marks, dots, and lines with little concern for the appearance of the marks they make. Toddlers develop the control in their hands needed in order to use drawing tools, interested in scribbling which provides sensory enjoyment and helps young children improve muscle coordination. Scribbling seems to be random, but not meaningless: a drawn symbol can stand for a real thing in the environment. Toddlers may tell you a line is a fire truck and a circle is a parrot. While they may not have intended to draw an apple or grapes, the scribbles suggest the shapes because children interpret rather than intend. To toddlers, circular movement is first and circular form becomes a universal symbol for almost anything.
Ages 3-4 Representational Drawing （The Stage of Symbols）
At the age of 3-4, children begin to draw in a more realistic manner, and first conscious creation of form occurs around age three. Later symbols become more complex, reflecting children’s observations on the world around them. They start to produce representative symbols which are formed with circles, squares, and lines for the common objects such as sun, flower, tree, fish and cat. According to Piaget and Inhelder (1963), preschoolers draw what they know about the world, rather than attempting to capture a photographic mirror of reality. At this stage, the symbols children create change frequently.
Ages 5-6 Realistic Representations
At the age of 5-6, children develop a set of symbols to create a landscape that eventually becomes a single variation repeated endlessly. The main characteristics of this stage are habitual repetition of symbols for familiar objects. Examples are the stiff and flat drawings of people, or a series of houses or cars which are all drawn the same. Another characteristics of this stage is the use of the base-line: a blue line and sun at the top of the page become symbolic representations of the sky, and a green line at the bottom of the page represents ground. Children at this age compose landscapes carefully, and the balance of the whole picture usually is well considered.
Ages 6-8 The Schematic Stage
As children move into concrete operational thought after age six or seven, they start to show a strong focus on drawing in a more realistic fashion. The children arrive at a "schema," a definite way of portraying an object. The pictures become more complex and multiple base-lines are the major organizational devices used by the children in this stage. The concrete operational thinkers see the world in terms of what is, rather than what could be. Therefore, the children’s drawings at this stage reflect the world in factual, realistic representations. The schema represents the children's active knowledge of the subjects. At this stage, there is definite order in space relationships: everything sits on the base line.
Ages 8-9 The Gang Stage (The Dawning Realism)
At this stage, children find that schematic generalization no longer suffices to express reality. This dawning of how things really look is usually expressed with more details for individual parts, but is far from naturalism in drawing. Children at this stage start to discover space and depict it with overlapping objects in drawings and a horizon line rather than a base line. They begin to compare their artworks and become more critical of them. While they are more independent of adults, they are more anxious to conform to their peers. If they don’t feel satisfied with their artworks, they may lose confidence, and interest as well, in drawing. It would seem, then, that the middle school years would be an ideal time for direct instruction in technical drawing techniques for those children who need that support in order to keep them confident enough to continue drawing.
Ages 9-10 The Stage of Complexity (The Transitional Stage)
At nine or ten years old, children try for more details, hoping to achieve greater realism, and attempt to produce artworks that meet adult standards. Concern for where things are in their drawings is replaced by concern for how things look-- particularly tanks, trucks, dinosaurs, super heroes, etc. for boys; models, horses, landscapes, etc. for girls. The base-line is replaced by a receding ground plane, and there is frequent use of intentional overlapping and some use of linear perspective. Children at this stage give much attention to details, sex roles, and clothing differences. A few children who enter this stage will reach a plateau and not enter the stage of realism.
Ages 11-12 The Stage of Realism
At this stage, children’s passion for realism is in full bloom and they start to produce artworks in the manner of adult artists. When drawings do not "come out right" (look real), they seek help to resolve conflict between how the subject looks and previously stored information that prevents their seeing the object as it really looks. At this stage children become most critical and self conscious about their ability to produce realistic artworks. When they produce artworks they show considerable control over the medium, content, and organization. The figures in their drawings become natural in appearance, or are intentionally stylized. Linear and aerial perspectives are consistently used in their artworks.
Ages 12 and 13 The Pseudo- naturalistic Stage
After 12 years old children enter adolescence, marking the end of art as spontaneous activity. They give focus to the end product as they strive to create "adult-like" naturalistic drawings. Light and shadow, three-dimension…they are increasingly and critically aware of the immaturity of their drawings and therefore continuously experience frustration at "getting things right." This stage is the crisis period when children are easily discouraged. Those who do manage to survive the crisis and learn the "secret" of drawing will become absorbed in it. At this stage, natural artistic development ceases unless proper teaching methods helps children consciously learn to improve drawing skills and prevent this crisis.
Highschool and Portfolio Preparation
Admission into any top university or art institute could be determined solely by your art portfolio! The portfolio that highlights your artistic accomplishments shows who you are and why you're an outstanding candidate. Strong portfolios typically include work that demonstrates solid technical skills and reflects an awareness of formal visual organizational principles and experience with a variety of tools, media, styles, and approaches. Ultimately, quality of work is more important than quantity.So----distinguish yourself from your peers by building a portfolio that best represent your skill, interest and creativity!
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