Stages of Art Development

Stages of Art Development

Research tells us there are five art stages children go through as they develop:

Scribbling  (ages two to four)
Preschematic  (ages four to seven)
Schematic  (ages seven to nine)
Gang  (ages nine to twelve)
Pseudo-Naturalistic  (ages twelve to fourteen

I've added one more stage at the bottom of this page for babies under the age of two:
Exploratory Stage  (ages birth to two)

***************************************************************************************************************

Scribbling Stage  (ages two to four)


Once a child reaches the age of two to four years, s/he moves into the Scribbling Stage of art development.  This stage is divided into three sections: random, controlled, and naming.

Random

In the random stage, children hold a drawing tool with their whole hand as they swing their arm back and forth.  They tend not to look at their paper, often drawing on top of other marks and scribbling off the page.

Controlled

The second stage is called controlled.  In this stage children tend to stay on the page and to repeat motions.  They usually can copy an imperfect circle.

Naming

Naming is the third stage of scribbling.  Children are usually able to hold a drawing tool in their fingers and use their wrist to draw.  They draw a greater variety of marks which they often name: jumping, running, playing, etc.


***************************************************************************************************************

Preschematic Stage (ages four to seven)

Between the ages four and seven years, children move into the next stage of art development called Preschematic.  During this stage, a child can copy a square and a triangle.  Objects float on a page and are not related to each other.  Children often rotate their paper as they draw.

When drawing a person, the limbs often extend from the head and the features are simple.

***************************************************************************************************************

Schematic Stage  (ages seven to nine)


Once children reach ages seven to nine years, they move into the Schematic Stage.  In this stage children's drawings reflect activities from their lives.  There is often a skyline and a baseline with little overlapping.  Drawings of people look very geometric.

When drawing objects, children often draw the side of the object as well as the top.  For example, a table will have legs drawn from the side view but a top drawn so flat that all the objects on the table can be seen.  Children in this stage often create x-ray drawings.  They might draw a house as if it were see-through, showing all the rooms and furniture inside.

***************************************************************************************************************

Gang Stage  (ages nine to twelve)


In this stage, children are able to overlap objects, make the sky and the horizon line meet, and include a great amount of detail.  This is also the stage when children become sensitive and self-conscious about their art.

***************************************************************************************************************

Pseudo-Naturalistic Stage  (ages twelve to fourteen)


By the time children enter this stage, they are capable of drawing shadows and highlights and to attempt linear perspective.  They continue to be very sensitive and self-conscious about their art.

***************************************************************************************************************

Exploratory Stage  (ages birth to two)  


But what about children under the age of two?  Technically they are not assigned a stage of
their own, but they deserve one.  Since they are fascinated with exploring their environment, and art is a part of that, let's call this period the Exploratory Stage.

The emphasis at this stage is on sensory awareness.  How does a particular art medium feel, smell, taste?  What does it look like if I do this or sound like if I do that?

The Exploratory Stage is the foundation that all the other stages are built upon.

***************************************************************************************************************


For more information, click on the link below: