The article is devoted to the important task of education and training of preschool children – namely to the development support of individual drawing manner. The article discusses the features of the manifestation of the individual drawing manner of preschoolers. It is emphasized that the individual drawing manner is a component of the individual style. The phenomenon of stereotyping in children's drawings, which is associated with the development of individual drawing manner, is considered in the article. The study investigated one of the components of the individual drawing manner – the preferred way of depicting the main parts and details of the human image. In order to answer the questions about the features and awareness of preschoolers using preferred ways of drawing, the ascertaining experiment was conducted. There were studied collections of children's drawings depicting people and drawings made by children during special tasks. The study found that individual drawing manner is evident in children's preferred ways to draw the main parts and components of the human, and these methods are steadily repeated by the child in different drawings. Most children do not use stereotypical ways of portraying consciously, and cannot consciously apply another way of portraying. At the same time, these methods differ in children within groups and, accordingly, are the features of their individual drawing manner, which make the drawings recognizable. Study raises new questions. How the children’s preferred drawing ways are formed? What else, in addition to the ways of the drawing, shows the individual drawing manner of preschoolers?
Keywords: Preschool childrenindividual drawing mannerstylestereotypestemplates
At different stages of development of society there are the certain accents, the certain understanding of upbringing. The purpose and the main idea of modern humanistic education and education are the development and self-development of personality, individuality.
The humanization of upbringing and education is to create conditions for self-realization and self-determination of a student in the modern educational space, support the creative development of the individual, and support the development of individuality.
The study of the individual drawing manner as a component of the individual style can help to understand the patterns of creativity and individuality, as the style is a choice, an opportunity to create, to construct your subjectivity and realize yourself as the creator, the subject of culture.
Both foreign (Watson & Schwartz, 2000; Wieder, 1998) and domestic researchers were engaged in the problem of development of individual style in children's drawing. One of the criteria of expressiveness of children's drawings is their individuality, originality, uniqueness (Huntsinger, Jose, Krieg, & Luo, 2011; Vershinina, 2008).
The concept of style, to which every artist strives in his creative activity, is complex, multilevel and multicomponent. Individual style includes manner, own unique technique, stylization (specific violation, deformation, deviation from the realistic approach), the author's philosophy as well as the influence of the era, political situation, cultural traditions and much more. How can be manifested individuality in children of preschool age? Preschoolers show individual preferences in the choice of types of visual activity (drawing, modeling, designing), in the choice of materials for drawing (pencils, markers, crayons, paints), in the choice of image themes, in the ways of the image. The way of the drawing or individual manner, as one of the components of the concept of individual style, seems to us more correct in relation to the drawings of a preschooler. In our study, we define the individual drawing manner as a set of means, techniques, and methods of image, which appear to be relatively constant and distinguish the drawings of one child from the drawings of other children. Thus, individual drawing manner will include the following features: a method of applying strokes, use of color, features of the composition, hardness/softness and manner of lines, feature and the thoroughness of the image of the main and supplementary parts and components, the found means of expression. Children mostly use the same, repetitive, stereotypical ways of creating images. Having mastered any way of the image, the child repeats it in each subsequent drawing, without trying to apply other ways. This phenomenon has been studied by foreign researchers (Cohn, 2012, 2014; Cox, Koyasu, Hiranuma, & Perara 2001; Gašić-Pavišić & Lazarević, 2002; Leung, 2017; Rose & Jolley, 2016) and domestic scientists, having received different names: “pictographic symbol”, stereotyping, templates, stamps, “graphic formula”. The attitude to the stereotyping of children's drawings also differs among different researchers. Negative attitude to stereotypes in children's drawings is due to the fact that its consolidation prevents the manifestation of creativity (Fu, Dou, & Ji, 2016), the improvement of drawing (Muhina, 2000), inhibits the mental development of children, the ability to see details (Flerina, 1961). A positive assessment of stereotypes in children's drawings is associated with understanding them as a typical way of overcoming difficulties, as a stage of schematic drawing, which disappears with the development of children's visual skills (Privalov, 1986; Yusov, 2002). The understanding of children's drawing as a means of communication is connected with the need to assimilate schemes in drawing as components of a graphic language (Cohn, 2012).
How is the individual manner of drawing manifested?
Do children consciously use their preferred ways of portraying and can they consciously use other ways of portraying a person?
Purpose of the Study
One of the important topics in children's drawings, which develop general ideas about the world, is the portraying of people (Flerina, 1961).
The aim of the study was to consider one of the components of the individual drawing manner - a way of depicting the main parts and details of the image of a person by children of preschool age.
Tasks: to find out what ways to depict a person prefer preschoolers, how stable these methods are used by them in drawings, whether preschool children can consciously apply a different way of image dealing with the task “draw it another way”.
The participants were 250 preschoolers from 5 to 7 years. The participants themselves, their parents, teachers and management of educational organizations agreed to participate in the study.
To determine which ways of portraying a person prefer preschoolers and how stable these methods are used in children's drawings, the collections of drawings (950 drawings) made by children in a preschool educational institution were analyzed.
In order to establish awareness of the application of preferred methods of image and the ability of the preschooler consciously to apply a different way of image doing the task "draw it another way", the children were offered two tasks in two sessions to avoid fatigue.
The first task consisted in the image of three people and allowed to establish, what ways of the image the child uses, whether all three figures will be drawn by the same, stereotypical way of the image. In order to create motivation for drawing children were offered a story: “Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl. They went once for a walk and met a wizard. The wizard said that he had been watching for a long time, what a friendly wonderful guys they are, and decided to give them a telescope with two different glasses, one for a boy, one for a girl. The children came home. The boy put his glass in the telescope and saw three people. Draw what the boy saw through the telescope”. Children draw three people.
The second task was to encourage children to apply consciously other ways of portraying. To do this, after a break for independent activity, the children were offered a continuation of the story: “We learned and drew what the boy saw through the telescope, and now the girl put her glass in the telescope and said that she sees quite another! The girl told the boy that he saw alike people, and she sees three completely different people, not similar to each other. Draw what the girl saw through the telescope”.
For each drawing, each child was given a sheet of A5 paper (this size was chosen so as not to tire children, in the first trial versions it was noticed that children get tired of drawing 3 people on A4), colored pencils, HB pencil.
After the drawings were made, a conversation was held with the children. Children were asked to explain how they managed to draw differently, to draw different people.
Stable preferences of children in the image as a sign of individual drawing manner
In order to determine the ways in which children of preschool age prefer to portray a person, the collections of children's drawings previously made by children in an educational institution were considered. For the study, drawings with images of people made with pencils or felt-tip pens were chosen, because these materials allow to draw details. 950 drawings of 120 children from 5 to 7 years old (290 drawings of children 5 years old, 350 drawings of children 6 years old, 310 drawings of children 7 years old) were considered. In the image of the main parts of the human image recorded the same schematic, stereotypical ways: the head (circle), arms and legs – one or two lines. When depicting the details of the image of a person, children of preschool age use different, their individual ways: 12 ways of depicting hands, 16 - feet, 16 – nose, 11 – eyes, 14 – mouth, 10 – hairstyles, 16 – jewelry in clothes were recorded.
The recorded ways of image differ in children within the group of the educational institution, but are repeated in the drawings from the collections of the same child.
In 65% of children there is a steady repetition of the preferred ways of depicting the main parts and details of the human image.
In 29% of children, some details in the collections of their drawings are repeated, some vary.
6% of children use different ways of depicting the main parts and details by drawing people.
Thus, most of the children show individual stable ways of drawing, which suggests that they have an individual manner. How consciously does the child use his preferred image methods?
For this purpose, the following research method was applied.
Awareness of children's preferred image methods and ability to apply a different image method
Comparison of the two tasks, which aimed to find out how consciously children use their preferred image methods and whether they can consciously use a different image method in the task "draw differently", showed the following: It should be noted that some of the children (mostly 5 year olds) did not understand the task (puzzled look, questions "how is it?"). In the framework of the ascertaining experiment, a conversation on the topic of how people differ and how to show it in the pictures is not provided, so the instruction was repeated for them once again. 51% of the children in the second drawing portrayed people using the same stereotypical ways as in their first drawing.
30% of children using the same ways of depicting a person added clothing items, additional details or attributes (for example, the same man, only on a roller board or in a hat).
4% of children changed the size of the figures while maintaining the same ways of depicting the main parts and details.
5% of children drew a robot, an alien, a cartoon character, that is, not a person, at the same time, the way of depicting the main parts and details remained, but added, for example, antennas or wheels.
8% of children use other methods of image. Of these, 3.5 % of children change single details (for example, only the shape of the mouth or the shape of the head, while the rest of the details were depicted as in their figure
1% of children do not portray people in the picture.
2% of children draw, repeating the work of the child sitting next to them.
In two drawings, a 6-year-old girl used the same, stereotypical ways to depict eyes, nose, hands, legs, hair, and body shape. The second drawing uses different head shapes and mouth shapes, as she explained in the conversation, to make people different.
Thus, stereotyping in images of children is largely unconscious. The request of an adult to make conscious changes in the drawings does not always succeed, because children still tend to stereotyping.
Individual drawing manner is manifested in the preferred ways of children's images of the main parts and details of the image of a person.
Greater diversity is recorded in the depiction of details, while the main parts of the human image children portray stereotypically. For most children of preschool age, it is characteristic of a steady image repetition of the main parts and details in one way chosen by the child in different drawings.
Only 8 % of children can consciously apply a different way of image to one or more details. Habitual, stereotypical ways of depicting the main parts and details of a person are used by children unconsciously. In the analysis of the collections there were children noted, who in their previous drawings using other ways of depicting some of the details, but in the experiment in figure
The ways in which a child portrays the main parts and details of a person differ in children within groups and, accordingly, are the features of his individual drawind manner of drawing that make his images recognizable.
It should be noted that the child's use of a different way of depicting details in figure
To support the development of individual drawing manner, development and conscious use of different ways of image is an important task of upbringing and education of preschool children, because promoting the manifestation of the child's individuality is the most important skill.
- Cohn, N. (2012). Explaining “I can’t draw”: Parallels between the structure and development of language and drawing. Hum Development, 55(4), 167-192.
- Cohn, N. (2014). Framing “I can’t draw”: The influence of cultural frames on the development of drawing. Cult Psychol, 20(1), 102-17. http://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X13515936
- Cox, M. V., Koyasu, M., Hiranuma, H., & Perara, J. (2001). Children’s human figure drawings in the UK and Japan: The effects of age, sex, and culture. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 19, 275–292.
- Flerina, E. V. (1961). Aesthetic Education of a Preschooler. In V.N. SHackaja (Ed.). Moskva: Izd-vo Akad. ped. nauk RSFSR. [in Russ.].
- Fu, L. J., Dou, L., & Ji, L. S. (2016). Unique Construction of Evaluating Indicator in Children's Art Works. 2nd international conference on modern education and social science (MESS 2016), 531-533.
- Gašić-Pavišić, S. Ž., & Lazarević, D. A. (2002). Content of the concept of house in preschool children expressed in words and drawings. Zbornik Instituta za pedagoska istrazivanja, 34, 103-111.
- Huntsinger, C. S., Jose, P. E., Krieg, D. B., & Luo, Z. (2011). Cultural differences in Chinese American and European American children’s drawing skills over time. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 134–145.
- Leung, S. K. Y. (2017). Early visual arts education in Hong Kong kindergartens. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323167541
- Muhina, V. S. (2000). Children Psychology. M.: OOO Aprel' Press, ZAO Izd EKS MO-Press. [In Russ.]. [Moscow. Ltd. Aprel’ Press, CJSC EKS MO-Press].
- Privalov, A. V. (1986). Stereotyping in Children’s Drawing. Extracurricular Work in Fine Art. Alma-Ata: Mektep. [in Russ.].
- Rose, S., & Jolley, R. (2016). Drawing development in mainstream and Waldorf Steiner schools revisited. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10(4), 447-457. http://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000070
- Vershinina, N. A. (2008). Contribution of the XX Century Scientists to the Study of Visual Art Activity Problems of Preschool Children: Epistemological Development Pattern: Monograph. SPb.: “Lema” Publishing Company. [in Russ.].
- Watson, M., & Schwartz, N. S. (2000). The development of individual styles in children's drawing New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 90, 49-63.
- Wieder, C. G. (1998). Child Art and the Emergence of Learning Styles. Visual Arts Research, 24(1), 21–27.
- Yusov, B. P. (2002). Fine Arts and Children's Fine Arts: Essays on the History, Theory and Psychology of Children Art Education. Magnitogorsk: MaSU Publishing Company. [in Russ.].
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
26 August 2020
Print ISBN (optional)
Educational strategies, educational policy, teacher training, moral purpose of education, social purpose of education
Cite this article as:
Vershinina, N. A., Ignateva, E. Y., & Chukalova, N. G. (2020). Features Of Manifestation Of Individual Manner In The Preschool Childdrawings. In S. Alexander Glebovich (Ed.), Pedagogical Education - History, Present Time, Perspectives, vol 87. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 667-672). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.02.87