Drawing expresses one’s inner worldview.

This sentence belongs to J.Piaget and B.Inhelder and I took it from Joseph H. Di Leo’s book “Children’s Drawings as a Diagnostic Tool” (1973) which is a very interesting and useful read to all who are curious about the deeper meaning of drawing. Especially for those who want and need to help children with learning difficulties or developmental disabilities. I have to be honest that I didn't read through the whole book, only the first part, chapters 1–7. Because those were useful for my topic and research and from there, it became very specific about the treatment of arch disorders. But of course, it will be very useful for those who have this specific interest.

Here are some thoughts from the first part of the book:

  • In 1887, the first important work on children’s drawings was published. It was C.RICCI “L’Arte dei Bambini” This led to the study of graphic self-expression. Graphic self-expression begins with scribbling, which S.STERN compares insightfully to babbling in the development of speaking. This subsequent stage was described by G.ROUMA in 1913 as six distinct phases:
    - imaging experiments;
    - cephalopods;
    - cephalopod with the body;
    - human face and other body parts;
    - side view of the head, profile;
    - correct profile, introduction to depicting movement.
  • In the third year of life, circles begin to appear in children’s drawings. A shape appears, such as a head and eyes. The child begins to realize that he can create a more complete picture with his images;
  • Kinesthetic drawing, or the initial pleasure of moving a pen, is replaced by a greater sense of satisfaction offered by the understanding that drawing can create a form depicting a specific thing;
  • Imagination frees the soul from the shackles of reality;
  • The child draws an idea, an internal model, reducing everything schematically to the essential. G.H. LUQUET calls it intellectual realism to distinguish it from adult visual realism;
  • J. PIAGET came to knowledge with observations that the transition from intellectual realism to visual realism is not limited to drawing but characterizes the whole spiritual development of a child. The reality of a toddler is his own construction of thought, which is reflected in his work.
  • H. ENG says that the child draws what he knows. Not what he sees;
  • W. WOLFF says that children’s drawings are most affected by emotion;
  • This is not surprising that young children do not distinguish between racial affiliation in their drawings. Toddlers see personalities in other children and react positively to some and negatively to some, and the interaction is independent of skin color. The child sees beyond external qualities. Skin color does not appear until the child goes to school.

Finally, from Di Leo’s book, I want to point out the author’s main thesis that toddlers' drawings say more about the child and less about the depicted object.
What we see is influenced by what we have seen before, what we remember at that moment, and how we understand and think about what we see.

In reacting to the environment, a child, fascinated by the world forgets himself and draws a concept of humanity rather than just himself. He himself is involved in this concept.

The post in the Estonian language is here.

Source:
- Di Leo, J.H.(1973). Children’s Drawings as a Diagnostic Tool. Tallinn: Ersen

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