Stations of artistic development (Viktor Lowenfeld) (2023)

Stages of artistic development have been studied and named by many people; Viktor Lowenfeld, Marianne Kerlavage and Judy Burton, who are leaders in this field. While there are many factors that affect a child's rate of development, these stages attempt to define a developmental pattern that most people tend to reach.

2-4 years:scribbled

  • kinesthetic activity
  • Includes: mandalas, bars, pops and open shapes.
  • transition: closed forms

Four distinct behaviors can be observed during the doodling phase: manipulation, uncontrolled marking, controlled marking, and planned/named marking. Markup in the scribble phase is usually random. Artwork at this stage includes bursts, slashes, mandalas, and open shapes. Creating art is more about kinesthetic movement and material manipulation than what is put on the page. Also, children at this stage can recognize specific colors, but they rarely choose colors for specific purposes. By the end of this step, the markers become more organized and the children are more involved in creating their artwork. The transition scale for this phase, in addition to naming the doodles, is the creation of closed shapes.

Due to the rapid development of sensory and motor functions at this age, progress at this stage is faster than at others. As children develop, they will begin to make connections between their actions and the trails they leave behind. Children at this stage are also beginning to understand the notion of right and wrong along with other simple words and phrases, allowing them to communicate verbally as they create their art.

4-7 years:preliminary scheme

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  • Early understanding of symbols.
  • Includes: nature, paper filling, floating shapes
  • Transition: Tadpole People

Artwork in the pre-sketch stage indicates a child's tendency to draw representatively. The images begin to resemble symbols, but these can only be understood by the child. The drawings created in this phase often deal with elements of nature and occupy the entire paper.

From then on, the letters and numbers will appear as elements in the children's drawings. Colors may also start to look more realistic than they do in artwork by younger artists. Also, drawn shapes float and there is no discernible baseline. The referent of this phase is the creation of tadpole people (figures without a neck and arms that sprout from the head).

Children at this stage find it difficult to distinguish between fantasy and reality and create an alternative view of the world around them. They are able to regulate their own behavior and can comply when sharing is necessary. Also, different personality traits emerge at this age as they begin to compare themselves to others.
7-9 years:Scheme

  • art for communication
  • Includes: facial features, improved figure rendering
  • Transition: baseline (actual or implied)

The graphics created during the schematic phase are used as a visual communication tool. Young artists develop specific schemes to represent objects. Children at this stage are still more interested in the process of making art than the final product. A key feature and reference point at this level is the use of a baseline (visual or assumed) or simply a more organized space. The child may also start to show depth in his drawings at this stage. Furthermore, the colors used are based on the actual appearance of the item and were not chosen at random.

Around this age, children develop thought processes similar to those of adults, although they are not yet able to think abstractly. Motor skills and hand-eye coordination are well developed at this stage, allowing children to create works of art that others can easily understand. Figures are created by contouring or stacking shapes, and what is created is more symbolic than realistic. Although both the face and body are accurately drawn, everything can only be seen from the front. The challenge of larger shapes is solved with fold-out drawings, X-ray drawings, multi-angle drawings and panoramic views. After all, the themes of children's drawings at this stage revolve around narratives.

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9-11 years:wake up realism

  • Art as a creative outlet.
  • Includes: Details, Identifying Clothing, Retreat Space, World Creation
  • Transition: Consideration of application of design principles

The art of emerging realism marks the transition from purely symbolic art to art as a creative outlet. Children at this stage are focused on developing an art skill and are often frustrated in the process. Artists can start by depicting their subjects from multiple angles, and often multiple baselines are shown. Color is true to life in the designs for this stage, but elements of fantasy and illusion can be incorporated into the shape of the world design.

Often at this stage young artists create certain aspects of a piece in great detail and divide up the remaining space with concise symbols. The details of the piece, rather than the objects as a whole, are considered identifying features, and much of the artist's approach is guided by this ideal. Also, at this stage, artists start resizing objects based on their location, giving the illusion of a recessed space.

Children at this stage have the ability to think logically, which allows them to find multiple ways to solve problems. Individuals develop personal sets of rules and govern themselves based on these rather than those established by adults. In addition, children at this stage place a high value on their social interaction and often compare themselves negatively with others. One facet of emerging realism is the gang stage, in which performers struggle to fit in with their peers.

11-13 years:the age of reason

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  • Ideas in search of shape
  • Includes: proportions, three-dimensional space, realistic colors.
  • Transition: material understanding

At this age, children begin to think abstractly. Coordination and physical growth often get out of balance at this point, hampering the artist's ability to create what he thinks he should be able to. Also, at this age, children begin to favor same-sex friendships over opposite-sex friendships, which is often related to self-esteem issues.
During the Age of Sanity, many children drop out of formal art education. More attention is paid to the final product than the creative process, and young artists are often dissatisfied with their artwork. Artists at this stage of development will pay more attention to the proportions of elements in their work, creating a three-dimensional space and using realistic colors.

At this stage, artists prefer to draw from observation rather than imagination. There is an increase in experimentation with materials and concepts. Artists were also very interested in portraying the human figure at this time. This phase was also sometimes referred to as pseudonaturalistic, as a reaction to the "adult" naturalism of his drawings.

14-17 years:The decision period

  • Art motivated by meaning
  • Includes: emotional inspiration, social issues, and skill enhancement
  • Transition: personal voice

During this developmental phase, young artists begin to make art with an adult perspective. While it is possible for all young artists to continue to this point, one must want to improve their artistic skills. By interpreting the world through a creative process, teenagers begin to approach their work as a mature artist would. The themes of artworks at this stage vary according to the artist's interest and can range from extremely realistic to abstract. Artists at this stage are often motivated by social issues, emotions, or perfecting their own techniques, which can result in individualistic styles.

Artists at this stage may experiment with different means to achieve a single goal. Space, color and design elements are well understood at this point and used to create innovative artwork. Teenagers are able to draw pictures from memory rather than observation. The belief that each person is unique in body and mind is evident at this time and often dictates the teen's emotions.

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17 years or older:adult

  • mature artist
  • Includes: Focusing on individual goals, promoting personal voice.
  • Transition: Continuous improvement of prior knowledge

As a continuation of the decision phase, this phase includes artists who continued to participate in the creative process. In this phase, the individualistic style is developed and the skill is continuously improved. Creating artwork at this stage involves introspective reflection to create pieces that reflect the artist's personal voice.

As in the previous stages, reaching this level of skill depends on the artist's willingness to continue dedicating himself to art. Not every adult will have the foundation to perform at the level a mature artist is capable of.


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What are the 6 stages of artistic development? ›

Stages Of Artistic Development In Children
  • Scribbling. Between one and three years, children scribble in the manner of any other motor activity. ...
  • Pre-schematic. ...
  • Schematic. ...
  • Dawning Realism. ...
  • The Pseudo-naturalistic. ...
  • The Naturalist or Decision stage.
Apr 29, 2022

What is Lowenfeld theory? ›

Lowenfeld believed evidence of aesthetic, social, physical, intellectual, and emotional growth is reflected in the art of children. He further developed a theory of stages in artistic development.

What are the five stages of art development? ›

It's possible to cycle back through different steps throughout the creative process, which may explain why it feels like such a roller coaster at times!
  • Inspiration. ...
  • Percolation. ...
  • Preparation. ...
  • Creation. ...
  • Reflection.
Oct 25, 2015

What are the six elements of artistic expression? ›

ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value.

What are the stages artistic development? ›

I mentioned the three stages of development as an artist: beginner, intermediate, mastery.

What are the 8 stages of creative process? ›

8 creative process stages to mature ideas
  • Identify the problem, challenge or goal. ...
  • Engage in research. ...
  • Brainstorm solutions. ...
  • Prepare to cope with creative blockages. ...
  • Reflect consistently. ...
  • Seek intellectual insights. ...
  • Design the insights into the solution. ...
  • Finalise and test the solution.
Apr 29, 2022

What are the 7 Arts process? ›

The arts have also been classified as seven: painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, music, performing and cinema.

What is the first stage of Lowenfeld's stages of artistic development? ›

Stage 1 – Scribble Stage (1 – 3 years old)

Children at this age are engaged in the physical activity of drawing. There is no connection made between the marks and representation during most of the scribble stage. However, towards the end of this stage children may begin to give marks names.

What are the 4 artistic processes? ›

Presenting (visual arts): Interpreting and sharing artistic work. Producing (media arts): Realizing and presenting artistic ideas and work. Responding: ​Understanding and evaluating how the arts convey meaning. Connecting:​Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.

Why is Viktor Lowenfeld important in art education? ›

Lowenfeld believed art education was important because it provided self-direction, a relationship between artist and environment as well as a means for expression. He valued creative expression because of its goal of expression of ones self.

What are the 4 art theories? ›

4 Theories for Judging Art

There are 4 main theories for judging whether a piece of art is successful: Imitationalism, Formalism, Instrumentalism, and Emotionalism. Chances are, you already believe in one of these theories, even if you've never heard of them.

What are the 5 main theories of art? ›

Theories of Art
  • abstraction.
  • expressionism.
  • formalism.
  • mimesis.
  • minimalism.
  • naturalism.
  • romanticism.
  • symbolism.

What are the 7 major art forms in order? ›

The seven different art forms are Painting, Sculpture, Literature, Architecture, Theater, Film, and Music.

What are the Big 5 in art? ›

Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoco, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse. Photo: Bob Seidemann. Even if you've never heard their names before, chances are you're more than familiar with the work of the legendary poster artists known as 'the Big Five'.

What are the seven 7 functions of art? ›

De Botton and Armstrong go on to outline the seven core psychological functions of art:
  • HOPE. ...
  • SORROW. ...
  • GROWTH. ...
Oct 25, 2013

What are the 7 most important elements of art? ›

They are color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value. Mastery of these seven basic elements of art are important if you want to achieve some level of mastery in your art. It is an understanding of these elements of art that makes your artwork interesting, and creates an impact on your viewers.

What are the 8 artistic expressions humans were able to produce? ›

Artistic expression can be enjoyed in a variety of forms such as:
  • Painting and drawing.
  • Sculpting.
  • Needle work.
  • Drama.
  • Music.
  • Dance.
  • Creative writing.
  • Photography.
Jun 17, 2016

What are the 4 development stages? ›

Sensorimotor stage (0–2 years old) Preoperational stage (2–7 years old) Concrete operational stage (7–11 years old) Formal operational stage (11 years old through adulthood)

What are the 12 stages of development? ›

The major stages of the human lifecycle include pregnancy, infancy, the toddler years, childhood, puberty, older adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and the senior years.

What are the 6 P's of creativity? ›

The Six P's: process, product, person, place, persuasion and potential will now be further explained: Process: refers to how the path from problem to an idea takes place, that is to say, how the creative process occurs at a cognitive level.

What are the 4 P's of creativity? ›

These 4P's are: Person: understanding the traits, characteristics or attributes of the creative person; Process: describing the operations or stages of thinking used in the creative process; Press: examining the nature of situations and its context within the creative press (or environment) and the Product: identifying ...

What are the 7 I's of creativity? ›

Abstract. Creators in the arts, sciences, education, and business speak about how they create in terms that I have broken down into the Seven I's: several types of (1) Inspiration, (2) Imagery, (3) Imagination, (4) Intuition, (5) Insight, (6) Incubation, and (7) Improvisation.

What are the 7 elements and 8 principles of art? ›

The elements of art are color, form, line, shape, space, and texture. The principles of art are scale, proportion, unity, variety, rhythm, mass, shape, space, balance, volume, perspective, and depth.

What are the 3 developmental levels in drawing? ›

The developmental stages of children's drawings in Understanding Children's Drawings by Cathy Malchiodi include: Scribbling (1.5 to 3+ years) Basic Forms (3+ to 4+ years) Human Forms and Beginning Schemata (4-6 years)

Which of the following are the 4 steps of art analysis? ›

An Art Critique consists of four categories. Describe, Analyze, Interpret and Judge (or Evaluate).

What are the 3 stages in art making? ›

The Art Making Process
  • Phase One begins with sketching, grid-lining, drawing, or filling in under-paintings. ...
  • Phase Two includes adding multiple layers of tone, color, or paint within an artwork. ...
  • Phase Three ends with students adding final detail and craftsmanship showcasing their finished projects.

What are the 8 major art forms? ›

These different types of art are painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, music, cinema, and theater.

What 3 key ingredients are important to developing artistic ability? ›

Subject, form, and content have always been the three basic components of a work of art, and they are wed in a way that is inseparable.

What are the stages of creative and artistic development in children? ›

We have four stages of children's development in art: writing, pre-symbolism, symbolism, and realism. It doesn't mean that the drawings that kids usually make in the earlier stages are less desirable than the drawings made in the later stages.

What is the 3 importance of humanities in art appreciation? ›

The humanities and the arts are central to all human cultures throughout time. Their study can facilitate deeper intercultural understanding and lay the groundwork for a civically engaged life. They can also prepare you to think critically, act creatively, and succeed in a rapidly changing world.

What are the 3 aesthetic theories of art? ›

These three aesthetic theories are most commonly referred to as Imitationalism, Formalism, and Emotionalism.

What are the 3 theories of art? ›

The three aesthetic theories of art criticism are most commonly referred to as Imitationalism, Formalism, and Emotionalism. on realistic representation. of art using the principles of art. a response of feelings, moods, or emotions in the viewer.

What are the 10 fundamentals of art? ›

10 types of art fundamentals
  • Lines. Lines are a design fundamental that helps artists divide space, create shapes and add texture to the artwork. ...
  • Form. Form is an art fundamental that contributes to realistic art that appears to be more than two dimensions. ...
  • Value. ...
  • Space. ...
  • Color theory. ...
  • Anatomy. ...
  • Lighting. ...
  • Composition.
Nov 30, 2021

What are the 6 stages of language development titles ages and expectations? ›

What are the stages of language development?
  • Pre-linguistic stage. Also known as the pre-linguistic stage, the first stage of language development often occurs between zero and six months. ...
  • Babbling stage. ...
  • Holophrastic stage. ...
  • Two-word stage. ...
  • Telegraphic stage. ...
  • Multi-word stage.
Jul 13, 2021

What is the first stage in the stages of artistic development in children? ›

Stage 1 – Scribble Stage (1 – 3 years old)

Children at this age are engaged in the physical activity of drawing. There is no connection made between the marks and representation during most of the scribble stage. However, towards the end of this stage children may begin to give marks names.

What are the 6 elements and principles of art to consider in art analysis definition and give an example? ›

The elements of art are color, form, line, shape, space, and texture. The principles of art are scale, proportion, unity, variety, rhythm, mass, shape, space, balance, volume, perspective, and depth.

What are the stages of drawing in children? ›

The Stages of Drawing
  • 12 Months: Random Marks and Scribbles. The first stage of drawing is about exploring and developing motor coordination. ...
  • 2 Years: Controlled Scribbles. ...
  • 3 Years: Basic Shapes. ...
  • 4 Years: Patterns and 'Tadpole' People. ...
  • 5 Years: Pictures and Portraits. ...
  • 6 Years: Drawings Represent Interests and Experience.
Dec 13, 2022


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