Pablo Picasso once said, "When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso." To help your little one find her inner artist, learn the different stages of artistic development and encourage your child to explore her creativity. Here are some important ideas and information to get you started.
The Scribble Period
Your child's masterpiece, presented to you as lines and scribble, is a form of expression. Yes, that random work of art you are so grateful for actually means something: Your child is learning, developing, and communicating.
This scribble period typically lasts until the age of four. It begins as just a display of movement, but your child will learn to associate scribble with the form she is creating: "Hey, look what I just did!"
Around the age of three and a half, she will begin to name her marks. Even though the scribbles do not appear different, her way of thinking has developed. She has progressed to a point where she is thinking in imaginative terms. She now has control and direction over those lines and draws with expression and communication. Suddenly, a horizontal line is the ocean, and a vertical line is a tree. Mommy and Daddy look like a fiddlestick composition, and an image of your house may look like a mess. Slowly but surely, scribbles become a repetitious series of lines that develop into symbols.
Interpreting Your Child's Work
Can you understand your child's emotions through art? The experts think so ...
- Vertical lines = strength and reason
- Horizontal lines = serenity and peace
- Jagged, diagonal lines = anger and irritation
- Curves = whimsy and fancifulness
As your future Picasso grows, so will her visual awareness. She will notice the details. She not only will notice that green is green, but that there are different shades of green. The detail in her art will emphasize the importance of what she is creating, and she will not be satisfied with basic lines.