Children's Drawing Between Fantasy and Reality   

Case Studies: 
Kody S.:
Magda N.:
Christopher A.:
Ryan F.:
Darren Z.:
Sarah S.:
Jeremy L.:
Annette E.:
Carrie B.:



Kody S.:
 
Kody consider a perfect example of those children who are very interested in fantasy subjects for their drawings. He started his sketchbook by drawing the story of dinosaurs and bats. The first two weeks, Kody drew around 62 drawings, 60 of them about the same story but in different ways.

 Into these two weeks, Kody drew only two subjects consider as real ones. Both of them contain flowers (see ill.1) in different colors even he used almost to use one color only through his previous outline drawings. Kody jump always between his sketchbook pages, so there are a lot of blank pages in his sketchbook. By the time he returned back next weeks to fill these blank pages by the same subject almost (Batman and the dinosaurs stories).

 As other children do, Kody likes to write his name over some of his drawings. Many of Kody’s drawings are not finished yet, because he used to draw in a fast way so many drawings each week, so he didn’t take care of finishing many of these drawings. As an explanation of this note, I think Kody is very familiar with the subject and he has a lot of ideas he likes to show, so he prefers always to start new drawings before completing his old ones. Or may be he is not that satisfied with the results he had, and prefer instead of completing the drawing to start all over (more than half of Kody’s drawings are not finished yet- see ill. 2, 3, and 4).

 Kody, as some other children at this age, prefers to use only one color for his subjects. Each week he used to use only one different color to draw his subjects, as an example, first week he used the black color to draw his images as outlines only. Next week he used the blue one for his next drawings the same way he did the previous ones (see ills. 2 and 3). The most interesting thing about Kody’s drawings that you see many of his drawings done as separated parts from each other (same shape cut into different parts that related to the same subject), as an example, in ill. 21 Kody drew the bat head, wings and eyes in its original places but without the outline shape of the bat.

 Children at the pre-schematic and early schematic stages, have some specific features or characteristics. Kody, as some other examples in this study, carrying some of these characteristics. As an example, faces in Kody’s Drawings are always smiling, exaggeration for some parts comparing to others, omitting some parts which is not that important in his opinion, using colors as a meaning for separation between objects or as a kind of enjoyable activity without exact meanings for such colors.
 The next two weeks, Kody still drawing the same subjects and by the same way (he drew about 54 drawings). Ill.9 consider the only realistic subject within these two weeks (flowers again as he did before), may be he drew this subject as a kind of changing for his drawing’s mood of keep drawing the same old subject. Kody almost consider the fastest child in finishing his drawings, in each week he drew between 25-32 drawings.
 

Magda N.:
 
Magda a very active girl, she can’t stop jumping, dancing, and running here and there. She likes to have attention most of the time by telling those funny stories in her interesting way, or by pretending that she knows how to make magical tricks!

 Magda comparing to Kody, consider a perfect example for those children who drawing realistic subjects most of the time. She is very interested in drawing flowers, birds, and fish (people are almost absent from her drawings especially the first four weeks- as we will notice later on in Darren’s drawings!). As Kody did, Magda also jumping a lot between her sketchbook pages leaving so many blank pages. She likes telling stories through her drawings, in ill. 1 Magda drew a very tall flower that almost reached the sun at the very top right side of the page. Her story has a beginning and end, which was written over the drawing itself by her teacher assistance.

 Many of her drawings were not completed yet (as many of Kody’s drawings), as an example, see ill. 6 comparing to ill. 7. Magda likes also to use different colors to draw her subjects, and that’s why she likes to draw colorful subjects such as flowers, birds, etc. (see ills. 1, 2, 3, and 8). Flower’s shapes so many times drawn as outlines only by using single color for each flower shape, may be as an attempt from her to show her ability in drawing different kinds of flowers in different shapes (notice previous examples and also ills. 4 and 5).

 Magda likes- as well as other children at this age- to write over her drawings (see ills. 1 and 9). In ill. 9, she tries to tell us a story about her self when she was so young by writing over her drawing this meaning. Magda perfectly understands the meaning of overlapping as we see in ill. 3. “Overlapping causes one object to appear to be in front of another in space” (Hurwitz & Day, 1991, p. 170). In ill.8, Magda seems to draw by the x-ray view, as the plant’s roots seem visible through the land soil. Using realistic colors helped her in showing this idea successfully.

 Magda doesn’t like sometimes to start her sketchbook activity by creating new drawings; so she simply returned back to her old drawings and start repeating them by using only one color with outlines only as well (compare between ill. 2 and 10; 7 and 11). Her colors usually holding realistic values when she is so patient and serious with drawing any subject, otherwise she will choose any color randomly to draw her drawings (many times as outlines only in this case). As Magda becoming more comfortable with the class team (children and teachers), she starting to feel more free in escaping from her sketchbook to play or to create another ideas to do instead of drawing like chatting with other children or teachers about her funny stories!

 Exaggeration seems to be very normal to appear in her drawings (as other children in this age). In ill. 12, we can tell that Magda tries to show that importance of the sun and it’s affect generally by exaggerating its size comparing to the tiny flowers at the bottom of the page. While in ill. 1, flowers seem to be very huge comparing to the sun size (reality have different dimensions to children at this stage, it means that it’s different by the way they want to express their ideas and views). May be Magda wanted to show us in this drawing as viewers, the affect of the sunshine upon this flower to grow up like this.
 

Christopher A.:
 
Opposite to Magda’s drawings, Christopher’s drawings consider a perfect example of fantasy imaginative ones. His drawings seem to be affected by the television and video cartoon films about fantasy stories such as Godzilla, the monster’s war, Dr. Frankeshtine story (ill. 4), wale’s war (ills. I, 2, and 3), King snake (Copra), the ghost (ill. 9), etc.

 Christopher take care drawing his images with so many details, He also has to make sure that his object’s details and shapes are drawn very well without any mistakes (outlines or colors). As an example, in ill. 7, Christopher used the pencil for the first time to make sure that he can delete any mistakes he may cause to his drawing as he felt very nervous while trying to draw the shape of the Dinosaur’s head in a correct way. Christopher is a very energetic child, full of enthusiasm to draw as much as he can each class in his sketchbook (I believe personally, that the sketchbook activity is his most enjoyable activity comparing to the other children).

 In the second week, Christopher drew his first realistic subject as we see in ill. 6. His favorite subject to draw in this case is only flower subjects as he did also in ill. 8 of the third week. He also tends to repeat his subjects in the same class or next ones as he did in ills. 1, 2, and 3 of the second and third weeks which is about the wale’s war. Using colors as realistic values connected with Christopher’s ideas by the realistic of the symbols or objects themselves (reality in his opinion means that such symbols are existing in his mind even if they are not visible or found in our real life). This idea makes him very careful in choosing his colors most of the times as we see in ills. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8 as examples only.

 One week, Christopher brought toys advertising magazine to draw some if it’s toys in his sketchbook. He was very enthusiasm to draw at that day as he came so quickly asking us about his sketchbook. As I watching him closely, he seems to be very busy with viewing the magazine pages to choose his favorite ones, then after a while he chosen a toy’s name “Robin the banker” to start his first drawing at that day (see ill. 10). Christopher turned to me showing me his drawing’s colors and shape and its different features, then he started his next drawing about another toy “Andy the Android” (see ill. 11). As he started that one, the teacher announced that children should now close their sketchbook to hear the weekly story, which was that week about wild animal’s zoo following by a video film about the same subject. Christopher felt very upset and angry to leave his sketchbook at that moment, so I convinced him to leave his sketchbook with me so he can continue his favorite drawing when he finish listening to the story.

 Christopher worked very fast that day with clay activity, so he can return back quickly to his sketchbook. He was really amazing that day in how he willing to draw as much as he can.

Ryan F.:
 
Ryan is another example of the children who draw most of the times fantasy subjects. The interesting thing about Ryan that he always one color to draw his images each class, moreover, he used also to draw only the outlines of his objects or symbols.

 It’s really very hard with Ryan’s drawings to understand many of his art works or images contents, by viewing his drawings you can see many lines (ill. 5), symbols (ills. 1, 10), map lines (ill. 2), and small tiny objects all over the page (ill. 3, 4). Some of these symbols remind you of the Egyptian Hieroglyphic’s scripts. So I have most of the time to ask a friend of mine about these symbols what could be as she more familiar than me with video games and television film cartoons! As I understand from her, most of his objects are from video games as you see for example in ills. 3 and 4, which is about Cralt war! By these drawings, Ryan tries to tell us about the fantasy stories that he watches from the video games, and that’s why the teacher tries to write down his words as he starting his words about this or that story.

 Usually, Ryan using only one color to finish his drawings. But in ill. 11, he used more than one color, and moreover, these colors seem to be also realistic in their values. May be as a kind of change to what he used to do, for example, in another illustration, Ryan used also the pencil to draw his subject also for the first time. In ill. 3d, Ryan used another materials in his drawing; as he finished it, he brought some buttons with different colors and sizes and tries to fix them to his page by using the glue. This is the first time Ryan used this way, and even this is the first time I noticed this between other children. I think may be this is considering a sign for his creativity in finding some other way to finish his drawings.
 

Darren Z.:
 
Darren is a child at the kindergarten level. All of his drawings consider as realistic subjects from life such as houses drawings, animals, flowers, butterflies, etc. He likes to write down his name in different ways all over his drawings (see ills. 1 and 7 for example), as well as some other object’s names. (Which he misses spelling them sometimes as you can notice in ills. 11 and 9).

 Darren almost understand the different color’s values, so he is very careful each time he has to choose his colors as well as all the details of his symbols (see ill. 4 and 6).  He also chooses to draw colorful objects or symbols that allows him to use different colors, such as flowers, butterflies, etc. (see ill. 2 and 3).

 Some times Darren exaggerate his objects (same as other children of this stage), and this exaggeration consider as a sign for the importance of some parts comparing to others. In general, Darren knows how to manage his image’s relations by means of each symbol size comparing to the others at the same image or drawing as you see in ills. 3, 4, and 6.  He is very pleased with writing his name a gain a gain all over in many pages as you see in ill. 7, or just writing his object’s names as you see in ill. 9.
 

Sarah S.:
 
As I reviewed Sara’s drawings, I noticed so many similarities between her drawings and Darren ones. Almost they share same objects and the way of drawing them, the only addition that I found in Sara’s drawings that she drew human figures.

  Sarah likes to draw different objects in her drawings with colorful and nice colors as you notice in ills. 2, 3 and 5. People also drawn in different colors, sizes, details and movements, may be this variety indicates to her way in separating between people’s roles in her life, agenda or age as wee see in ill. 2 for example. She used also to write hers object’s names as another way of defining the human figures at her drawings as in ill. 6. Most of her drawing’s subjects were about her family (this is one of the most important subjects for children at this stage to draw). Rainbow another subject she likes to draw (as other children also) as in ill. 4.

 In ills. 1, 5 and 9, Sarah reminds us of Darren’s subjects of houses, animals, flowers, butterflies and birds. She also used some times to write these object’s names over her drawings as well as her name. Sarah likes to tell stories through her drawings; these stories were completed sometimes in her sketchbook as in ill. 7 (story about her dog Sally), or uncompleted as we see in ill. 10. In this drawing, she stop coloring the image as she realized that it will be hard to distinguish between the snake color and the tree’s trunk.

 Sara’s drawings seem to be drawn in a very simple way as in ill. 8, and very complicated ones in other case as in ills. 2 and 9. May be this is indicates to her mood that day, or to her enjoyment of the subject itself, or just as indication to her ability in completing such subjects. Many of her drawings are repeated again and again in her sketchbook, as some other children tend to do at this age.

Jeremy L.:

 Jeremy considers one of the most interesting examples of children who still swinging between scribbling, pre-schematic, and early schematic stages. It is wonderful to notice how he rapidly jumping between these stages as you will notice by reviewing his images.

 Jeremy seems to be more comfortable in telling different stories by his drawings (most of them seem to be a series of drawings). As an example of this notice, see ills. 10, 11, 12 and 13. The previous drawings about turkey farm where turkey grew their until they are ready to be slaughtering and then to the supermarkets for people to eat (this is the way by which Jeremy telling his story). It is very normal to see two drawings that almost typical to each other in Jeremy’s sketchbook, as an example see ills. 2, 3, and 4. Jeremy at this stage can’t really separate between what is consider as real or unreal by a full understanding to that meaning. Some times he drew those fantasy drawings as a sign for his premature understanding to the reality of things and the world around him (see ills. 5 and 6).

Jeremy used colors without taking care of their realistic values also, his objects drawn in a very simple way as you can see in ills. 8 and 9. In ills. 3 and 4, Jeremy just enjoy using different colors in a randomly freedom way by making circles all over each other. As he repeats his drawing again, we can tell that he enjoyed the idea it self of using colors that way, and the different affects that colors show as they mixed with each other.

Annette E.:
 
As I reviewed Annette’s sketchbook, it’s very obvious that she has good experience with drawing her subjects and using colors comparing to other children at the same class. Annette passing through the stage between early and late schematic stage, Compare between ill. 1 and 5.

 In general, Annette drawings are related  all to the realistic subjects from the environment around her, like people, animals, trees, flowers, and such objects. Story is a very important subject for Annette to draw and to speak about; most of her drawings are stories about her self as in ills. 1 and 3, or about her family as in ill. 5, or about her friends, or just about the environment around her as in ills. 7, 8 and 10. (See also ill. 11, which is about the story of the witch). Annette likes to use different colors in her drawings, most of her drawings were colored in interesting way by using so many colors in each single object sometimes (see ills. 2, 8 and 9).

 In ill. 2, Annette drew a flower with so many circular colored lines remind us of the rainbow shape or idea, which most of the children at this age love to draw. Colors also holding a realistic values as most of her drawings show, plants always green, ground is brown, sky is blue, and so on. Exaggeration is also a very normal and obvious phenomenon in her drawings, and she doing it as a way to separate between objects in order to show their importance comparing to the others as you can see in ill. 1. Annette understands that the tree is bigger than the flower, and the house is the biggest comparing to the other items in her drawing. Also in ill. 5, Annette separates between the people by exaggerating their sizes, as a sign to her understanding that adults are different than children by their sizes (may be her father and herself). Faces always smiling, whether people, animals, the sun, etc. (see ill. 3 as an example).

Carrie B.:

 Most of Carrie’s drawings related to realistic subjects about her self first of all (as you can see in ill. 1, 9 and 11). By careful looking through her sketchbook, it is very clear that most of her drawings are “self-centered” ones. She likes to tell stories about her self and the nature around her (see ills. 2 and 12), she likes also to write always above her drawings different names and words (especially her name!); like Mom, Dad, friend’s names and so on (see ills. 3 and 4 as an examples).

 Repetition is one of the very obvious characteristics of her drawings, Carrie used to repeat the same object or symbol again and again as she likes to draw that specific object, as an example see ill. 2. Some other times she tends to repeat the same subject with very little changes as you can see also in ills. 5 and 6; 7, 8 and 12. As you notice in her drawings, Carrie tends to use so many colors at her drawings. Some times as she chosen any color, she take care of choosing a realistic one that match the object’ original color, some other times she just used her colors randomly without thinking about the realistic of her colors. Some of her drawings hold both, the realistic and unrealistic color’s values as you can see in ill. 9.

 Carrie also using exaggeration as a way to show the importance of her objects comparing to the each other in most of her drawing, as an example see ills. 2 (rain drops big size), 9 (the skaters) and 10 (the head size comparing to the whole body). Even though, Carrie omit on the other hand so many parts in her drawings because even she believes that they are not that important, or just she didn’t remember to draw them (compare between ills. 1, 2, 9, 10, 11 and 12). The most interesting thing to notice is the difference appear in showing the people in her drawings, as you can notice through her previous illustrations, people drawn in different ways of understanding to the existence of all the parts and it’s proportion to each other.

 Carrie different than other children also in that, she didn’t like to use written words over her drawings in a clear way. Even some of them contain words and names. Her subjects are really interesting to see and notice, as she used to draw so many different drawings that related to different subjects.
 
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