Drawing Development Timeline

Welcome to Mary's Drawing Development Timeline!

As children grow, they develop a means of visual communication through their drawings. This process begins at the child's first drawing and continues to change and develop throughout adolescence.

Below is a quick summary of the six stages. It is important to remember that this is not an exact science, and the ages given are just a guideline; they can vary from source to source. For example — although the Scribbling age is defined as 2-4, scribbling can start before age 2!

Scribbling2-4Marks made for kinesthetic pleasure
Pre-schematic4-7Development of schema, draws things of personal interest, makes tadpole people, color and scale used emotionally
Schematic7-9Improvement on schema, interest in showing events, multiple viewpoints in one drawing, use of the baseline
Dawning Realism9-11Abandonment of schema, desire to show space with planes instead of baseline
Pseudo-realism11-13Desire to show objects three-dimensionally, color is both naturalistic and expressive, experimentation with media & technique
Stage of decision13-17Self-motivated, art as art

This website was created by Mary Herchenhahn in the fall of 2005 for Professor Barry Shauck's Elementary Methods of Art Education class at Boston University. Please email any questions or comments to mary@alum.risd.edu!

On to Scribbling! »