Dawning Realism (9 to 11 years)
By Lois E. Wilson, Senior Scribe
Former Art Education Instructor, Miami
significance of this stage of development
lies in children discovering social independence; they see that they
more in a group of peers than alone. Most commonly, it is a same sex
Girls may choose dressing up and parties; boys may prefer playing war,
codes and rules for their groups. Cooperation with adults can decrease
children exert social independence.
their drawings, there is an attempt to
depict the environment in a more realistic way; however, this realism
is not in
the photographic sense. Children see their own lack of ability to show
the way they appear; therefore, they depict experiences with objects.
the exaggerated tongue of the boy eating an ice cream bar in the above
They may put more details on the emotionally significant parts of their
which can cause stiffness in it.
Children begin to see that the space
between base lines is important and
the plane is discovered. Objects do not appear only on a base line but
appropriate areas between.
demonstrate the first step of a conscious
visual concept of depth by sizing objects in their work. Paper-cutting
the child to experience the meaning of overlapping in creating the
illusion. The human is shown as boy, girl, man, woman defined by
size. Patterns in clothing indicate awareness of repetition which is
the striped shirt and camouflage of the above cut-paper illustration.
household items, sponges, or erasers to dip into paint and print with
the child to create repetitive patterns.
dimensions are suggested by shapes and
shading. Lessons to teach color use at this stage destroy spontaneous
approaches and make children insecure in their own intuitive color
They can be made more color conscious by emphasizing their own
color. Motivate the child to transfer feelings into colors which have
at this age level, children become
withdrawn. Group art work can only be effective if children feel that
accomplished as a group could not have done by themselves alone. Group
using overlapping paper parts or modeling figures for a
are good group projects.
crafts can be successful at this
stage. Working with
fabrics, and papers of various colors and textures is recommended.
materials such as wire, sheet metal, wood, and papier-mâché will
children to consider the properties of materials in their applied
child is expanding knowledge through experimentation and experiences.
should support this search with a continued positive attitude toward
child’s creative expressions.