3. More Circles, Graphs and post hoc Naming

This is an article in the series “Drawing as it develops“, which includes a study of my daughter Amie’s drawings from 16 months onwards (this is the third article in that sequence), as well as Some Theory, Tips for teaching drawing to a very young child, and a growing bibliography.

  • Amie at 18-19 months: more circles and graphs 

By now (March) Amie no longer drew scribbles, in the sense of uncontrolled lines. She could control her movements more, and took pleasure in doing so. 

 Almost at the same time she started making circles, she also got into graphs or M’s. Like in this drawing (18 March 2007, right-handed):

Amie’s crayon drawing of 18 march 2007

She indulged in circles and graphs for a while. This one is of a month later (17 April):

Amie’s crayong drawing of 17 April 2007

  • Naming? 

At that time, at 19 months of age, she began naming her drawings, as in this drawing, with thick felt pens, the feeling of which she really loves (17 April, right-handed):

Amie’s felt pen drawing of 17 April 2007

I made some notes on this one, while she was drawing.

  • There are “rainbows,” even a whole cluster of them (“many rainbows”, to the left), some M’s and A’s (by this time she recognized the letter A, B, M, S and K).
  • The three peaks in orange in the middle she proclaimed: “3 A’s!”.
  • The red “scratch-out” area in the lower right corner is an orange “Muh” that she later covered in red, saying: “Amie hide the Muh!”

I’m not sure whether she was really naming these shapes in a robust sense. If she was, it was

  • post hoc: she drew something, saw a resemblance, then named it after the fact, because it seemed to fit.
  • arbitrary to a degree: we had just read about rainbows, and she took a shine to them, so the “rainbow” might just as well have been a “squirrel”.

But ten days later, I am sure she did take that leap. She was not just naming her drawings, she was also trying to let her drawings represent the thing named. Read on.

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