Viktor Lowenfeld’s developmental Stages of Art

Viktor Lowenfeld’s Stages of Art The development of the child’s intellectual, physical and emotional characters is greatly influenced by the world around him. Art is a manifestation of these factors. Viktor Lowenfeld pioneered in the identification of the stages of the development of art skills in children. He identified the following general stages: 1) The Scribbling Stage. 2) Pre-schematic Stage. 3) Schematic Stage- between 7 – 9 years. 4) Gang Age- between 9 – 11 years. and 5) Stage of Reasoning at 11 -13 years.
The Scribbling stage
In the early stage of development, between ages 2 – 4 years, a child has limited control over his motor activity. The acts of scribbling are just simple records of enjoyable kinesthetic activity and were not meant to visualize something. The scribbles are characterized by irregular patterns of lines and curves as shown by the sample work below.
(a) (b)
Source: a) Donley, (1987). b) Wikipedia (2007)

The pre-schematic stage – between 4 – 7 years
The pre-schematic age occur between ages 4-7. Arts in this stage ranges from simple forms of circles and lines that visualize something to a clearer representation of symbols and schema of something from the environment. There is no understanding of space and figures are just placed haphazardly. The figures below are typical of an early pre-schematic stage art and a transition from scribbling stage to pre-schematic stage.
(a) (b)
Source: a) Donley, (1987). b) Early Writing Development
The schematic stage

Between ages 7-9 the child’s arts are a little conscious about space already. Minor details are present such as the arms and feet, and the arts are aware on the use of baseline. The schema this time is a definite way of portraying the subject but tends to exaggerate on something the child wanted to emphasize. More often objects come in groups and not just a single figure as a show of the child’s social development.
(a) (b)
Source: a) Donley, (1987). b) Childre
The gang stage
The stage between ages 9-11 is characterized by expression of arts with more realistic details. The use of three-dimensional space is now apparent with perspective characteristics. Details as to sex, age, and sizes are more pronounced. Children begin to associate with peers and their arts are influenced by the approval and criticism of their group. The two works below represent the early and advance gang stage arts
(a) (b)
Source: a) Donley, (1987). b) ArtzSpark. (2007)
The pseudo- naturalistic
This stage covers the ages 11 to 13. Arts produced by children at this point are characterized by more realistic details as if the child is looking on natural scene. Details such as light and shadow, folds, and motion are shown in the art. The three-dimensional and perspective characteristics are more pronounced as shown by the sample arts below. The works apparently show details on the muscle folds, hair lines, shadows and the perspective illustrated by diminishing the size of objects that are further away.
(a) (b)
Source: a) Donley, (1987). b) Dignos (2007)
Art, Design and Childrens Art Psychology Introduction. Retrieved on Nov. 23, 2007 from
ArtzSpark. (2007). Childrens Art Classes – Art Enrichment Programs with ArtzSpark. Retrieved on Nov. 23, 2007 from
Children. Retrieved on Nov 23, 2007 from
Dignos, R. L (2007). Carlo’s arts. Homeofgoodideas. Retrieved on Nov. 23, 2007 from
Donley, S. K. (1987). Drawing Development in Children. Retrieved on Nov. 22, 2007 from
Early Writing Development. Retrieved on Nov. 23, 2007 from
Wikipedia (2007). Child Art. Retrieved on Nov. 23, 2007 from

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