The effects of variation in materials on the drawings of first-grade children



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Children's drawings are frequently used as testing devices to assess a wide variety of individual qualities. Included in these are intelligence, motor skill, self-concept, and social adjustment. The assessment of drawings in these tests involves evaluation for characteristics such as number of parts, use of page, and nature of line. Literature in art education indicates that variations in drawing characteristics are, to some extent, the product of the materials used in producing the drawings. Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of variation in children's drawings in three criteria: Amount of Differentiation, Utilization of Page, and Quality of Line as a result of altering four physical properties of drawing materials used in producing the drawings. The four material properties tested were paper texture, size of paper, contrast of mark to page, and width of marking point. The study was undertaken to answer the following questions: (1) Do children's drawings differ in the three criteria measures when resistance to movement of drawing tool across the page is varied by changing the texture of the paper surface from smooth to rough? (2) Do children's drawings differ in the three areas when freedom for movement is varied by changing size of page from small to large? (3) Do children's drawings differ in the three criteria when contrast between mark and paper is varied from little contrast to great contrast? (4) Do children's drawings differ in the three criteria measures when width of line left by drawing tool is varied from narrow to wide? (5) What are the interacting effects of changes in the four material properties on children's drawing performances? Procedure. The subjects for the study were 176 children in six first-grade classrooms. The drawing task was a self-portrait which was administered by the teacher in the classroom using a prepared motivation. White paper in two textures, smooth and rough, and two sizes, small and large, and felt-tip pens in two colors, gray and black, with two widths of point, narrow and wide, were utilized in the test. Drawings were evaluated on the three measures: Criterion I: Amount of Differentiation, Criterion II: Utilization of Page, and Criterion III: Quality of Line. The raw scores were transformed to normal form and submitted to a four-way analysis of variance to determine main effects and interacting effects of the four dichotomized independent variables on drawing performance. [...]



Children's drawings, Drawing--Technique