Understanding Children’s Drawing

In order to gain knowledge on children’s drawing, I read a book with the same title above. It is written by Cathy A. Malchiodi. Well, I haven’t finished reading the book, but I found it very useful for me, as a graduate student dealing with children, to gain insight about art therapy.

I always love to see children’s drawing, especially when they can draw from their imagination, without any disruption from school rules, differences between bad and good drawing, and any other negative statements on their drawings. During my internship at the orphanage, I asked a few children to draw. I found one thing was very interesting, when I ask them to draw, they always had components drawn; people, house and tree. It seems that those components were meant to each other. I can’t drawn any other conclusion beside that thay have been taught to draw such things at school. All of the 3 boys that I asked to draw were going to the same school.


The colors that they used, represent their imagination, creative process and the feeling for that picture. Some objects have their definite colors, such as sun is yellow, sky is blue, and grass is green. But a child drew some flowers with mix colors. He asked me first whether he was allowed to mix the colors for his flowers. I said that he could mix whatever colors he likes with his pictures. The result was beautiful! Even though he named the flowers with common flowers that he knew, the result of the picturized flowers were more than ordinary roses drawn by children.

From their drawings, I could read the storied laid behind that. Two boys were drawing the ‘death’ theme, because their mother had passed away a few years ago. One boy said the mother fell into a dark river and never came out again. One boy drew his mother as a lady who lived in a small house above his house, while his house is empty. That boy lives in the orphanage, his mother died and his father had gone forever from his life. No wonder he viewed his house as ’empty’.

I will finish that book soon!

It’s a recommended book for all clinicians who are dealing with children,

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