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Listening to the first notes of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” in the classroom, the elementary school students were instructed by art teacher Dimitris Petropoulos to draw whatever comes to mind.

When listening to the sonata, the children drew on paper churches, graves and images from funerals and it is a fact that famous composers have attributed to the piece of music characteristics of mourning, calmness and ferocity.

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Nevertheless a boy, listening to the sonata, painted himself sleeping peacefully in his room, conveying a sense of relaxation, peace and rest.

As soon as the next piece of music began, “Ode to Joy”, again by Beethoven, the children began to draw rainbows, pictures from field trips and snapshots from children’s parties, capturing feelings and symbols of joy, hope and freedom.

The importance of children’s self-expression through painting, the educational artist Dimitris Petropoulos points out in APE-MPE, stressing that drawing is a way of communication between people and those around them and a means by which children can manage joys and sorrows , anxieties or fears. “One reason a child draws is self-expression, and one of the positive effects of drawing is their emotional cultivation,” he adds.

On the occasion of a two-day event organized a few days ago by the Association of Visual Arts Artists of Northern Greece on the effect of psychology on art and art on nature, the educational visual artist emphasizes that children are very happy to give life to inanimate objects when they paint, which makes it particularly easy to their self-expression.

A human figure without arms or sharp teeth in a child’s sketch

On the other hand, children’s drawings are likely to convey to adults important information about them, provided that they always function in addition to other ways of assessing their psychological state by specialist scientists.

According to Mr. Petropoulos, representatives of the psychoanalytical approach believe that the drawing of a human figure without arms or with small legs, which are very close to each other, can hide emotional disorders.

In the same vein, opinions have been expressed about identifying more permanent and enduring characteristics of the children’s personality through children’s drawings, and more specifically when figures with strong teeth, visibly emphasized outside the mouth, appear in them.

Hidden aggressiveness, magnificence the low self-esteem and melancholy they may hide human figures that appear too large on paper.

Conversely, soft pencil lines, dotted forms in the drawing, and miniature figures may suggest a fear for life.

On the other hand, faces that are rendered in detail and have many features show, according to experts, the high regard the child draws for him or her.

Stages of development and the role of talent


In any case, specific design solutions used by children in their drawings are indicative of the visual stages of development and how they evolve to finally master visual realism, a skill in depicting things.

For example, younger children place one object on top of another on the paper to give a sense of depth, while older children use overlap. Also, the depiction of perspective, many details and a variety of colors are associated with higher stages of development of children’s drawing and when mastered at younger ages it is possible that they are associated with particular cognitive skills and abilities such as memory and self-concentration.

“Specialists can guide children with such talent, define them and help them develop” says Mr. Petropoulos, repeating however that painting is a form of expression for all children, particularly useful as it gives through symbols and drawings outlet to the childish psyche. Judging, after all, from his own many years of experience in primary education, he speaks of an activity in which all children have a good time!