Water cycle in nature – told, drawn, and explained by 5,3 Hillel.

Water cycle in nature – told, drawn, and explained by 5,3 Hillel.

All children go through similar phases of artistic expression: leaving the first accidental marks, deliberate scribbling, and drawing. Victor Lowenfeld, in his classical book, Creative and Mental Growth, offers rich knowledge and developmental tables.

He recognized and referred us to constructing forms and compositions that accumulate as the child grows. The process is not necessarily linear. There are slow transitions and mixing of phases, and it is not perceived as regression.   

His tables may reassure teachers and therapists in an era when there are many unneeded measurements and competition.

From my observations, especially as an art therapist, I can say that each person will have their combination alongside universal development. Sometimes, different phases might be related to an emotional context. Also, there are some cultural differences. Japanese children, for example, have exceptional hand motor skills, perhaps because of the use of chopsticks?

Or, in Morocco, I noticed ornamentation in boys’ and girls’ drawings at younger ages than we see in Israel, Europe, or the US. It seemed like a natural echo to the rich cultural visuality.


First, the sun heats the water


Then the steam goes up



And there are clouds



And raindrops drop from  the sky



The process presented here is of a boy in the pre-schematic phase. This means that shapes and forms, when taken out of his composition, will lose their meaning. We will not know that it is a wave, a cloud, rain.  In this phase, lines and shapes have a context only within the general drawing.

This child is particularly interested in how things work. He rarely plays with toys, except for Lego and cars. He prefers real tools like screwdrivers and hammers, watching how to fix a car, chop up a salad, vacuum, and doing things at home like dad and mother. He asks a lot of questions about natural phenomena. One can admire the human wonder how with very simple lines – children can explain complex natural phenomena.

‏Viktor ‏Lowenfeld Charts – Creative and Mental Growth



Written as a part of the #GrammerOfDrawing project.

Italian translation Roberta Pucci 

English and Swedish – Suzanne Axelsson.  




4 thoughts on “Water cycle in nature – told, drawn, and explained by 5,3 Hillel.”

  • Nona, I just love how you have displayed the progression of a child’s thought processes through their drawing. It certainly demonstrates the importance of listening to children in their drawing phases and also to document this progression. Many reasons here for Educators to show this in their own documentation practices.
    I would love to share this one with our team of Educators.
    Thanks you also for including Viktor Lowenfeld’s reference.

    Just magical

    • Thank you so much, Janet!
      I am so happy to find a sibling who sees this part of our soul.

      I always follow artistic processes in students’ art, in therapy, and also of artists.
      I am looking for the blueprint we all have, a collective one Lowenfeld Kellogg and Fein noticed.
      And upon that, a personal one evolves, as Hillel is interested in how things work.
      You can read about it in my book: The Good Enough Studio – there is a whole detailed chapter about a girl from 1.5- eight years old -how the theme of symmetry evolved in all walks of her life

      Look in the blog for the term The Spiritual blueprint.
      You are welcome to share anything as you wish.

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