[accessibleimage] Re: Blind children drawing people

  • From: "Deborah Kent Stein" <dkent5817@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:39:19 -0600

I think part of the problem is that blind children have such extremely limited 
exposure to pictures of any kind, and generally are not encouraged to attempt 
to draw pictures of their own.  Sighted children are exposed to pictures almost 
from the day they're born - think of all those bunnies and teddy bears that 
decorate the nursery, even before the storybooks arrive!  When a picture 
appears in a Braille children's book it's a "tactile graphic," a novelty to be 
explained and discovered rather than something the child enjoys and expects as 
a matter of course.  In his book Drawing and the Blind, Richard M. Kennedy 
discusses a number of studies of blind people who had no prior experience with 
drawing, yet almost intuitively were able to bridge the gap between three  and 
two dimensions.  The work of the Turkish artist Esref Armagon, who is totally 
blind from birth, demonstrates that blind people can master the nuances of 
prospective with instruction and practice.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: bmarek 
  To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 1:08 AM
  Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Blind children drawing people

  As a sighted person I can only try to understand the problems which Amanda 
and Charles had to deal with.  For me, the most difficult part of introducing 
totally blind children to tactile drawings is to explain the very concept of a 
drawing and  to make sure that they really understand the relation between 
objects and drawings which use all those “sighted” conventions.  The 
“Transfograph” and intermediate shapes (kind of “flat versions of 3-D objects” 
mentioned in an earlier discussion) have proved very useful  but do not solve 
ALL problems. We are drifting away from Phia’s original question but it’s 
obvious that blind children, too, must apply some conventions for representing 
3-D objects on flat sheets. I have seen  a drawing made by a blind child of a 
person with a row of several legs. That was the convention the child used to 
indicate that the person was walking (first the legs are here, then there and 
then there.) 
  Boguslaw ‘Bob’ Marek

  W dniu 30.01.2012 05:14, cpond napisał(a):

    Yes.  I do find it completely familiar, Amanda.  Ha, some funny mishaps on 
my part with which I won’t tangle up this list.  Write me off-line if you wish. 
 But, before you wrote your reasons for not drawing clothes on the figure, I 
had the question (your reason) in my mind.  Then when I read it, it felt like 
inner verdigo sort of.

    When I had to study drafting of sorts, I could never for the life of me 
figure out how the tactile representations of three-D objects shown to me could 
be seen as such by the sighted.  Feel the three-D tactile drawing of a ball, a 
barrel, a cookie, a record, a cylinder, and other more complex figures and 
you’ll get the idea.  The drawing of a house looked—that is felt—absolutely 
Nothing like the three-D models of houses which I’ve handled.  The same goeth 
for some animals.  So, I merely memorized the generic shapes so I could 
duplicate various drawings when I had to on the raised kine drawing kit.  I 
varied the parameters, added subfigures together, but could never understand 
them visually.

    IN some cases, I could never identify an object as it was drawn, but as 
soon as it was told me to me then limbic recognition flashed forth, like a 
blaze of lightning where before had reighned great darkness.

    I’ve known people who lost their sight as adults, and they had no such 
challenges as these.


    From: Amanda Lacy
    Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 10:39 PM
    To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Blind children drawing people

    This brings back some interesting memories. I am blind from birth and found 
it easy to learn to draw sort of stick figures at an early age. Once I drew one 
in my mainstream class and the teacher immediately said, "Amanda, the person is 
upside-down." The head was pointed toward me, and I reasoned that there was 
neither up nor down on that flat paper and that if I lifted the edge closest to 
me so that the figure was standing up, it would be facing my direction and 
right-side-up. No one understood my reasoning.

    Interestingly, my second drawing mishap took place at the Texas School for 
the Blind during a summer program. We were required to draw, and so I drew 
another bipedal figure. The staff then asked me to draw clothes on it. I tried 
to explain that this was impossible since the figure was flat and clothes had 
to wrap around a 3D body. Being six or seven years old I was not taken 

    Does anyone find any of this familiar?


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: cpond
      To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
      Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 9:14 PM
      Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Blind children drawing people

      Many blind children (and also adults) cannot conceive drawing a 
three-dimensional object in a two-dimensional medium.  Whether it is a 
neurological, a developmental or comceptual block, this is so for many.  
Three-dimensional visualizing, and more critically here the sense of sight 
being able to “see” in three dimensions must be learned within a narrow windows 
at an early time in the child’s life.  Else it doesn’t seem to take.

      From: bmarek
      Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 2:28 PM
      To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
      Subject: [accessibleimage] Re: Blind children drawing people

      It's probably silly to post a question and then to try and answer it but 
I, too, find the question intriguing. I work mainly with school-age children, 
where I am confronted with somewhat different challenges, like the request I 
had from a 10-year old who said: I can understand drawings of people standing 
but not when they are doing something. To help him and other children solve 
this "problem", I developed a resource which I call "Fleximan" but it only 
helps children understand what people look like when they sit, bend down, jump, 
do push-ups or somersaults, kick or throw a ball etc. but does not provide an 
answer to the question about how very young blind children draw people.  My 
feeling is that "tadpoles" may not be an obligatory stage in blind children's 
drawings. Drawing on plastic is much harder than drawing on paper so probably 
blind children do not start drawing as early as sighted kids, and, drawing a 
circle is not easy when you can't see so sth like a rectangle is more likely as 
the main part of a person's body. But I may be wrong

      Boguslaw 'Bob' Marek

      W dniu 29.01.2012 20:16, bmarek napisał(a):

        Below I am copying a message from another list - a question from a 
friend in Australia.

        Boguslaw 'Bob' Marek:

        For a new project I am very interested to find out if you know of 
research or resources giving an insight in the drawing development of young 
blind children and if, like their sighted peers, they go through a period in 
which they draw so-called "tadpole drawings", basically a circle as the head 
and body in one, and then sticks as arms and legs?
        kind regards,

        Sonokids Australia


      Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
      Version: 10.0.1416 / Virus Database: 2109/4775 - Release Date: 01/29/12


    Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
    Version: 10.0.1416 / Virus Database: 2109/4775 - Release Date: 01/29/12

Other related posts: