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Eduweb, 2023, enero-marzo, v.17, n.1. ISSN: 1856-7576
DOI: https://doi.org/10.46502/issn.1856-7576/2023.17.01.13
Cómo citar:
Zhytnik, T., Prokofieva, O., Kanarova, O., Nikirenkova, A. (2023). Phenomenon of free painting: Comparison of the artistic images of
the modernism era and children's painting. Revista Eduweb, 17(1), 131-140. https://doi.org/10.46502/issn.1856-7576/2023.17.01.13
Phenomenon of free painting: Comparison of the artistic
images of the modernism era and children's painting
Fenómeno de la pintura libre: Comparación de las imágenes artísticas de la época
del modernismo y la pintura infantil
Тetiana Zhytnik
zhytnik_tetiana@mdpu.org.ua
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2250-7251
Bogdan Khmelnitsky Melitopol State Pedagogical University, Melitopol, Ukraine.
Olesia Prokofieva
prok.olesya@gmail.com
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6542-239X
Bogdan Khmelnitsky Melitopol State Pedagogical University, Melitopol, Ukraine.
Olga Kanarova
olga_mdpu@ukr.net
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6876-6326
Bogdan Khmelnytsky Melitopol State Pedagogical University, Melitopol, Ukraine.
Anastasiia Nikirenkova
anikirenkova@gmail.com
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3537-8532
Dmytro Motornyi Тavria State Agrotechnological University, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.
Recibido: 04/12/22
Aceptado: 27/02/23
Abstract
The relevance of the study is due to the significant changes in the content of education, in
particular, art education; the need for a thorough study of modern methods of teaching and
upbringing a child, analysis of the modern children’s needs, taking into account the psycho-
physiological features of their development and periodization of the children's painting
development. The aim of the article is to analyze the artistic images of modernism era artists and
artistic images created by preschool children in the process of painting, to identify the common
features, find out the analogies, describe manifestations and characteristics. Objectives: to
analyze and characterize the phenomenon of free painting; compare the artistic images created
by the modernism era artists and preschool children; consider the means of expression used by
both groups of recipients, compare them, identify the common things, draw an analogy. The
following research methods are used: comparison, which is the basis of such logical method as
an analogy; comparison as a comparative-historical method that reveals the general and special
features of the phenomena, different stages of development of the same phenomenon or different
coexisting phenomena; analysis which helps to identify and compare levels of the development
of the phenomenon under study, explore changes, identify trends. The method of formalization is
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Тetiana Zhytnik, Olesia Prokofieva, Olga Kanarova, Anastasiia Nikirenkova
also used, as it clarifies the content of thought by specifying its logical form.
Key words: art, education, aesthetic education, artistic and aesthetic development, phenomenon
of free painting, means of expression, works of art.
Resumen
La relevancia del estudio se debe a los cambios significativos en el contenido de la educación,
en particular, la educación artística; la necesidad de un estudio exhaustivo de los métodos
modernos de enseñanza y crianza de un niño, el análisis de las necesidades de los niños
modernos, teniendo en cuenta las características psicofisiológicas de su desarrollo y la
periodización del desarrollo de la pintura de los niños. El objetivo del artículo es analizar las
imágenes artísticas de los artistas de la época del modernismo y las imágenes artísticas creadas
por niños en edad preescolar en el proceso de pintura, para identificar los rasgos comunes,
descubrir las analogías, describir manifestaciones y características. Objetivos: analizar y
caracterizar el fenómeno de la pintura libre; comparar las imágenes artísticas creadas por los
artistas de la era del modernismo y los niños en edad preescolar; considerar los medios de
expresión utilizados por ambos grupos de destinatarios, compararlos, identificar las cosas
comunes, establecer una analogía. Se utilizan los siguientes métodos de investigación:
comparación, que es la base de dicho método lógico como analogía; la comparación como
método histórico-comparativo que revela las características generales y especiales de los
fenómenos, diferentes etapas de desarrollo de un mismo fenómeno o diferentes fenómenos
coexistentes; análisis que ayuda a identificar y comparar niveles de desarrollo del fenómeno en
estudio, explorar cambios, identificar tendencias. También se utiliza el método de formalización,
ya que aclara el contenido del pensamiento especificando su forma lógica.
Palabras clave: arte, educación, educación estética, desarrollo artístico y estético, fenómeno de
la pintura libre, medios de expresión, obras de arte.
1. Introduction
The improvement of methods of aesthetic education is one of the most important tasks of modern
education. The artistic and aesthetic development of the child in various activities is of particular
importance. In the process of the research of the theoretical and methodological principles and
analysis of the concepts of aesthetic education, we have noted the interrelated values of aesthetic
development in ontogenesis. In the process of theoretical and methodological research of child’s
artistic and aesthetic development by means of fine arts we have come to the conclusion that it
is vital to consider the phenomenon of free painting in more detail, characterize it, and draw an
analogy with the art works of modernist era artists taking into account the main characteristics of
this phenomenon. In the research article, we conduct a content analysis of the works of modernist
artists and the drawings of older preschool children, namely: we will determine whether there are
the main common characteristics of the specified groups of recipients; what exactly and what is
their meaning and influence on the general impression of the perceived; we explore the
differences and similarities of expressive means. In the conclusions, we determine the
psychological components that explain the attraction of preschool children to the perception of
works of art of the 20th century.
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2. Research question
According to Georg Michael Kerschensteiner’s biogenetic theory, a child goes through
successive, interconnected stages of psychophysiological development. The changes that take
place at each stage of this development occur simultaneously in the process of formation of child’s
abilities while doing the artistic activity. The interference with and influence on this natural process
of creative development of the child can ruin his or her artistic freedom and the natural process
of development in general. «Children’s artistic activity in its development repeats the path of
human culture development, the only difference is that the development of human culture is
associated with certain historical and socio-economic conditions, while children's painting is not
associated with them» (Kershensteiner, 1914).
This theory is confirmed by the research done by Fedir Schmit. The scientist draws a parallel
between different epochs and styles in art and compares different stages of depicting a child’s
painting. According to him, there is a relationship between the development of children’s painting
and the development of world art, which is manifested in certain common features and
characteristics (Schmit, 1921).
Scientist Schmit F. states that the peculiarity of children’s painting is the child’s
psychophysiological characteristics. Namely, when a child portrays another person, he or she
relies on the psychology of effective thinking and reproduces what he or she knows about the
object of the image in a primitive individual way. Despite the exact optical-visual copy, the child is
not interested in the resemblance to the original. The child is interested in the process of creative
activity. The perceived and preserved image of the object is sensually and originally reproduced
during the creation of the artistic image (Schmit, 1919).
In order to understand the common features and characteristics of the artistic images of the
modernism era artists and preschool children, we will identify analogues and analyze the paintings
of both groups.
Research aim: to analyze of the artistic images of the modernism era artists and preschool
children’s artistic images, identify common features, find out the analogy, describe the features
and characteristics.
3. Methodology
Research methodology is based on the works of G. Kershensteiner (biogenetic theory)
(Kershensteiner, 1914). The scientists state that the changes that occur at each stage of child’s
development, occur simultaneously in the process of developing his or her abilities during art
activities. We also took into account the works of other scientists. Thus, F. Schmit’s (Schmit, 1919;
1921) study (phylogeny) draws a parallel between epochs and styles in art and the individual
stages of depicting children’s paintings; art works of O. Musyka (Muzyka et al., 2021), which are
devoted to the issues of modern art education and aesthetic development of personality; the art
works of L. Moon (Mооn, 2008), whose research works focus on the synthesis of various types of
arts, their interpretive nature, as a process that gives rise to new things in art, education and
science.
The phenomenon of free painting is a phenomenon that includes the following: the creation of an
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artistic image through the world of artist’s own experiences and emotions. Means of expression:
color, composition, form, line, etc. It should be mentioned that their manner, style, technique,
motive for creating the image are too sensual-personal ones. The period of modernism, as an art
movement, with its manner, style of performance, sensuality and non-standard creation of artistic
images, corresponds to the characteristics of this phenomenon. The peculiarity of a child’s
painting is that the child depicts the world in a primitive individual way, a child shows the only
things he or she knows about the object. The main thing for a child is the transfer of emotions and
reproduction of feelings, the use of abstract figures to convey the percepted things through the
use of bright colors, dynamics of the plot, despite the laws of perspective and dimension of the
image. The research was conducted with the aim of establishing the effectiveness of using works
of art of the modernist era, as the most effective for the perception of a child of older preschool
age.
Attention is focused on the study of expressive means of artists of the modernism era and
preschool children, the study of the psychological component of the works of both groups of
recipients, which contributed to the optimal understanding of the motive for creating artistic
images of artists of the modernism era and preschool children. In this regard, an experiment was
conducted in a research group consisting of 230 children aged 5-6 years. During the research,
156 works of fine art of the first half of the 20th century were used.
4. Results
Opposition of the person’s individuality to the society and rejection of the surrounding reality,
denial of rationalism, dissatisfaction with the outdated and conformist events stimulated the
formation of such directions of modernism as avant-garde, fauvism, expressionism, futurism,
dadaism, cubism, surrealism, abstractionism. Earlier modern style had different names: in the
United States Tiffany, in France Art Nouveau (in French «art nouveau», which means new
art), in England Modern style («modern style»), in Italy Liberty style, in Spain modernism, in
Switzerland spruce style (style sapin), in Germany Jugendstil (in German «Jugendstil», which
means young style), in Austria Secession style («Secessionsstil»).
Style of Modernism (in French «Moderne» modern) is an artistic direction in art, the main idea
of which is the desire to contrast new ideas to the eclecticism of the past, something that is
outdated. Distinctive features of the style are the rejection of academicism, standards and
stereotypes. The Modernism period has clear chronological boundaries (from late 1880s to 1914).
This short period became an intermediate art phenomenon of the transition of painting to the next
stage of its development, and the ideas of modernism could not help but be reflected in the
educational space. Naturalness, creative intuition, inspiration become a pedagogical and
methodological basis for art education, which promotes «experimentation» and sensitivity of the
personality.
Impressionism is also one of the trends of the 20th century (from French word «impression»). It
influenced the art schools in many different ways, namely: methodology of teaching was based
on the stimulation of the reflection of the real world, the dynamics of the subject’s characteristics
and fixation of instant impressions. The method of constructing the image excluded the real form;
the academic drawing lost its primary importance. Analyzing the works of art of Oscar-Claude
Monet, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley, we have noted the presence of realistic irony in
depicting fragmentary real situations, unexpected plots, personal views of the world and its
reproduction. The art works are full of complex colors, they are characterized by the individuality
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in strokes, and reflexes that become interesting for their expressiveness. Neo-Impressionists
(Georges- Pierre Seurat, Paul Signac) in their art works decomposed tones into pure colors, using
large colored spots to create decorative compositions. Techniques that reproduce optical and
spatial effects with the help of a mosaic style of performance are also used by preschool children.
But for a child this technique is not a conscious one; a child uses it unconsciously, naturally and
sensually.
The trend that emerged in the 80’s of the 19th century, which was characterized by the
reproduction of a long state through impressions is called post-impressionism. The idea of artists
who worked in this style is to depict objects as truthfully as it is possible, not what the artist sees,
but how he or she sees it.
One of the representatives of post-impressionism is Van Gogh. Characterizing the artist’s works
(«Artist’s Bedroom in Arles», 1888, «Mulberry Tree», 1889) (Figs. 1, 2) we have noted the
following features: the content of the paintings is filled with emotional component, the use of color
symbolism, individual art style and composition solutions for the transmission of subjective
perception of the reality. Van Gogh is an artist who used pure red, blue and yellow colors in his
masterpieces.
Figure 1. Artist’s Bedroom in Arles, 1888
Figure 2. Mulberry tree, 1889
When analyzing the art works, we can see the emotions and associations which the artist wanted
to convey in the form of composition, visual simplification of objects and a special color scheme.