Join 3,501 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Sometimes a drawing of a pipe is just a drawing
April 23, 2012 2:55 AM   Subscribe

Do you know or can you find any scholarly articles about analysing adults' drawings that do not relate to health?

I'm on a research project that is including a request for the participants to draw a picture in response to a question. I'm concerned that we don't have rigorous research to draw on in analysing these images. What I've found so far, going through Google Scholar is many works on: meaning of children's drawings (both healthy and with health and psychological issues); analysis of drawings by adults with health issues (including cancer, migraines, eating disorders, sexual abuse survivors); analysis of trained artists' works; analysis of media images (e.g. magazine covers in one publication over 25 years) but nothing to show a methodology of working out what ordinary adults may mean with drawings.

Things I have noticed about the drawings in question: some include profession-specific dress or tools, facial expression, differences in the relationship of the size of the drawing to the space they have to draw in, but I don't feel comfortable making conclusions from this.

Any suggestions of different ways to search (eg semiotics, semantics, etc.) also very welcome.
posted by b33j to Education (4 answers total)
 
I have seen marketing surveys where adults are asked to create a collage about their experience with a commercial product or event. A collage is somewhat like a drawing...
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 5:23 AM on April 23, 2012


(addendum to my above answer: collages are actually classified as drawings in art museums)
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 5:31 AM on April 23, 2012


I graduated from a program in art therapy, and we used "Tools of the Trade" by Stephanie Brooke and "Art Based Research" by Shaun McNiff. Also check out Jessica Kingsley Publishing website, they have a lot of books about art therapy with different cultures/populations. "Art Therapy, Race, and Culture" by Campbell et. al. might be helpful to you as well.
posted by luciddream928 at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2012


"Things I have noticed about the drawings in question: some include profession-specific dress or tools, facial expression, differences in the relationship of the size of the drawing to the space they have to draw in, but I don't feel comfortable making conclusions from this."

It may not feel very scientific, but making assessments about drawings can be subjective and requires a bit of a "leap" - if you have enough drawings by enough people who share similar circumstances or personality traits and they are drawing similar things, there's your research. Also keep in mind that the drawing is part of one question - it's not the whole assessment. It might lead you to ask questions that you otherwise wouldn't have thought of. I find the fact that some drew in a smaller area fascinating.
posted by luciddream928 at 11:29 AM on April 23, 2012


« Older What sort of things should an ...   |  I've ruined two of my favourit... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.