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Portraits in Precocity: Gifted Child Artists Dazzle Their Audience [Slide Show]

Young Picassos and budding Rembrandts reveal an artistic mind-set at early ages

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UNCOMMON DENOMINATOR:

No one can predict whether Arrian (left), Rocco (right) or any other child will choose to pursue a career in art. Nevertheless, studies of artistically gifted children are revealing commonalities in their visual processing, hunger to look at art and desire to produce original works themselves, among several other telling signs.....[ More ]

DRAWN TOWARD SCIENCE:

Some children appear to use art as a tool. Rocco Roth, for example, may draw as a way to study biology—he may become a scientist instead when he grows up. These drawings of a land crab and a triceratops were done at age six.....[ More ]

TEEN TALENT:

Eleven years later, at age 16, Howe drew these portraits of Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey. See more of her work on her Web site .....[ More ]

HORSE SENSE:

A typically developing child and a gifted child artist, both age five, set out to draw a horse. The drawing at right, by Samantha Howe, conveys a mastery of basic depth cues that the other artwork lacks.....[ More ]

PREHISTORIC PERSPECTIVE:

Arkin Rai—a precocious artist—composed this scene with dinosaurs. Note how the dinos in the foreground obscure the creatures in the background. Most children do not discover this effect, called occlusion, until age eight or nine.....[ More ]

FRAME OF MIND:

At age three, the differences between precocious artists and ordinary children become even starker. Typically developing children often draw abstractions, such as this depiction of a person as a stick figure.....[ More ]

MODERN START:

A talent for nonrepresentational art, rather than realism, may also manifest in life's early days. Arrian drew the composition shown here when he was two years, three months old. He devoted five days of continuous effort to produce this artwork.....[ More ]

APPLES OF THEIR EYES:

At age two years, two months, two children attempted to draw apples. The typically developing child drew an apple as a straight line, as most children of this age do. The artistically gifted child made an effort to capture the fruit's contours.....[ More ]

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