• Course Description:

    This course encompasses both AP Drawing and AP 2-D Design, a designator that applies when submitting portfolio at the end of the course.

    This is an advanced (college level), two trimester, studio art course designed for students who can work independently and consistently on challenging themselves artistically.  This course enables students to develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of two-dimensional artwork. Work outside of class, including summer homework, should be expected.

    Each student will learn a variety of concepts and approaches in drawing and painting so the student is able to demonstrate a range of abilities and versatility with technique, problem solving, and knowledge of working as an artist, along with creating a unified body of work along a visual theme.

    AP studio art class emphasizes making art as an ongoing process that involves the student in informed and critical decision-making.  Group and individual student critiques and instructional conversations with the teacher will enable students to learn to analyze and discuss their own artworks and those of their peers.  Students will use this knowledge and understanding to make decisions about their own work while creating and prior to submitting a portfolio to the College Board in the spring.

    This course will also teach students to understand artistic integrity as well as what constitutes artistic plagiarism.  Students will learn that it is essential to develop their own work so that it moves beyond mere duplication of photographs, published images, and other artist’s work.


    Course Content:

                AP Studio Art is broken into three different interacting segments, Breadth, Quality, and Concentration. 

    Quality (selected works) is an ongoing goal for both trimesters as students seek to improve their knowledge of composition and technical skills.  The works chosen for Quality submission will be a student’s strongest work from the course as a whole.


    Trimester One: Focus on Breadth (Range of Approaches)

    Student’s work in this trimester will explore of a wide range of drawing/painting concerns, such as drawing/painting from direct observation, work with invented or nonobjective forms, effective use of light and shade through use of value in a variety of media, line quality, surface manipulation, composition, various spatial systems, and expressive mark-making.

    Students must be actively engaged with these concerns while thoughtfully composing their art. The work in this trimester should show evidence of conceptual, perceptual, and expressive development, as well as technical skill; thus, the student’s work should demonstrate a variety of drawing/painting skills and approaches.  Students can often supplement their Breadth portfolio with work done in previous art courses.

    Student projects and media experiments this trimester will be guided by the teacher with room for personal expression and creativity.

    Students will complete either a sketchbook assignment or finished artwork on all the following topics throughout the first trimester:

    Projects will include:

    Expressive Still Lives: use of blind contour, Value/rendering of form, feeling of physical space (colored pencil, powdered graphite, charcoal, wax, ink wash)

    Drawing Perspectives: an interior/exterior drawing, a point of view change drawing (birds eye, worms view, close-up, etc), and use of the illusion of distance in a drawing/painting through a landscape or cityscape (choice of drawing/painting materials)

    Creation of three finished Self-portraits: found paper collage with marker & paint, expressive with charcoal/powdered graphite, conceptual- how can you show you without you in the image?  (additional self portraits/facial studies will be done in sketchbook)

    Mark making assignment: exploration of and experimentation with materials and personal mark making systems, such as shading with continuous line in pen, drawing with a brush, drawing a still life with the paper on the floor and your tool on a stick

    Surface Exploration: unusual surfaces, alteration of surface, and concept of surface subject connection – student may choose subject matter but may not complete drawing on a normal/unaltered piece of paper, must use found surface or create a surface through collage or layering materials


    Materials and mediums used will vary throughout trimester but will include graphite, charcoal, pastel, water media, collage, pen and ink.  Students will be required to explore new choices and will be able to use favorites in most projects and assignments.


    Trimester Two: Focus on Concentration (Sustained Investigation)

    Students’ work this trimester to create a Concentration of 12 works of art. A concentration is a body of related works that demonstrate a student’s sustained and thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea. It is not a selection of a variety of works produced as solutions to class projects or a collection of works with differing intents.

    Students will be encouraged to explore a personal, central interest as intensively as possible; they are free to work with any idea in any medium that addresses drawing/painting/design issues. The concentration should grow out of the student’s idea and demonstrate growth and/or discovery through a number of conceptually related works.

    Students will begin brainstorming their idea for concentration late in the first trimester of the course through a series of questions and visual research activities.  Students will be encouraged to create an idea that generates questions rather than statements and that stems from directly observable subject matter rather than from photographs.  Work that uses someone else’s ideas and photos is unacceptable and unsubmitable and may violate copyright law.

    In this section, the evaluators are interested not only in the work presented but also in visual evidence of the student’s thinking, selected method of working and development of the work over time.

    Students are encouraged to include images that document their processes of thinking and creating.



    Course Requirements:

    Students are required to use a sketchbook or visual journal throughout the course.

                Sketchbooks assignments will be given and checked, in addition students need to be in the habit of drawing from life, recording interesting visual elements, color combinations, testing materials, brainstorming, and researching artists and/or techniques on their own outside of class in a book, binder, or journal.

    Students will be required to do visual research through photography assignments designed to develop students’ use of composition and create a wealth of student generated photo references for use in artwork throughout the course.


    Artistic Integrity:

    Students are expected to use artistic integrity throughout the course. When published photographs or the works of other artists are used they should be in the service of a personal vision. Work that is based on published photographs or the work of other artists must be so altered to render it completely different from the original. It must move beyond duplication to illustrate an original idea.



    Materials will vary as the course goes along and will usually be provided in class.  A small range of good quality art supplies at home will be required/needed to complete homework assignments along with as many sketchbooks as you fill during the course of the class.

    Students will need a camera to generate photographic resources throughout the class.  A cellphone or inexpensive digital camera will work well.


    Grading & Portfolios:

    Grading each trimester will be a combination of volume and evaluated quality.

    Works will be graded using the evaluation rubric established by the Collage Board.  Project will have due dates.  Work missed through absence or not submitted in a timely fashion will have to be made up outside of class.

    A grade will also be given based on work finished per the term quota needed for the portfolio.  Each term requires 12 finished pieces of artwork.  Finishing a work includes matting and photographing work. Work will not be graded or considered complete until the teacher has received both physical work and digital version.

    Planning and sketchbooks will also be checked and graded based on completion.


    AP Portfolio submission requirements

    Section I – Quality – student will submit 5 actual works in one or more media.  They with guidance from the teacher will select works that demonstrate their highest level of accomplishment.  Works may come from either Breadth or Concentration section but could also be from another course.  This work should highlight the student’s very best work in technique and composition.

    Section II – Concentration – Students will develop and upload photos of a body of 12 pieces that investigate a strong underlying visual idea that grows from a coherent plan of action or investigation.  It should involve a sustained process of research, growth, and discovery. Students will create a written artist statement that explains and explores choices and decisions they made throughout the trimester.

    Section III- Breadth – Student will submit create and upload photos of 12 pieces that show exploration of a broad range of drawing/painting/design techniques and approaches.

    Both Concentration and Breadth are submitted online.

    It is always my goal as your teacher to see you grow as an artist.  If you are stuck or need assistance staying afterschool or asking questions in class is imperative.

    The key to not getting overwhelmed is to always move forward and believe you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to.