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Advanced Placement Studio ART



Course Description


AP Studio Art is a college level course taught in high school.  Students will study Drawing , 2-D or 3D design  Students will have the opportunity to compile a portfolio of their best work for submission to and review by the College Board.  Students will submit this portfolio in the first week of May; submissions will be in the form of digital images uploade to the College Board web site and actual work.  Students will decide whether to submit a Drawing, 2-D or 3D Design portfolio; the finer distinctions between the two portfolios will be discussed in class.  Students should be aware that the 2-D Design portfolio may include photography and digitally produced designs with an emphasis on compositional components, while the drawing portfolio is limited to “mark making” techniques such as drawing, painting, or printmaking.  The 3D portfolio has an emphasis on sculptural aspects.  All portfolios consist of three sections:


Breadth:  This section of 12 works in slide form shows a variety of drawing or design approaches using different techniques, compositions, and media.  The student’s work in this section should demonstrate understanding of the principles of design, including unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, and figure/ground relationship.  Successful works of art require the integration of the elements and principles of design; students must therefore be actively engaged with these concepts while thoughtfully composing their art. The work in this section should show evidence of conceptual, perceptual, expressive, and technical range.


Concentration:  This section of 12 works in slide form shows the development of a unifying theme or idea.  A concentration is a body of related works describing an in-depth exploration of a particular artistic concern.  It should reflect a process of 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 should 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 two-dimensional design issues.  The concentration should grow out of the student’s idea and demonstrate growth and discovery through a number of conceptually related works.  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.


Quality:  This section consists of five actual “best” works.”  These works may not exceed 18” by 24” is size.  Quality refers to the total work of art.  Mastery of design should be apparent in the composition, concept, and execution of the works, whether they are simple or complex.  There is no preferred (or unacceptable) style or content.




To encourage creative as well as systematic investigation of formal and conceptual issues in the Quality, Concentration, and Breadth sections of the AP studio art portfolio.  Also, this course includes group and individual student critiques and instructional conversations with the teacher, enabling students to learn to analyze and discuss their own artworks and those of their peers.




  • Choose which exam portfolio program is appropriate.


  • Drawing Portfolio:  Students will expand their drawing and two-dimensional design skills and advance their visual communication skills by exploring a variety of design processes and techniques, and compositional and aesthetic concepts.


  • 2-D Design Portfolio: Students will expand their two-dimensional design skills and advance their visual communication skills by exploring a variety of design processes and techniques, and compositional and aesthetic concepts.

  • Show an understanding of the focus of the portfolio selected.

  • Demonstrate a breadth of high-quality work, 12 pieces.

  • Develop a personal Concentration of 12 pieces.

  • Select five top-quality pieces for presentation, submit to CollegeBoard.

  • Discuss and record the development of the Concentration





Knowledge and skills


observation and perception. The student develops and expands visual literacy skills using critical thinking, imagination, and the senses to observe and explore the world by learning about, understanding, and applying the elements of art, principles of design, and expressive qualities. The student uses what the student sees, knows, and has experienced as sources for examining, understanding, and creating original artwork.The student is expected to:


  • consider concepts and themes for personal artwork that integrate an extensive range of visual observations, experiences, and imagination;

  • compare and contrast the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork;

  • compare and contrast the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artwork; and

  • discriminate between art media and processes to express complex visual relationships such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor using extensive art vocabulary.


Creative expression. The student communicates ideas through original artworks using a variety of media with appropriate skills. The student expresses thoughts and ideas creatively while challenging the imagination, fostering reflective thinking, and developing disciplined effort and progressive problem-solving skills.The student is expected to:


  • produce an original body of artwork that integrates information from a variety of sources, including original sources, and demonstrates sustained self-directed investigations into specific themes such as a series or concentration of works;

  • evaluate and justify design ideas and concepts to create a body of personal artwork;

  • use an understanding of copyright and public domain to appropriate imagery constituting the main focal point of original artwork when working from images rather than direct observation or imagination;

  • create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;

  • collaborate to create original works of art; and

  • create artwork, singularly and in a series, by selecting from a variety of art materials and tools appropriate to course work in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, digital art and media, photography, jewelry, and mixed media.


Historical and cultural relevance. The student demonstrates an understanding of art history and culture by analyzing artistic styles, historical periods, and a variety of cultures. The student develops global awareness and respect for the traditions and contributions of diverse cultures.The student is expected to:


  • research and report on selected historical periods, artists, general themes, trends, and styles of art;

  • analyze and evaluate the influence of contemporary cultures on artwork;

  • collaborate on community-based art projects; and

  • examine, research, and develop a plan of action for relevant career or entrepreneurial art opportunities within a global economy, justifying the choice.


Critical evaluation and response. The student responds to and analyzes the artworks of self and others, contributing to the development of the lifelong skills of making informed judgments and reasoned evaluations.The student is expected to:


  • develop evaluative criteria to justify artistic decisions in artwork such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites based on a high level of creativity and expertise in one or more art areas;

  • evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

  • analyze personal artwork in order to create a written response such as an artist’s statement reflecting intent, inspiration, the elements of art and principles of design within the artwork, and the measure of uniqueness;

  • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;

  • construct a physical or electronic portfolio by evaluating and analyzing personal original artwork to provide evidence of learning; and

  • evaluate a wide range of artwork to form conclusions about formal qualities, aesthetics, historical and cultural contexts, intents, and meanings.

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