AP Studio Art: 2D/3D & Drawing Syllabus [PDF] [Word]

AP Studio Art is an opportunity for seniors to earn three college credit hours by creating a portfolio of twenty-four + works of quality art. Twelve will demonstrate a focused interest utilizing skills painting, photo, illustration, graphics, fashion, ceramics, architecture, etc. The other twelve will demonstrate your breadth of interest in art. The portfolio will build on your strengths in (1) art (2) academics (3) ability to synthesis ideas visually. You will also compete nationally in Scholastic and be featured in the Performing Art Center at the Tri Kappa Spring Fine Arts Festival.  You must submit an application your junior year to the art department or guidance office that includes an art teacher’s signature. Visit: www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/sub_studioart.html

ABOUT AP REVIEW: In 2010 they reviewed 43,000 portfolios. Approximately 120 trained and experienced art educators score portfolios 1 through 6. Students are reviewed 30 to 60 seconds in each three section (Quality-5 original works submitted (3-D submit images), Concentrations-12 images, Breadth-12 images). Scoring is more consistent then AP Calculus exams.

The following material will be covered in lectures, multimedia, articles published by the instructor, and student research and reports.


2D Specialist (Focus or Breadth)
While a 2D portfolio can have drawing and/or 3d work, the focus is on the student’s ability to design issues. A stronger focus is on their skill in handling visual elements and principals. Key Scoring Descriptors: (A) General Use of Design Elements (B) Decision Making and Intention in the Compositional Use of the Elements and Principles of Design (C) Originality, Imagination, and Invention (D) Experimentation and Risk Taking (E) Confident, Evocative Work and Engagement of the Viewer (F) Technical Competence and Skill with Materials and Media (G) Appropriation and the Student “Voice” (H) Overall Accomplishment and Quality. In applying these descriptors, consider the content, style, and process of the work.


3D Specialist (Focus or Breadth)
It is advised that you complete several prerequisite courses in classes such as Sculpture, Ceramics I, II, III, Welding, and Building Trades. If you specialize in a 3D portfolio you will have access to our department’s tools, the ceramic studio, the industrial tech shop, and a variety of other equipment. You will select a historical and or contemporary artist working with similar materials to study. You will gain mastery in working with your specific materials. You will build an appropriate rubric that shows a strong understanding of the issues surrounding working in your 3D specialty.  TIPS: * Consider the elements and principles of art three dimensionally. * Focus on additive and subtractive.  * Well placed components can yield a multitude of interesting cast shadows * Great glazes, paints, stains* Tools can push texture * Low relief design needs to be amazing * Think of jewelry as miniature sculpture * Scale * Fragment the form * Explore space * Quality & mastery must show through * Mass, what is the solid space * Organic & geometric * Plans can be intertwined *


Art History: Explore and analyze artists, art movements or specific works of art related to your own practice. It will important for you to explore the genesis of your methods and materials and early descriptors of themes you embrace. You will also be required to explore contemporary expression of artisans that work in your genera.


Assignments:  A variety of work will be created in a more traditional environment. This will range between 2D, 3D and Drawing approaches to making art. Often times we look for ways for these assignments to reach beyond the walls of our school and studio.


Assessment/Rating/Evaluation/Rubric Guidelines:
This course promotes a sustained investigation of the following three aspects of portfolio development. (1) Quality (2) Concentration and (3) Breadth throughout the course. We will work with you to build a college-level rubric to optimize your creative output. You will weight out issues such as craftsmanship, elements of design, use of tools, original voice, etc.


Bibliography: You will build a bibliography of readings and research to strengthen your project. The department keeps copies and subscription to Art in America, Art News, Professional Artist, The Smithsonian, architecture and fashion magazines, and other art related material. Occasional you will be assigned readings, but access is available outside of coursework. You will want to journal interesting text in your sketchbook, and always site the source. The Media Center is helpful with on location resources as well as inner library loans.


Breadth/Versatility: Students will demonstrate a range of abilities and versatility with specific techniques. Even the breadth will hold one’s artistic voice. The quality of breadth also needs to be collegiate. * Show quality in the method and material represented. * Demonstrate evidence of a skill in utilizing the elements and principals of design. * Rarely do portfolios want to show growth, the breadth component needs to hold to the same skill as your focused work. * Breadth is always a wonderful opportunity to show your ability to work from life. Most colleges want to see your ability to work from the human figure. Some colleges want half of the portfolio to be from life. * Show technical and conceptual ability; originality, creativity, dedication, drive


Concentration/Focus: The course enables students to develop a cohesive body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea that grows out of a coherent plan of action or investigation. This will take place through a series of proposals and critiques with the instructor, the department, and fellow students. Through a series of lectures we will explore the process of keep elements and principles the same or different with each artifact. We will investigate interdisciplinary themes that fit your interests. A concentration is a body of unified work with a visually coherent idea. In scoring concentrations, there are four major areas of concern. (1) Coherence and/or development — is the work presented actually a concentration? (2)  Quality of the concept/idea represented — is there evidence of thinking and of focus? (3)  Degree of development and investigation that is evident in the work — including the amount of work or number of pieces represented. (4)  Quality of the work in both concept and technique. The 12 concentration works will be in line with what an artist would do for a solo exhibition.

  • INTEGRATION: [H.8] Select an integrated theme for your studio. This interdisciplinary scholarly exploration will feed the theme of your work.
  • MATERIALS: [H.7.3] The art materials you select should be supplies that you can handle with enough skill to carry your visual message across to your viewers. These materials can be non-traditional and mixed. The concentrated collection should be viewed by patrons as a singular voice.
  • STYLE: [H.7.1, H.7.2] This typically evolves naturally from much labor and dedication to one’s craft. Often times a consistent approach to how you handle the elements and principals of design will help you keep a steady stylistic approach. Avoid dramatic changes to your approach when building a concentrated collection.

“The art world is much tougher than you think-whether it is the practical side, the theory side, the history side, the gallery side, the classroom side, the selling side, the buying side, the working side, the thinking side. Therefore, be prepared to work extra hard from the beginning on everything you undertake, but do not undertake too much. Too many students today try to do too much-resulting in work that is fragmentary and not up to their potential. The intentions are sincere, but you really cannot do it all well. Focus on what is important and on what your professors tell you is important. Let the rest just fade in to the background. This is the way to become really good at something, and the sooner you start doing it the better you will be at whatever you decide to do. Trust yourself to do your best, that is the beginning of originality. –Soussloff & Bebele, University of California.    


Critique: This will take place with (1) the instructor (2) assigned mentor from the art department (3) interdisciplinary coach who will work with you on your theme (4) and with peers (5) social network such as flicker, Picasso, Deviant art,


Curiosity & Investigation: Being inquisitive is an important part of the creative process. Ask so questions of yourself and others and take nothing for granted. Always push boundaries. Be willing to do extensive research to add depth to the work.


Drawing Specialist (Focus or Breadth)
If you specialize in a Drawing portfolio you are strongly advised to have completed Drawing I, II, and III. A drawing focus in a portfolio is open to various materials and stylistic interpretations. Utilizing your ability to run acid etched plates, build up strong tone with prisma, complete technical drawings, or push your humor skills with cartooning. A special rubric will be constructed to weigh out a student’s objectives; such as gradient tone, calligraphic line quality, craftsmanship at margin of a monotype, etc. Students will develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of drawing. Push quality with (1) Light and Shade (2) Rendering of Form (3) Composition (4) Surface Manipulation (5) Illusion of Depth (6) Mark-Making. The Key Scoring Descriptors are (A) Understanding of Composition, Concept and Execution (B) Intention or Purpose (C) Originality, Imagination and Invention in Using the Elements and Principles of Design in Drawing Composition (D) Decision Making, Experimentation and/or Risk Taking. (E) Confident, Evocative Work That Engages the Viewer (F) Technical Competence and Skill with Drawing Materials and Media (G) Understanding the Use of Digital or Photographic Sources (H) Appropriation and the Student’s “Voice” (I) Overall Accomplishment and Quality. Works must demonstrating understanding of a variety of drawing issues. Look for engagement with a range of * Form * Content * Tonal values * Line quality * Perspective and other spatial systems * Composition * Drawing surface * Depth * Pattern * Means of representation and abstraction * Materials * Techniques * Styles * and so on.


Effort/Work Ethic: Mark Twain said “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. Nothing will replace diligence and a strong work ethic. Effort is often difficult to grade, it will still be an important part of your studio. You will be expected to treat this as a college class. Being accepted into the class means we believe you can give us post-secondary level effort and discipline.


Elements & Principles of Design: [H.7.1/2/3] All projects are sifted through expert handling of the elements and principles. Principles of Design are Unity/Variety, Balance/Emphasis/Contrast, Rhythm, Repetition, Proportion/Scale, and Figure/Ground Relationships. Elements are line, color, shape, texture, space, and form.


* Annual Late Night studio session 7:00PM - 4:00AM [Sponsored by Orthodontic Specialty Service]
* Ten enrichment activities from list. www.lostartstudent.com/studio-art-ap/schedule.html [H17]
* Develop a webpage of your artwork.
* EdCOM style monologue about your work in an oral presentation. Practice in front of a mirror. Talk clearly and understanding your objectives.
* We encourage students to seek out any additional specialized training related to their art coursework.
* Summer work camps through major art schools and universities; Cranbrook, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Twin Lakes, MI / bluelake.org, etc.


Exhibition: [H.8.3] You will exhibit your work in classrooms, hallways, local businesses, public library, local co-op galleries, college portfolio reviews, AP College Board Portfolio, Local corporate lobbies, convention center, and Lakeland Art Center, Scholastics Senior Portfolio, Tri-Kappa solo exhibit in Performing Art Center. 


Intellectual Property/Plagiarism: Plagiarism will not be tolerated. A deliberate attempt at fraud will be forwarded to the Academic Dean. As your instructor I’ve experiences financial loss from overseas artist replicating my paintings to sell online. I will talk about students losing scholarship money, etc. You will learn what it means to be original. When can one use someone else’s photography? What is artistic integrity, and copyright infringement? You will learn what it means to break new ground and demonstrate artistic integrity.


Interdisciplinary Focus: Art is not created in an academic vacuum. Production is tightly connected to all other disciplines. A respect and recognition of this is instrumental in creating art that is relevant to life. Both hemispheres of your brain are involved in your educational experience. We want to embrace this as you approach various curricula. You will add an interdisciplinary focus to your portfolio focus work.


Journal/Inventory/Self Critique:  * Document work development and completion. Write down glaze recipes, pressure used on the printing press, filters used on Photoshop, and other details along with dates of when things are getting finished.
Title, artist, date, size, materials, collection.


Lectures:  * Methods and materials * Art theory * Contemporary and art history * Developing a superior portfolio * Developing theme and narration in the work * Elements and Principles if Design * Guest artists and alumni speakers * Method and materials * Motivational and interdisciplinary talks. [H.1] [H.2] [H.3] [H.4] [H.5] [H.6] [H.7] [H.8]


Live Observation: [H.6.1] You will continue to sketch or create from life. We bring animals onto campus each semester. Figurative and portraiture work from human models is also emphasized. Still-life compositions with established light sources help push your ability to understand modularity and the juxtaposition of scale with various forms.


Methods & Materials: You will become experts in working with specific materials. Not necessarily so, but typically it is techniques that you were exposed to in earlier art class. Students must put in a substantial amount of time outside of school developing their technique. You will also purchase professional grade art supplies. You will know the difference between student and studio grade quality art supplies; i.e. scratchboard, oil paint, color pencils, software. You will also explore non-traditional materials and mediums as a way to communicate visually.

Partial list to consider:
Animation, character, stop motion, computer, claymation
Artists books, bookbinding, altered books, origami, papermaking, scrapbooking, popup books,
Calligraphy, typography
Carpentry, Woodwork: carving, cabinet making,
Cartooning, comic strips, sequential art
Carving: Stone, wood, leather, bone, wax
Computer graphics & illustration 
Construction, wood working
Crafts: toy making, wood burning,
Culinary Arts, cake decorating,
Earth Art, sand,
Fashion & Costume Design, t-shirt art

Floral Design,
Furniture design
Glass art, glass blowing, stained glass,
Industrial Design: Product design,
Installation, happenings
Jewelry, body adornment, beadwork,  metalsmithing,
Mixed Media
Murals: Street Art
Paint: Oil, watercolor, acrylic, gauche
Paper silhouette design
Pastel, charcoal, chalks
Pen & Ink
Photography, Digital & 35mm
Portrait & Caricature
Printmaking: Etching, Block, Serigraph, Monotype,
Sculpture: Welding, stone,
Textiles: embroidery, cross-stitch, weaving quilting
Theater Design
Video Game Design


Post-Secondary Art Activity: You will continue to have a relationship with visual art after graduation. No pressure is places on you to major in directly art related careers. Rather, the focus is to find wonderful possibilities of utilizing your creativity and visual communication skills throughout your life time within your career and personal life. You will also gain skill in consumption and collecting. You will have an eye for refinement, competency, skill, and avant-garde activity in contemporary art.   


Projects: In addition to 12 concentration and 12 breadth works you will complete the following: (1) Commencement cover design or 3D memorial for graduation ceremony. (2) Daily sketchbook (Life Drawing H.6.1). This can hold variety of media and include diagrams, sketches, production notes, 2D, 3D or Drawing. (3) Sequential mixed media series during semester two. (4) Various other projects and workshops.


Resources: View Exhibitions: The Art Department brings in different professional artist each month to exhibit in the Performing Art Center. Often times these artists make themselves available for art talks. We also encourage visitations to the local galleries that are with a couple miles of our campus. Suggested venues would include [A: Local] Westminster on Grace College campus, Lakeland Art Center, The Village of Winona, etc. [B: Half Hour] Goshen College and Goshen galleries, Midwest Museum of Art, [C: Day Trips] Being less than three hours from Chicago, we annually make visitations to River North, the Art Institute, and other exhibition spaces. You are also encouraged to go on your own in small groups, or with family.


Resources: Enrichment: (1) Some opportunities are out of our ability to offer such as live nude figure drawing. Students, with permission from parents may opt to work from life at Art Link in Ft. Wayne for a small fee. You are in no way penalized for not attending. (2) Some artisans and designers in the community can offer internships opportunities. (3) You can also work through the Co-Op program to work in graphic design at a local orthopedic company, RR Donnelley, or other such business to gain on job experience.


Scholarships: We walk you through the process of selecting college, applications, letters or recommendation, interview, and portfolio. We explore local Art Club, Lakeland Art Association,


Self-Assessment Questions:
(1) What is/is not working in my studio plan?
(2) What external/internal influences are helping/hindering your (a) studio time (b) style (c) materials (d) creativity?
(3) What reading material are you currently processing to enrich your theme?
(4) How are you professionalizing your use of art materials?
(5) What is similar or different about the 12 focus artifacts you are working on?
(6) What are you doing in your portfolio to avoid kitsch and uninteresting production?


Skill/Technique: Practice and refine production to a high level production skill. Demonstrate college level in craftsmanship, concepts, composition, execution, etc.


Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose for Scholastics and AP Studio Art is required.
Art History:  Mention names and movements when appropriate. Typically avoid mentioning common artist, i.e. Salvador Dali. Your statement of purpose should not be a place to introduce an unknown or unsubstantial artist.
Authority: A “statement” of purpose is not timid. Evan Columbus claimed the new world for Spain.
Length: It should fit the amount of content you have to textually enrich the exhibition.
Personal Information: Avoid my/I and talk about “the” collection. But, don’t say “the” family, if it is your family. Use personal statements if you are soliciting empathy for you as a person.
Vocabulary: Art and interdisciplinary terms. Avoid repeating words.
* Exercise: Write a statement of purpose about 12 dirty Kleenex tissues. Can you bring the viewer to approach these items as art?


Studio Plan: Asking yourself good questions will help you establish the boundaries of your project and avoid wheel spinning. A lack of a clearly defined goal might help portfolio breadth, but it does not structure a foundation for a solo exhibit.  Establish realistic and clear goals will increase the likelihood of your success.
(1) Project Title and Overview
(2) Methods and materials. What supplies & tools are needed for your focused work?  Approx. cost
(3) Interdisciplinary inspiration
(4) History/Art History: What is under the surface? How is the past important to the meaning of this project and what happened before you arrived? What cultural, environmental, and social forces preceded you? 
(5) Concept: Stake out some conceptual territory. Start with a clear idea about why you think this project is important. Develop this idea into a personal “theory”. Consider “why” rather than just “what” you are making.
(6) Audience: Who is it? Is it possible to be for everyone?
(7) Preliminary Action: What have you been doing and will be doing as you start into this project.
(8) Visual Proposal: Map out 12 sketches of tentative 2D and 3D compositions. (12 thumbnails=1 comp sketch)
(9)  Who will be your art and interdisciplinary mentors?
(10) Guardian signature of support. I understand the workload of AP Studio Art. I have reviewed my student’s Studio Focus and agree to support this project. Guardian Signature


Technique: This course teaches students a variety of concepts and approaches so that the student is able to demonstrate a range of abilities and versatility with techniques. Such conceptual variety can be demonstrated through either the use of one or the use of several media. The techniques will be designated to the group and be developed collaboratively. Some specific techniques will be explored with the instructor to help you achieving specific needs.


Theme: This is carefully constructed from your personal interests. This might be based on a strong sense of
(1) Career interest (2) Particular love for a medium (3) Autobiography that morphs into a universal narrative (4) Political, social, (5) or any other interdisciplinary curriculum explored visually. Are you approaching your soapbox as a preacher or a poet?


Time Management:  One component of success is multi-task, and manage your time. Building a portfolio is laborious. Even a student who is working in photography or using minimalist and abstract painting techniques can not pull off a successful portfolio without substantial time commitment. Most students put in at least 60 minutes of evening time a night on their portfolio. You should think professionally in terms of “billable hours”, making sure that your home studio time is productive. An artist must be willing to embrace solitude to make art. How will you make this happen in your own practice?


Vocabulary: Develop and utilize a strong visual art vocabulary when writing and speaking about art. Terminology will help you get to the core of your ideas and studio practice.


Written Work: (1) Art history and integration bibliography [H.2] (2) Studio plan (3) Statement of purpose (4) Studio Support:  resume, inventory sheet (title, size, medium) (5) Art articles, films, and exhibition reviews