Skip to main content

Advanced Placement Studio Art

Advanced Placement Studio Art


AP Art students will be working almost independently on their projects and portfolios.  There is one scheduled two mod time period when the class will meet together. Class time will be for demonstrations, critiques and discussions. (Students can schedule individual time with the teacher if needed.)


AP Art students will be expected to pay for their submission of the portfolio to the College Board.  The price will be between $50 and $120.  If there is a financial hardship the school has some programs of assistance.  If students choose not to submit their portfolio they will still be expected to do all projects/assignments for the class and will be graded accordingly.


Students will be responsible for their OWN schedule in completing assignments during PLT times or at home.  Students will be expected to have at least half of their portfolio planned out or completed by December.


Students should photograph or scan all of the work they are thinking/planning on including in their portfolio and keep it on a flash drive.  (This will save time when it comes to uploading and writing when the portfolio is submitted.)


Portfolio Format of Assessment

Section I: Selected Works (Quality)

  -5 actual works for 2-D and Drawing

-12 digital images for 3-D

33% of Portfolio Score

Demonstrate mastery of design in concept, composition, and execution

Section II: Sustained Investigation (Concentration)

-12 digital images

33% of Portfolio Score

Describe an in-depth explanation of a particular design concern

Section III: Range of Approaches (Breadth)

-12 digital images for 2-D and Drawing

-16 digital images for 3-D

33% of Portfolio Score

Demonstrate understanding of design issues


Each student will have their own sketchbook:

The sketchbook will be where students record their research and plan out their projects and practice their skills.  (Sketchbook pages can be used as part of the portfolio.)


Every week students will be expected to have at least one page of their sketchbook used for a project, plan or research.  Completion dates should be written on each page. Research pages must include where images were found (web address, magazine, personal photo).  Students may create works on different pages and attach them in their sketchbook.



Students will receive a pass/fail grade for sketchbook pages each week.  Either they are completed or they are not.  Pages can be shown to the instructor in person or they can be photographed/scanned and submitted digitally.


Portfolio projects (up to 24 images) will be graded in two stages:

Stage one: preliminary design/drawing  (This is the sketching, planning and/or first drawing for the project.)  This is a pass/fail grade, either it is completed or it is not. Students will schedule times to meet with the instructor to discuss/turn in these drawings/designs once per month.  (Three per month is the goal to shoot for.)

Stage two: Final product.  The project is completely finished and ready to be photographed for portfolio submission.  (Or physically sent as part of the Quality section of the portfolio.) This grade will be a letter grade on the 100 point grading scale.  These grades will be given as the student turns in the work. It is strongly suggested at least a third of the projects are completed by December 2018 but grades will be given as they are turned in.


Portfolio submission:

Students will be expected to put their portfolio together and create the Artist statements for each section of the portfolio.  (Even if they do not submit to the College Board.)


Percentage approximations:

Sketchbook: 20%

Portfolio Projects: 70%

Portfolio Completion: 10%


Don’t know what to do in your sketchbook?

Suggested sketchbook projects:


  1. Using an exacto knife cut a out random patterns on a page one or two pages of your sketchbook, in consecutive order.  On the third page in the row paint, color, or collage on the page. On the back of the collage page, write a reflection/reaction to how the project/artwork looks.  What surprised you? What did you like? What did you dislike?

  2. Select one facial feature (eye, mouth, nose, teeth) and draw it over, and over again on a page.  Use Different reference images (glue the reference images to the page next to the drawing.

  3. Find a reference image of an item (hand, face, cereal box) attach it to the page and draw it four or more different times on your page using different mediums (pencil, pen, marker, charcoal, watercolor paint, etcetera).

  4. Find an artwork you admire or inspires you and redraw it in a different style. (Include a photo of the original artwork and where you found it.

  5. Draw a silhouette of an item/person and fill in the interior with a drawing of something different from the original silhouette.  (For example a person’s profile filled with plants.)

  6. Go outside and draw your backyard.

  7. Fill your entire page with designs or words and then draw a picture on top of it.  (Perhaps draw on top of the writing in one color, and then draw on top of it all again with a different color.)

  8. Cut up a pieces of paper with designs on them, glue them onto your page and then create a complex pattern on top of it.  Think about how to create strong contrasts.

  9. Fill a page using different types of typography.  Write the same word or phrase in several different ways using cursive, print, block, gothic lettering.  

  10. Create a grid on your page at least an inch by inch.  In the top squares and the first side square of the grid draw a different design element or letter.  Using the grid like a map combine the top and side elements together in the corresponding square to create a new image.  (Consider the use of positive and negative space.)

  11. Print out a black and white photo of yourself (have fun with it) and draw items that represent you on top of the photo.  Use pencil, pen or marker.

  12. Find a photo of an artist that inspires you and draw them as a cartoon character.  

  13. Pick an object (like an apple or bottle or shoe) and draw it in several different positions using different mediums.  (pencil, pen, marker, paint brush, stick…)

  14. Draw hands.  Fill an entire page or more with hands in different poses. (Use reference images.)

  15. Draw feet.  Fill an entire page or more with feet in different poses.  (Use reference images.)

  16. Draw the human figure in different poses.  Fill an entire page (don’t worry about overlapping) and use reference images.  Don’t worry about all the details just create sketches of shape and form.

  17. Paint a page in your sketchbook (or on a piece of watercolor paper) and draw an image on top of it using a different medium.

  18. Go outside and look at a tree then draw the texture of the bark.  Use colored pencils and make sure you don’t have any streaky pencil marks.

  19. Get together a selection of different leaves and draw each leaf.  Writing next to the leaf what kind it is. (You can use photo images but make sure you print them out and put them in the sketchbook.)

  20. Find different types of fabric and draw them keeping in mind how to render the different textures be they rough or smooth and the colors dark or light.  (You can use photo images but make sure you print them out and put them in the sketchbook.)