AP Studio Art

AP Studio Art:  Drawing, 2-D and 3-D Design Syllabus

Year Long

FMHS AP Studio Art



The AP Studio Art Portfolio course is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art and wish to develop mastery in the concept, composition, and execution of their ideas.

Requirements:  Current or previous teacher, counselor, administrator, or parent recommendation, or review of past student artwork.  Students must have successfully completed Art I and/or II Studio Art courses.

Grade Placement: 10 – 12

I.  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 approximately the first week of May; submissions will be in the form of digital images uploaded 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.


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.


III.   Description and Approach to Complete the Concentration Component

Concentration:  This section of 12 images 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 are encouraged to explore a personal, central interest as intensively as possible; they are free to work with any idea in any medium. 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.

Students will define their concentration early in the year. Each student will choose an idea to explore in depth for the concentration section. During ongoing, individual, one-on-one conferences with each student, the teacher will assist the student in discovering and focusing on his or her concentration theme or concept. The student will develop and present to the teacher, for approval, his or her specific plan of action and plan of investigation, outline, thumbnail sketches, etc. for the development of his or her chosen concentration theme. The cohesive body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea in drawing, 2-D design or 3-D design will grow out of a coherent plan of action or investigation. The student must include specific evidence of the process he or she is going to follow to develop the cohesive underlying original visual idea and include a specific plan, which may be modified, with teacher approval, as the body of work develops and evolves over time.


IV. Quality Component

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.

V.     Description, Possible Concepts, Approaches, Mediums to Complete Breath Component

Breadth:  This section of 12 works (8 works for 3D) shows a variety of drawing, design, or 3-D approaches using different techniques, compositions, and media. This enables the student to demonstrate a range of abilities and versatility with ideation.   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. (line, plan, mass, volume, motion, rhythm, light and shadow, balance, proportion and scale, color and texture, and transition for 3D)  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. Through daily interaction with teachers and peers the student will complete one of the following portfolio’s breath sections. The students will use the attached spreadsheets to guide their way through their chosen portfolio’s breath section. Students may choose from a variety of projects and media listed below to use in their portfolio to fulfill the breath objectives listed on the spreadsheets.

Drawing Portfolio Breath:  Students will expand their drawing and two-dimensional design skills and advance their visual communication skills by exploring a variety of mark making processes and techniques, and compositional and aesthetic concepts. Students will focus on mark-making which could include printmaking, painting, mixed media etc….. the arrangement of the mark and the materials used to make the marks are endless. The listed are suggestions not limitations…

Possible Drawing Breath Projects And Mediums



Paint ( oil, acrylic, water color, tempera)



Powdered Graphite

Conte crayon




Print making (screen, etching, engraving, mono,)

And a variety of other drawing media


Peer portraits

Drawing cloth or undulating plains

Figures in Repose

Figures in Motion

Tool Box Drawing

Junk Drawer Drawing

Wizard of Odd Unusual landscape

Sandwich in two- point perspective

Glass Bottle Still life


2-D Design Portfolio Breath : 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. Through the principles of design any 2-D process or media may be submitted, including, but not limited to, graphic design, digital imaging, photography, collage, fabric design, weaving, fashion design, illustration, painting, printmaking, etc…. The listed are suggestions not limitations…

Possible 2-D Design Breath Projects and Mediums



Graphic Design


Digital Imaging



Fabric Design





And a variety of other media



Abstraction from urban environment

Self-portrait as a favorite industrial product

Redesign an everyday product

How to box and object

Vintage fruit box advertisement

Fashion or costume design

Letter and type design

Book illustration

3-D Design Portfolio Breath : Students will expand their three-dimensional design skills and advance their visual communication skills by exploring a variety of design processes and techniques, and compositional, aesthetic concepts and sculptural forms. Through engagement of space and physical materials and how the design principals relate to depth and space. Approaches may include figurative/ nonfigurative, architectural models, metal work, ceramics, three dimensional fiber arts/fashion, jewelry, and body adornment. The listed are suggestions not limitations…

Possible 3-D Breadth Project and Mediums







Mixed Media

Found Object

Casting Metal, Wax, Clay

And a variety of other Media



Casting Collage

Surreal object

Found Object Clay Integration

Transformation from one into another

Insect Deity

Multi-sectional Vessels

Installation/ Repeated Object

Combination Geometric and Organic form Sculpture

Lamination of Object

VI.                 Course Content

This course has been developed to accommodate students who have expressed an interest in completing either the AP Studio Art Portfolio.  Therefore, all content meets the requirements as stated in the student exam poster.  Through direct teacher instruction, emphasis will be placed on the production of a volume of quality pieces of artwork.  Students will address all three sections of the portfolio:  Breadth, Concentration and Quality.

Students will be challenged to develop their own personal work.  Students will develop mastery of concept, composition, and execution of their personal ideas and themes.  Students will also understand that art making is an ongoing process that uses informed and critical decision making to determine outcomes to problems.  Students will be expected to develop a comprehensive portfolio that addresses each of these issues in a personal way.  Formulaic solutions to problems are discouraged.

VII.              Instructional Goals and Strategies

·      Students will use a variety of mediums, techniques, and approaches in drawing to develop concepts and ideation.

·      Critiques and displays of work are ongoing.  Students are expected to participate in class critiques of their personal work as well as the work of their peers and master artists.  The vocabulary of art will be used to engage in written and verbal critiques of these works.

·      Individual Student Critiques with the teacher will help students learn to analyze and discuss their own artworks and artworks of their peers.

·      Individual Conferencing will assist students in the development of their Concentration work.  Students will develop a body of work that is an investigation of an idea or theme that is of personal interest to them.

·      Ongoing instructional conversations with the teacher will help students develop their work. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses in their images, and will provide feedback on how they can further develop their drawings.  This will also help students learn to analyze and discuss their own artworks and the works of their peers.

VIII.           Portfolio Due Date, Group Critique Dates and Pacing Guide

·   Portfolios are DUE February 28th

·   Students will complete one assignment per week

·   Students will participate in critiques every third week on Wednesdays after school. The dates are as follows:

o   Critique 1   September

o   Critique 2   October

o   Critique 3   October

o   Critique 4   November

o   Critique 5   December

o   Critique 6   January

o   Critique 7   February

o   Critique 8    February

·   Student will present three works at each critique.

·   It is requirement that students adhere to this timeline


Portfolio Development (75%)

·      Based on finished work as per term quota.

·      Graded using the evaluation rubrics as established by the College Board

·      Both volume and quality will be taken into consideration for final grade

Class Conduct (25%)

·      Regular attendance is mandatory.

·      Use of in-class time and extra classes.

·      Attention to lectures, directions, and demonstrations.

·      Participation in critical discussion.

·      Proper safe use of materials and equipment.

·      Cleanup duties and storage of work.

·      Preparation of finish artwork framing and submission.

AP Rubric


Grade equivalent



















X.                   Artistic Integrity:

Original Work, Copyright Issues, and Moving Beyond Duplication all student work must be original. Activities throughout the course and discussions will take place, and these will assist the student in understanding how artistic integrity, plagiarism, and moving beyond duplication are included in every aspect of this course. Students will not use someone else’s work, images from the Internet or books, or any published or unpublished images or photos created by another person. The student is to work from direct observations of his or her life and life events, environment, dreams, fantasies, and self-made photographs. Ongoing conferences with the teacher, as well as one-on-one individual discussions and/or group peer critiques with the teacher, will provide additional activities to help with this understanding. Artistic integrity is essential. If a student uses someone else’s work as a basis for one of his or her own pieces, there must be significant alteration to the work for it to be considered original and/or appropriate for this college-level portfolio.

XI.               HOMEWORK and SKETCHBOOK

As in any college-level course, it is expected that students will spend a considerable amount of time outside the classroom working on completion of assignments.  Ideas for projects or solutions to problems should be worked out in a sketchbook both in class and outside of class.  The sketchbook is an essential tool in recording ideas, capturing visual information, working on compositional issues, and/or just exploring.  Sketchbooks will be checked frequently for progress.

DO NOT DRAW FROM PHOTOGRAPHS, magazines, etc.  The use of published photographs or the work of other artists for duplication is plagiarism.  Draw from observation, things you see in the world.  Learn to translate the dynamic three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional world.

Student Readings, Visual Research, and Art History

  • Participate in class presentations, discussions, and research of artists, art history, art periods/styles, alternative approaches, past and contemporary cultures, and underlying visual issues.

  • Research self-selected artists and visual issues

  • Present the research and resulting art products to the class as a teach-back.


·  AP Studio Art Poster

·  AP Scoring Guidelines