Advance Placement 2D Design

This page is for students that want to take AP 2D Design with a concentration in photography, digital art, or design.

Course Description:
Advanced Placement Studio Art 2D Design is a year-long, rigorous experience 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. AP Studio Art is not based on a written exam; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation in early May. In building their portfolios students experience a variety of concepts, techniques and approaches designed to help them demonstrate their abilities as well as their versatility with techniques, problem solving and ideation. Students develop work for the three sections of the AP Art Portfolio: Arrange of Approaches, Sustained Investigation, and Selected Works.



The Sustained Investigation (Concentration) section is a series of works unified together through one main key concept or idea, such as portraits, still life, landscape, surrealism, pointillism, and concept (these are just a few broad examples).

The Selected Works (Quality) section should show the best examples of the student’s work in terms of displaying critical thinking skills towards composition, as well as mastery of a technique and or medium.

AP Studio Art 2D Design is a portfolio focused on making decisions about how to use the principles and elements of art to create works of art that convey meaning.  In some cases, the “meaning” of the work may involve messages on a literal level (ex: graphic design, product design).  However, “meaning” is just as likely to take the form of abstract or purely visual coherence (ex: digital paintings and abstract photography). What’s critical is that sense of deliberate manipulation of the visual tools represented by the elements and principles. The work may be highly technological, or it may be created with the simplest means. Any two-dimensional medium may be used for this portfolio such as photography, graphic
design, illustration, etc.

Course Objectives
· Upon completion of this course the student will have conceived and created original works of art that demonstrate a skill level that is equal to a freshman college art course level.

· The student will initiate, define and solve challenging visual art problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

· Demonstrate the ability to formulate written analysis of one’s own work and explain to others the motivations of his/her work.

· Evaluate the way subject matter, symbols and images are used in other students’ works as well as works by well-known artists.

· Analyze relationships of works of art to one another in terms of history, aesthetics and culture, justifying conclusions and using them in the creation of one’s own work.

· Reflect analytically on various interpretations as a means for understanding and critiquing works of art.

· Make connections between techniques and principles in the visual arts and other disciplines.

· Develop personal ideation for compositions based upon the student’s sketchbook, photographs and methods demonstrated in class.

· Send a portfolio to the College Board to be evaluated in the spring.

General Studio Course Requirements:
Students, please be sure to read the following. Failure to comply with any of the
requirements will result in a lower or failing grade and the possibility of being barred from advancement in the visual arts curriculum.

Conduct: All students must demonstrate the ability to arrive on time to class and be prepared to participate in a teacher directed activity or work independently toward creatively solving problems, which they have either been assigned, or they have developed themselves. Work of this nature demands the full consideration of the property and rights of fellow classmates and the full cooperation, attention and maturity of every student in class.

Copyright: 
No student may copy published photographs for any work. Copying work, written or visual, is plagiarism. The school policy is outlined in detail in the Student Handbook. To aid the student in avoiding the inadvertent appearance of plagiarism, there will be a discussion in class on how to avoid this. Work based on photographs or the work of other artists must move beyond mere duplication of form and style. It is essential that such work reference these sources only and the primary artistic voice be that of the student. All students are responsible for maintaining their personal workspaces as well as actively participating in specific classroom maintenance tasks for the good of the overall studio environment.

Sketchbook Requirement: The creation of art is an on going, creative decision making process therefore, all studio students are expected to regularly maintain a sketchbook/Journal, and to have it with them always. This includes all weekly sketch assignments, research assignments and at least one page in which the student researches and/or visually explores their ideas for independent projects and documents them. It is the student’s responsibility to submit their sketchbook for review to the instructor each Friday.

Written Assignments: Students will have a brief written research assignment, which pertains to a specific artist, artistic period or movement, culture or alternative approach to the unit theme. Unless specified otherwise, all notes and written research assignments are to be in the student’s sketchbook. Notes and written assignments are to be written neatly and legibly. Sketches, photos, printouts and other material as necessary may be included and glued or taped into the sketchbook. The student is to look at this an opportunity for design and creative expression. This process will help relate their own work to the work being studied and create an exciting and useful visual tool for class discussions.

Handouts: Students will receive instructional handouts, project specifications, unit vocabulary and evaluation rubrics digitally through the class website. These can be printed then kept in the student’s sketchbook or opened from the website every class.

Material Requirements: The supplies for each project will be made available to the student. However, it is critical that the student have a minimum of their own personal favorite art supplies and the following:
1 large cardboard portfolio
1 blank sketchbook. Size is the student’s choice but, no smaller than 8”x10.” Handmade sketchbooks are encouraged.
A portable storage container for personal media.
Digital Storage device (dropbox, google drive, or USB drive)

The student is responsible maintaining their materials and managing their portfolio of work. Studio students should have a quiet place in which they may spread out and work on projects at home as well. The demands of the work for an AP portfolio and often for the other studio levels far exceed scheduled class time. Students are expected to complete work on their own time as necessary to keep class deadlines.

Critiques: Critiques are a critical part of the artistic learning process. Through instructional conversations with the teacher, individual student critiques and class critiques the student learns to analyze and discuss their own artwork as well as that of their peers. All studio students are required to participate in critiques. There are three kinds of critiques: student/teacher progress (instructional, twice weekly), impromptu student/student (during class time) and formal class critiques. Upon the completion of a project each student will give a brief oral presentation of his or her own work. This presentation will include a description of their work, their creative process, influences and challenges. Their peers are expected to engage in questions and creative and constructive commentary using the project specifications sheet, the evaluation rubric and artistic vocabulary terms as guides.

Specific AP Studio Requirements:
All AP Students must complete all assigned work.
The completion of 6-8 individual works as well as weekly on-line posting of one inspirational resource and one sketch is required summer work. Failure to complete this work will result in the student being ask to reconsider their AP commitment and an “F” grade for the first project of the fall semester.
Students are strongly encouraged to visit museums and art shows during the summer. Students are also strongly encouraged to take a workshop or art related course outside of the school offerings during the summer.


Submission of the portfolio is mandatory.
The fall semester will focus on assisting the student in meeting the Breadth requirements for the AP portfolio. This means the assigned work will focus the student on exploring a variety of different visual concepts and demonstrate a range of their creative abilities through versatile and creative use of media, techniques, problem solving and ideation. Following the Thanksgiving Break, each student is to submit 3 possible Concentration themes. Each proposal is to be a 3-5 paragraphs outlining their idea, potential lines of exploration and research and artistic influences. The student will meet with the instructor during class time as well as participate in an open class discussion to review their project and sketchbook work to determine which theme will be their focus. Students will submit a final proposal for their concentration, which will include a plan of action, at the fall semester exam time. The Spring Semester focus will be on completion of the Concentration, photographing/scanning and assembling the final portfolio for on-line submission at the end of the first week in May to the College Board.

Selecting and Preparing Section I Pieces After spring break, the students are instructed to identify the pieces to be submitted for the Quality section of the portfolio. Simply put, they are to pick their very best examples that are 18” x 24” or less. I stress variety if they have it—variety of subject, media, technique, or process—though variety is not a requirement for Quality work. The students have a strong understanding of quality, because it has been exemplified in critiques, portfolio evaluations, and in-house and out-of-school competitions since their freshman year. Preparation of these pieces begins before the actual portfolios arrive. In the past, we have used either X-Board or cardboard as a mounting support, attaching the work to the support with double-stick tape. If the work is delicate, a paper overlay is used to protect the surface. This may be newsprint or brown paper that is taped to the top on the back of the support board.

Students must meet all required weekly progress deadlines and submit a complete portfolio for a passing grade.
 Grading Policy:
Unit Projects 50%
Sketchbook 20%
Writing Assignments 10%
Critiques/exhibitions 20%

All students must keep assigned deadlines. No late work is accepted for grade. In case of absence, it is the student’s responsibility to speak to the instructor. General Grading Criteria for Studio Art Critique and Portfolio Review:

  • Level of Skill in Use of the Elements of Art Understanding of Design Principles:

Elements of Art: line, form, shape, space, color, value, texture.
Principles of Design: rhythm, movement, balance, proportion, contrast, emphasis, pattern, unity.

  • Evidence of Practice & Craftsmanship
  • Technique & Medium Mastery
  • Individual Creativity & Personal Expression

The following rubric is used in formal critiques as a guide as well as for project self-evaluation.