Skip to main content

Art Syllabus

2018-2019 2D Art Syllabus


2018-2019 2D Art Syllabus





AP Studio Art 2D Design Syllabus

Meeting Days & Times: Monday-Friday—4tht period, 10:38 a.m.-11:23 a.m.

Open Studio: Monday-Friday 7:25 a.m. - 7:55 a.m.  and After School Per Arrangement


AP Studio Art is designed to prepare students to submit a 2D Design portfolio in fulfillment of the AP exam requirements. The course is recommended for those students who are serious about their artistic development and willing to commit to serious work in preparation for portfolio submission. Students will gain proficiency in conceptualization, composition, and execution of artistic expression. Student work will be evaluated with the work of other high school students on a national scale during the portfolio review. AP credit is based solely upon the development of a 2D Design portfolio which is submitted during the 4th quarter. No written AP exam is administered for Studio Art.

Over the course of the year, students will investigate three sections of the AP portfolio – Quality, Concentration, and Breadth as outlined in the AP Studio Art Poster. The course requires the student to produce a minimum of 24 works of art dealing with the formal aspects of design. There are a variety of means for this expression including, but not limited to drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, mixed media, printmaking, and collage.

The first semester of the course will focus on the principles and elements of design and studio methods to familiarize students with a variety of media and techniques from which the students will create the works for the Breadth section of the AP portfolio. Students will study examples from past AP portfolio submissions and emphasis will be placed on the differences between the 2D Design and Drawing portfolios. Digital images of the work will be submitted online for this section.

During the second semester, students will work toward the development of a body of work for the concentration section of the 2D Design portfolio. In this section students will explore an area of interest and submit 12 exemplary pieces. This body of work should demonstrate growth, discovery, and exploration within the context of a compelling visual concept or problem. Digital images of the work will be submitted online for this section.

The final portfolio area is the Quality section. Students will choose five exemplary pieces from their total body of work to fulfill this section. The pieces do not have to be related. These original pieces will be mailed to the College Board for review. They will be returned to the student in late July or early August.


The primary course objectives are as follows:

  • To engage in a continuous cycle of serious investigation, experimentation, and development of all three areas of the portfolio—breadth, concentration, and quality.

  • To engage in the on-going development of an exceptional body of work demonstrating purposeful investigation of a 2 dimensional visual design idea.

  • To develop technical skill in a variety of media using the principles and elements of design as the foundation of  2D design works

  • To develop visual literacy through the process of critique using the AP scoring rubric as the basis for thoughtful reflection and evaluation. (The development and execution of concept/idea, craftsmanship, and overall success of the design are emphasized in grading.)


The structure of the course will include the following components:

  • Art History and Styles: Students will study periods in art history and will understand and explain the stylistic elements representative of the period and of the artists within the movement. Students are expected to visit local galleries and art museums on their own and as often as possible.

  • Portfolio: Students will develop the following three-part portfolio:

    • Breadth—12 slides of 12 different works demonstrating excellent technical merit, including mastery of varied media, subject matter, and 2D design concepts.

    • Concentration—12 slides of excellent technical merit that explore a single visual problem, concern, or theme.

    • Quality—5 matted original works considered the student’s best. These works should come from the breadth and concentration sections of the portfolio. The works can be no larger than 18”x24”.

  • Sketchbook: Used for recording ideas, experimentation, skill development, and exploring concepts. Your sketchbook should travel with you at all times!

Special Note: Students will be expected to produce one to two works each week in order to complete the portfolio requirements. 12 works generated each semester should demonstrate technical merit worthy of portfolio submission. It is mandatory to submit a portfolio in May in order to receive AP credit.


The standards outlined in the AP rubric will be the basis for grading in AP Studio Art. Students will engage in many individual and group critiques, leading to the submission of no fewer than 24 high-quality works.

Your work will be assessed based on class participation, daily work, project grades, and quarterly portfolio reviews. The AP grading scale will apply to all projects, with 100 total points available per project.

The final assessment will come from the College Board’s scoring of your AP portfolio. A score of 3 or higher is considered passing and means that you are qualified in the portfolio that you submitted. Many colleges and universities accept AP credit, but differ as to what scores they consider acceptable and how many credits those scores are worth. Please communicate with the college or university that you plan to attend. Your score will arrive in late July, and your portfolio will be mailed back to you in July or August.

Quality of Work:

All work is due by the posted submission deadline. You should establish an excellent work ethic in order to meet deadlines. The Law of Diminishing Returns applies to late work. (The later it is, the less it’s worth.) Late work may still be used in the portfolio. You should expect to spend 2 or more hours per week outside of class if you expect to earn passing ratings on your portfolio.

Since this is an AP class, you will be graded using the AP scoring standards as follows:

6 (96-100): Sophisticated response—excellent work. Work at this level shows evidence of risk-taking, experimentation, inventiveness, originality, and ambition, addresses complex visual or conceptual ideas, demonstrates a strong grasp of the principles of design and elements of art, uses media well, and shows strong technical merit.

5 (90-95): Competent response—strong work. Work at this level shows complexity, confidence, and great effort, and demonstrates a grasp of the elements of art and principles of design, but may have minor inconsistencies or technical flaws that do not detract from the works as a whole.

4 (80-89): Acceptable response—good work. Work at this level shows clear effort, emerging ideas with varying degrees of success and resolution, solid technical ability, and a good understanding of the elements of art and the principles of design, but the execution may not carry the idea.

3 (70-79): Hesitant response—moderate work. Work at this level shows real effort, technical acuity, and an emerging understanding of the principles and elements, but ideation may be lacking, application of technique may be erratic, and the overall response may be obvious, inconsistent, or tentative.

2 (60-69): Inadequate response—weak work. Work at this level is simplistic, trite, shows little evidence of engagement, minimal effort, lacks clear intent, and demonstrates limited artistic decision-making and a rudimentary grasp of the principles and elements.

1 (<60): Unacceptable or irrelevant response—poor work. Work at this level is clumsy, unsophisticated, confused, shows little or no effort, minimal engagement, limited thinking, haphazard decision-making, is poorly composed, and demonstrates a poor grasp of the principles and elements.


Learning to translate the 3D world around you into a 2D work of art is an essential skill for the artist. Working from photographs, except in collage and altered image assignments, is not recommended.

All work submitted in this course must be the original work of the student submitting it. Duplicating the work (including photographs) of another artist is plagiarism and is subject to the plagiarism policy in the student handbook (p. 3). All students must understand and practice artistic and academic integrity.


Because this is a college-level course requiring college-level rigor, students should expect to spend a minimum of two hours per week outside of class completing assignments, visiting galleries and museums, developing ideas, and experimenting in their sketchbooks. This will be necessary to ensure that portfolio submissions are of the highest quality and are completed in a timely fashion.


Your sketchbook should be your constant companion. It should be a space for you to record ideas in written or sketch form, and as such should travel with you every day, everywhere. It should reflect who you are and how you have grown as an artist. It should be a place for you to experiment and make mistakes that will lead to the development of your unique artistic voice and style. Your sketchbook should be a work in progress that will help you make critical and informed choices about your progress and processes in making art.  

How to use the sketchbook:

  • Fill the page and challenge the edges.

  • Make mistakes, try new things, and be spontaneous. Try not to go for perfect drawings. Loosen up!

  • Strive to finish/improve everything you start. Go back to a piece that has given you trouble. See if you can find a creative solution to the artistic problem.

  • Record the dates on which you worked with the pieces. (This helps to demonstrate growth.)

  • Draw from life. Make what you see in the world come alive on the 2D surface. Show us your vision. Challenge yourself and your audience.

  • Avoid drawing from photographs or other found images. The duplication of photographs or the work of another artist is plagiarism.

  • Avoid cute, trite, or sweet images. Challenge your notions about what makes great art.

  • Show sketches to your peers and instructor only if you want honest feedback or help.


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. Students should attend open studio time from 7:25 a.m. - 7:55 a.m.  and after school per arrangement as often as possible. This time is necessary as an opportunity to work on classroom projects and to receive further guidance on the development and completion of assigned work. It is essential that the portfolio work be completed by the posted deadlines so that the work can be photographed for submission. The College Board will not accept late portfolios.


See me before school (I usually arrive around 7:25), during my planning time (6th hour, 12:16-1:02 p.m.), or after school.


Because of the AP transition, there were no summer assignments this year


You can find the supplies you will need for class at Michaels, Wal-Mart, SKC Bookstore, UM Bookstore, or Blick Art Materials (

  • Supplies needed for class: 


    • Spiral or hard-bound sketchbook

    • A basic set of oil, watercolor,  or acrylic paints (whichever you prefer)

    • A selection of good quality brushes in various sizes and shapes

    • A set of drawing pencils and a kneaded eraser

    • A basic set of Prismacolor colored pencils

    • An 18 x 24” pad of fairly heavy drawing paper