Course Description

A.P. Studio Art: 2D Design students focus on work in a variety of media (drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, craft, (all 2 dimensional art activities) that is designed to guide their growth and personal development in the visual arts. Using a range of approaches to art making the student will be able to incorporate skills and techniques, which reflect a study of 2 dimensional art that spans personal, cultural, philosophical and historical viewpoints. A studio environment in which the students work independently while sharing ideas, work methods and opinions is established and fostered.

Course Objectives

    • Maintain a strong work ethic
    • Work through and solve visual problems effectively
    • Refine the ability to draw/render what you see
    • Understand how art elements and design principles communicate content
    • Increase awareness of the creative process
    • Increase knowledge of art tools and materials
    • Pursue the art making process with a passion

Course Requirements

    • Completion of all assigned and required studio and portfolio work
    • Keeping a sketchbook/journal. This will be reviewed and discussed periodically.
    • Research and writing to aid art making.
    • Development and creation of a Concentration.
    • Completion of all required sections of the AP Studio Art Portfolio; Quality, Concentration, and Breadth.
    • Submission of AP Studio Art: 2D Design Portfolio to the College Board’s Advance Placement Program.


    • In this course, student thinking, development of visual acuity, problem solving, and demonstration of skills in studio work are at the center of class activity, grading and assessment is viewed in this context.
    • Attendance
    • Studio participation and cooperation
    • Writing papers, comparisons, research on a wide range of subjects relating to their concentrations
    • Critiques
    • Completion of the AP Studio Art: D Design Portfolio. Each of the three sections is reviewed independently based on criteria for that section, and each carries equal weight.


All the supplies you need for this class will be supplied by the Art Department. If you want to use a material or supply that is unusual or not stocked by the school then you may bring in your own supplies as you wish.

Portfolio Objectives           

The A.P. Studio Art: 2D Design Course permits students to prepare a portfolio consisting of 3 individual sections: Quality, Concentration and Breadth. These sections are discussed in detail and shown examples provided by the College Board and examples of past student work that corresponds to each section of the portfolio. Students are also provided AP Studio Art Posters which provide images and instructions for portfolio preparation.


The student will send in 5 actual works that excel in concept, composition, and execution. The works may include drawings, paintings, prints, digital works, photographs, diagrams, plans, animation cels, collages, montages, and so forth. The works may be in one or more media; they may be on flat paper, cardboard, canvas board, or unstretched canvas. These 5 pieces will represent the best of what you can do.


In the Breadth section of the portfolio, 12 works should demonstrate a variety of conceptual approaches or breadth of understanding of the elements and principles of 2D design, including examples of unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, and figure/ground relationship.


In the Concentration section, the student will submit an additional 12 works, demonstrating a more in-depth understanding of a limited, student-directed, coherent visual idea.  The student will write a “concentration commentary” based on the prompts from the requirements of the portfolio.  From the 24 possible Breadth and Concentration pieces, the student, in dialogue with the teacher, will submit five to represent the level of quality that he has mastered.  If appropriate, work submitted can include art created by the student prior to and outside of the AP Studio Art course.  Any discussion of appropriated material by the student will emphasize that any use of another artist’s work, in any form, or any photographic source, should function only as a visual reference in the service of the individual student’s artistic vision. 

Concentration Ideas

  • Family Relationships
  • Urban Symbols
  • Suburban Interpretations
  • “My Cultural Icons”
  • Fears
  • “The Power of Words”
  • People That Have Influenced My Life
  • Organic Abstractions in Mixed Media
  • Illustration of Bible Stories with References
  • Canterbury Tales in Anime
  • Electronic self-portraits and figures from realism to abstraction
  • Black and white photographs of buildings interiors and exteriors

Assessment and Critique

6-8 problems will be assigned in 2D design, per quarter, throughout the course of the two semesters.  Thumbnail sketches and planning drawings may be required in order for the student-artist to develop and evidence a visual thought process.  Grades will be assigned based on the completion and submission of each design and participation in a rubric-based, self/peer/teacher critique.   Critiques will involve instructional conversation and analysis from all participants.  Please see the Grading Scale for the langauge and grading system we will use.


Work in the AP program must be developed beyond the level of simple duplication. Student work must be original. If a student uses someone else’s image as the basis for their own pieces, there must be a SUBSTANTIAL alteration for a work to be considered original work. Though it is difficult to not use published imagery, it is vital that students develop a sense of artistic integrity. Students will learn that to take any published image and modify, abstract, manipulate, distort, and dissect to make them their own using elements of design is a difficult process and it is strongly discouraged. Students should concentrate on using personal experience (includes: personal photographs, in person sketches, and direct observation) as a basis for their work.