• Choose your AP Studio Art Portfolio (see below)  and then complete at least 3 assignments from that area.  

    In order to complete your College Board Studio Portfolio, you will need to submit quite a few quality pieces. The total amount of pieces required will be 24. It is very difficult to accomplish all of this during the school year, so you will need “back up” pieces just in case some of the work you completed is not up to par so the more you work on this summer, the better off you will be. Summer assignments help alleviate the pressure during the school year of producing the many quality pieces needed for a successful portfolio.

    Your assignment is to produce quality pieces over the summer. Each artwork should take approximately 10 hours, be constructed or drawn or painted on a quality surface (no lined notebook paper or in your sketchbook!), display forethought, good composition, exceptional craftsmanship, have mature subject matter (avoid overused symbols), be no smaller than 9" x 12" and no larger than 18" x 24".(for 2D design/drawing)

    Good composition means consider the background as well as the foreground. The negative space should be as attractive as the positive forms. Pace yourself - work consistently.

    2D design portfolio

    • Demonstrate your understanding of design principles as applied to a 2-Dimensional surface
    • Articulate the principles of design (unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition. proportion/scale, and figure/ground space relationship) through the visual elements (line, shape, color, value, texture, and space)
    • Submit work in any 2-dimensional process or medium, including, but not limited to: graphic design, digital imaging, photography, collage, fabric design, fashion design, illustration, etc.

    Drawing portfolio

    • Consider line quality, light and shade, rendering of form, composition, surface manipulation, the illusion of depth, mark-making, and the relationship of ideas, materials, and processes.
    • Abstract, observational, and non-objective works may be submitted.
    • Think about the range of marks used to make drawings, the arrangement of the marks, and hte materials used to make the marks.
    • Drawing can be addressed through a wide range of media that include but are not limited to, traditional drawing media, painting, printmaking, digital drawing, and combinations of media.

    3D portfolio

    • Use design elements and principles to support ideas in a integrative way
    • Demonstrate your understanding of design principles as they relate to depth and space whether physical or virtual
    • Articulate principles of design (unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, and occupied/unoccupied space) through the visual elements ( fiber arts/fashion, jewelry and body adornment and time-based media
    • Explore 3-D design through additive, subtractive,or  fabrication.
    • Approaches include, but are not limited to: figurative or non-figurative sculpture, architectural models, metal work, ceramics, three-dimensional

    All summer assignments are due by the end of the first week of school.  They may become part of the students breadth work.  Assignments will be graded and counted as 30% of the first marking period grade. .

    Helpful hints:

    1. Draw directly from life!! Draw directly from life!! Draw directly from life instead of using reference photos, whenever possible. If you must use a photo, take your own or use a photo from the public domain. Attach the photo to the back of the work. The AP Readers (Judges), as well as art schools love to see a drawing made from life.
    2. Use quality materials for your art. Good materials make it easier to create good work. Use at least 80 lb white drawing paper and canvas paper for painting. (email me and I can meet you at school to get needed supplies if you don’t have them,( rcolton@starpointcsd.org)
    3. Use standard sizes, Stay within the 18” x 24” size, so that these pieces could be used for the quality section of your portfolio.
    4. Use a sketchbook to plan your artwork. Make several thumbnails, jot down notes, glue in reference images, and do color studies when needed.
    5. Use a variety of media, even combining them for mixed media.
    6. Use a complete range of values. All drawings must be complete with full values – no exceptions!
    7. Apply the elements and principles of design to all of your artwork  – if you don’t know them, you better learn them for the FIRST DAY OF CLASS!
    8. DO NOT SIGN YOUR NAME TO THE FRONT OF YOUR WORK or place any identifying marks on the front as per AP Guidelines. Be sure to write your name on the back.
    9. Visit the AP Central website to see sample portfolios and to become familiar with requirements.


    2D design/drawing Summer assignments:

    1. Do a self-portrait, or several different ones, that expresses a specific mood/emotion–e.g., anger/rage, melancholy/loneliness, happiness/joy, etc. Manipulate light and color to enhance the psychological atmosphere. Also, consider the development of the environment/setting.
    2. Do a portrait, self-portrait, landscape, or still-life in the style of another artist in which formal aspects of design are emphasized—i.e. Monet/Impressionism, Matisse/Fauvism, Picasso/Cubism, Warhol/Pop, Dali/Surrealism, Van Gogh/Post impressionism, etc. Do a bit of research to understand the stylistic tendencies of these artists/movements.
    3. Do some exploration with mixed media. Do a piece (portrait, self-portrait, landscape, or still life) in which you use at least three different media—i.e., a wet medium, a dry medium and some collage element.
    4. Do a portrait, self-portrait, still life, or landscape using either a complementary, analogous, or split complementary color scheme (you may use black and white as well as shades and tints of the chosen hues). Do a drawing/painting of an unusual interior—for instance, looking inside a closet, cabinet, refrigerator, inside your car... use your imagination!
    5. Do a drawing/painting of your worldly treasures as they come to life—animate them.
    6. Do a drawing/painting of your hands arranged in a variety of poses. You must carefully plan your composition in order for the separate units to work together visually.
    7. Do a color rendering of a still-life arrangement consisting of your family member’s shoes—try to convey some “sense” of each of your individual family member’s distinct personalities in your piece.
    8. Do a drawing/painting of a metallic object such as a motorcycle, spoons, etc. All reflections must be done.
    9. Remake a master’s work by: Choose 2 or more: changing colors, changing items or a person, or include something that wasn’t there before. (choose from the following artists: Edward Hopper, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Jim Dine, Albrecht Durer, Romare Bearden, Keith Haring, Jacob Lawrence, Frida Kahlo, Kathe Kollwitz, Claude Monet, Edouard Vuillard, Andrew Wyeth, Piet Mondrian, Faith Ringgold)
    10. Draw a collection of glass bottles. Create an interesting composition.
    11. Create a self-portrait using torn pieces of black and white newspaper. Within a newspaper, you can find any different values created by the size and spacing of the type and by photos. Use these values to create the form needed for a portrait. You may also use some black and gray paper, but the finished work should have 50% newspaper.  
    12. A close up of a bicycle/tricycle from an unusual angle. Not just a side view. MUST include shadow. work from a photo that YOU take.
    13. Extreme close-up of food, almost to the point of abstraction. Very detailed. Cut up fruits and veggies and look closely at the insides for interesting abstract qualities. Use color.
    14. Combine text with art. Collage other elements.
    15. Buildings in a landscape. Draw on location or take a variety of photos to draw from later. Old churches are great for this. Make sure perspective is correct.
    16. Create a colorful design for a handbag, clothing, chair, etc. Research Trina Turk’s bags and the psychedelic art movement
    17. Draped Figure. Drape a person in clothing with lots of folds. A sheet works well. The point is to show the correct proportions of the figure and to carefully render the intricate folds. Including the subject will make this drawing even better. Consider adding a patterned background
    18. Contrast of textures. Place 3 eggs on a towel, cloth or crumbled paper (preferably patterned) to create an interesting composition. Draw in pencil OR colored pencil. Pay attention to the smoothness of the eggs against the rough quality of the towel. Imply a light source and use a variety of values
    19. Get outside! Take your camera or sketchbook and do a series of nature close up sketches. Select one and render in pencil. Concentrate on values and textures.
    20. Abstraction. Research abstraction and the works of Tom C. Fedro. Create an abstract work similar to his designs. Faces, animals, objects, etc
    21. A still-life arrangement of objects representing members of your family—a favorite pair of shoes, a toy etc. You must have at least 3 objects and use an unusual viewpoint or angle. You might put the objects on the floor and stand up looking down at them.
    22. A still-life arrangement of 3 or more reflective objects. Your goal is to convey convincing representation. Sketch and shade for contrast and drama. Consider doing this as a self-portrait—draw yourself distorted in a shiny object
    23. Café Drawing—go to a coffee shop to sit and sketch. In your drawing, capture the essence of the place by capturing the people and things that you see.
    24. Self-portrait of yourself that is done by looking at your reflection in an unusual reflective surface—in other words something other than a mirror. This could be an appliance (toaster, blender), a computer monitor, a broken warped mirror, etc.
    25. Develop a composition that shows progressive magnification of a subject: Select either an organic or inorganic object to draw.  Divide a large piece of drawing paper into 9 equal sections. Starting in the top-left box, draw a representational, overall view of the object as accurately as you can.  In the next box to the right, imagine that you have a camera with a zoom lens and draw a close-up portion of the object in accurate detail. In the remaining sections, continue zooming in on the  object and enlarging finer details. The last frame should be enlarged detail created with the aid of a magnifying glass or microscope.
    26. Create a Mythological Event:  think up a story involving the imaginary revolt of one of the following: domestic animals, computers, machines, kitchen appliances, elevators, flowers, etc.  Visualize your idea by making a convincing illustration of the event.
    27. TOOLS & HARDWARE.  Make a rendering of tools and hardware. Arrange the objects to create an engaging composition. Stress the mechanical and artificial qualities of the objects. Augment
      the lighting to create maximum contrast and high shine areas. Explore the smallest detail of each object. Use white paper with permanent marker (scribble line, stippling, or cross hatching)
    28. FENCES & GATES:Drawing fences and gates will help you apply and understand linear perspective.  Position yourself so that a strong exaggeration of the contour lines occurs. Draw the characteristics of the fence/ gate as realistically as possible. Pay attention to joint
      areas and attachments. Ebony Pencils or Permanent Marker using scribble line, cross
      hatching or stippling.
    29. ARCHITECTURALLY INSPIRED JEWELRY OR CLAY SCULPTURE: Design a series of earrings or clay sculpture that is inspired by an architectural element such as a hinge, a door, door knob, window, window latch, chair, a street lamp, or a metal window grate. Abstract the form, repeat the motif or element to create a whole new idea.
    30. Draw an object submerged in water. You can submerge it in a clear container and view
      from the side, view it from above, of have the object half in and half out of the water to
      observe the distortion.

    Students planning on doing the 2D Design Portfolio with an emphasis on Graphic Design should consider the following projects. Try to get started on several ideas.

    1) CD Design

    2) Poster Design
    3) Package Design
    4) Typographic Designs
    5) Color Design
    6) Logo Design
    7) Advertisement
    8) Logo and Stationery Design

    3D Design Summer Assignments

    1. Assemblage sculpture - Create an assemblage sculpture.  The sculpture can be an abstract design that emphasizes one or more of the elements/principles of art of it can be representational.  You should research Assemblage before you begin. Some artists to look at are Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Louise Nevelson, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Man Ray.  Collect a large amount of objects that could be used for the sculpture. It is est to collect more than you can use so you have a lot to choose from.
    2. Create a figure sculpture that is a caricature or abstraction.  Use yourself or a family member as your model. Think about elongation, volume, or distortion of some portion of the figure.  Alberto Giacometti, Henri Moore, and Red Grooms are some artists to look at.
    3. Create a representational animal sculpture with wire.  The sculpture should have volume.
    4. Create a self-portrait in 3D.  Your portrait may be executed in any style using any media as long as elements of your essence are incorporated.
    5. Students will use more than 300 pieces of one type of common household object (ex: screws, nails, pencils etc.) to create a sculpture that emphasizes pattern and rhythm.  Before starting, the objects may be painted if preferred
    6. In this project, deconstructing means changing the object from a book(s) to a sculpture. There's more to "deconstructing" a book than just altering the pages. The tools are very basic - scissors, glue and a desire to experiment! An online search of “book sculptures”, “book arts”, “carved books”, etc. will lead you to some amazing art. Just remember it is ok to be inspired by someone’s work but it is not ok to plagiarize!
    7. Free Choice - Create a work using the media and subject matter of your choice.
    8. Take a bunch of one everyday object (paperclips, beads, screws, pencils) and make a freestanding animal, human or bust out of them.
    9. Create a 10” or larger “vessel” using only natural materials (sticks, leaves, stones).
    10. Using a minimum of 15 found objects (trash, recyclables, old toys, etc…) create an abstract sculpture that focuses on positive/negative space. Focus on craftsmanship and a well-thought out design. Size may vary, but your final sculpture must be a minimum of 12” inches in at least one direction.  
    11. Using a styrofoam head, mask, or plastic doll or similar items as your base, embellish the form with found objects to make a statement about you. You can sand away painted details from the original form and/or spray paint them, add shoe polish, or nail polish. Add your own details with paint, paper, beads, zippers, your favorite old clothing (fabric scraps), buttons, bottle caps, human hair, wire, chicken or turkey bones, rubber bands, balloons, etc.. Consider themes such as dimensions of your character and personality or even your five senses. Build an appropriate environment or pedestal for it where your 3D self portrait would live or where it would be displayed. The use of a single word, quote, or journal entry may add to the display
    12. Create an item from nature using very constructive, manmade materials. Examples: flowers made of metal bolts, and nails, an animal constructed with computer parts, a human figure made of glass bottles. It may be your desire to combine several small items to create an ensemble of sculptures. Height: 10” minimum excluding the base.
    13. Find multiple recycled items such as 25 plastic forks, 25 corks and wooden dowels, a variety of sticks and natural objects, an assortment of metal objects. Think about creating an animal, insect or bird out of these recycled items. Use hot glue, sewing, or wire to attach them to one another.
    14. Create an abstract sculpture using clear packing tape, duct tape and wire. Consider the shape and form from every angle. Add an element of surprise!
    15. Create rolls or tubes from newspaper, old phone books or other specially selected papers. Create a unified, freestanding sculpture using these forms. Embellish, accent, or design the surface.
    16. Reconstruct an old piece of furniture. Rearrange or juxtapose parts. Paint or resurface with added features or materials.
    17. Salad collage - Fruit or Vegetable. Slice some vegetables or fruit in half. Examine the layers and curves and seeds that a pepper, an onion, a mushroom, an orange, a pomegranate, or apple might have. Create a collage using cut colored paper, or photocopies/scanned images of the slide items. Distort them, shrink them using the computer or photocopier. To create a three-dimensional relief or sculpture, layers can be built up using foam core board and toothpicks to achieve strength and height.
    18. Construct a toy or stuffed animal: bottle caps or flip tops from soda and or juice cans, metal wrapping from gum, candy packages, toothpicks, tongue depressors, toilet and or paper towel rolls. Scraps of fabric, needle and thread and glue….You may also choose to alter a stuffed animal by tearing it apart and re-creating a sewn toy from other stuffed animals. Thrift stores are a great place to start collecting random toys kids did not want.
    19. Using a modeling material of your choice (clay, plaster, styrofoam, fabric, etc) create a pair of 3-dimensional entities (plant or animal) from the natural world.  Your depiction may be realistic, abstract, symbolic, or nonobjective. Portray the entities as two distinctly different versions of the same plant/animal, and make them interact in some way.
    20. Create a 3-dimensional sculpture from found materials (natural and/or synthetic) that embodies the concept of movement, actual or implied.  You may choose to observe the work of Tomoko Takahashi, Kurt schwitters, Arman, Marina de Bris, John Dahlsen, and Harosi.
    21. Transform an Ordinary Shoe to Exemplify a Design principle.  Get an old shoe or boot. Select a design principle to epitomize unity, variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion scale or occupied/unoccupied space.  Deconstruct or reconstruct the shoe using additive and reductive processes to develop a sculptural form that unmistakably exemplifies the design principle you selected. Embellish surfaces of the shoe-based form to further reinforce the design principle.  Mount the completed sculpture on a base.
    22. Create a sculpture that produces sound effects.  Collect materials and objects that can be used to produce different sounds.  Design and construct a sculpture that involves the perception of sound. The structure may involve spectator participation, insofar as it can be “played” like a musical instrument; may react to environmental conditions on its own (having elements that respond to wind, rain, etc.  and translates them into sounds through appropriate devices; or may be a kinetic sculpture programmed with switches, timers, or other mechanisms to create a amplify sound. In addition to addressing the sound-producing problem, design the sculptural form to ensure its audiences realize it sound-producing capabilities through visual as well as aural properities.
    23. Using wire and polymer clay (Sculpey) or wire and paper mache, design two or more small figures representing portraits of people in your life. Show the relationship between the figures and create a simple setting for figures. Examine the figure/ground relationship, unity of forms, placement and how light will be used. Look at the work of Alexander Calder, Sandy Skoglund, Red Grooms, George Segal, for reference and
    24. Mechanical Imitation of Nature. Create an item from nature using very constructive, manmade materials. Examples: flowers made of metal bolts, and nails, an animal constructed with computer parts, a human figure made of glass bottles. It may be your desire to combine several small items to create an ensemble of sculptures. Height: 10” minimum excluding the base.
    25. Creating an Aesthetic Object from an Abandoned Derelict: Find an interesting object from the garage, attic, flea market, auction, or second-hand store. Transform the object by covering its entire surface with textural materials: mosaic, pebbles, glass, mirrors, feathers, flocking, yarn, paper, sand, photos, rope, coins, marble or granite chips, smaller objects, etc. Do this by using white glue: Spread glue on the surface, then sprinkle fine-particle materials such as sand, marble dust, or sawdust on it. (Use tile
      cement to attach heavier materials.)
    26. Altered Books: Students will acquire an old book from the library and make it into something new. All parts of the book can be ripped, cut, folded or altered in any other way in order to create a new story for the object.
    27. Research found art sculpture; create a found art sculpture in the style of a master artist. Examples include Pablo Picasso, Joseph Cornell, and Louise Nevelson.
    28. Wearable Art/Jewelry Making: Create a piece of jewelry using any chosen materials, such as polymer clay, wire, hemp, glass beads, wood, etc.
    29. Earth-Inspired Sculpture: Create a sculpture using earth objects and materials.  Research Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration
    30. Symbolism Sculpture: Create a sculpture that represents an important aspect of you.  Use appropriate materials to portray your message and ideas.

    Sketchbook Work in your sketchbook is an ongoing process that will help you make informed and critical decisions about the progress of your work. Your sketchbook is the perfect place to try a variety of concepts and techniques as you develop your own voice and style. This will become your Investigation WorkBook (IWB) and will be worth 30% of your grade next year. You should begin this over the summer and continue it throughout the year.  I will be checking it each week. Date all pages as you complete them. There will also be observational drawings (3 each 5 weeks) due.

    Your IWB has 4 criteria:

    1. Independent research- even if the start of your research is from an assignment, take a personal, independent approach
    2. Critical research- critical analysis of your work and work of others, using specific, specialized vocabulary of visual art (elements, principles of design and aesthetics, vocabulary specific to photography or painting, vocabulary relating to art movements, media or techniques). You must avoid using “I like” or other slang terms.
    3. Contextual research- investigating other cultures (especially non-Western) for inspiration-expand your mind! You are not copying work of other cultures just using what you explore for inspiration and ideas for your own work.
    4. Visual research- ideas and plans for studio pieces or photo shoots, examples of artists, art movements, techniques or? you are researching. Experiments with media or techniques.

    Improve your IWB by:

    1. Annotating next to thumbnail sketches and material explorations.
    2. Do research because you are interested in an idea, concept or skill, not just because you have been given an assignment. Research further concepts, artists, styles, and materials we use in class.
    3. Use a variety of materials (watercolor, pastels, oil pastels, inks, color pencil, collage, and pen). If you don’t know how to use something…look it up!
    4. Write down, draw, paint or glue in images of what inspires you.
    5. Draw in it almost every day! Draw from observation (life around you!)
    6. DO NOT make “perfect” drawings. Make imperfect drawings; make mistakes; make false starts.
    7. ALWAYS FILL the page you are working on. Go off the edges whenever possible. Do not make dinky little drawings in the center of the page. Make every square inch count for something.
    8. Do not start something and abandon it. Go back later, change it, and make it into something else. Being able to rescue bad beginnings is the sign of a truly creative mind.
    9. Always finish what you start no matter how much you don’t like it.
    10. Put the date on every page you finish.
    11. 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. If you are going to use a photograph, please tape/paper clip a copy of it to the page.

    Assignments:  Start your Investigation WorkBook (IWB) by writing your name on the inside cover.  Begin by including an autobiography. This can include anything you think is important. You can talk about your art, your life, your likes or dislikes. You can talk about your goals, your dreams. You can illustrate it with photos or drawings

    • Research the elements and principles of design and record each definition in your  IWB. Illustrate each element and principle with an example (small sketch or thumbnail). Use these pages for future reference when critiquing your work and that of other artists. Write about why they are important and find two examples of artwork that has a clear example of a principle or element of design. At least two pages.  
    • Research and analyze at least one artist from any time period, focusing on their style, symbolism and techniques. Talk about several pieces of their work using specific vocabulary and using the formal elements of design. Create study drawings on one work. At least 3 pages. (Attached is list of contemporary artists)  
    • Research the meaning of at least one symbol (e.g. circle, hand, etc.) in 5 different cultures (include 2 non-western cultures). What does this symbol mean as an archetype? Plan at least three pieces around your research. Create at least one studio piece from your investigations.
    • Investigate two media that you have already used and two more you are unfamiliar with. This is to improve present skills as well as build new ones. Record experiments, useful tips and techniques, interesting artists and pieces related to the media chosen. At least 5 pages.  
    • Practice drawing from life. Create at least one piece from the following categories: landscape, still life, portrait or self-portrait. Draw from life, not from photos. Be sure to keep the composition, focal point and background in mind when planning your piece.  Include at least 2 pages of planning.
    • In addition to the above assignments, use your IWB over the summer. It is a requirement for next year. A good rule of thumb is about 4-5 pages a week. Some weeks you will have more, some less. Make each page count…no pages of tiny drawings that are meaningless.
    • Even though you have assignments, they are flexible and can be tailored to your interests. If you are going on trips – bring it with you!  Draw in the car, the airplane, airport, the beach! Subway station!


    Complete the following in your sketchbook/IWB -

    • Start your Investigation WorkBook (IWB) by writing your name on the inside cover.  Begin by including an autobiography. This can include anything you think is important. You can talk about your art, your life, your likes or dislikes. You can talk about your goals, your dreams. You can illustrate it with photos or drawings
    • Research the elements and principles of design and record each definition in your  IWB. Illustrate each element and principle with an example (small sketch or thumbnail). Use these pages for future reference when critiquing your work and that of other artists. Write about why they are important and find two examples of artwork that has a clear example of a principle or element of design. At least two pages.