AP Studio Art Overview

Summary: AP Studio Art.

Ballard High School

Mr. Harkleroad msharkleroad@seattleschools.org

Summer Assignment: Elements & Principle Deck Overview

This assignment should be completed for the first day of class. You will receive a grade for your summer work. AP Studio Art requires a significant amount of time outside of class to meet the requirements of the AP program. Be prepared to spend 2-5 hours a week during the summer and 6-8 hours a week during the school year. Note: Students are not assured a place in an AP class until they receive their schedule in Sept.

Lab Fees Information – Due in Sept 2022

According to new school regulations, we are no longer allowed to “charge” a lab fee for students taking AP Studio Art. However, there is still no funding allocated to run a AP Studio Art program. For this reason, I am strongly encouraging all students taking AP Studio Art to consider making a “donation” of $30/ semester or $60 for the entire year to the Art Department.

Over the past few years, the cost of many of the supplies that we use for AP Studio Art has gone way up and there is simply no way that we can run a AP Studio Art without your donations.

Also, if it is at all possible, I am asking families who are financially able to consider sending more than the minimum $60 donation. Your donations will not only go towards the purchase of supplies, but will enhance your child’s learning experience in AP Studio Art, and afford us the ability to continue our program. Thank you for your consideration.

AP Studio Art

AP Studio Art Course Description Syllabus

This course is designed for the serious art student who is prepared to focus on their art and develop mastery in composition, concept, and execution of work in the realm of drawing and painting.  Students will develop a body of work over the span of one school year, continually building upon new insights and skills that will come from teacher and student directed critiques as well as their on-going explorations through a range of drawing or design projects. Students will submit a portfolio of their work at the end of the school year that will include examples of quality, concentration, and breadth

Portfolio Components: Quality, Concentration, and Breadth

There are three major components of the AP Art Studio course:  an overall sense of quality in the student work, a concentration or body of work that explores an original visual idea through the visual form of drawing, and the demonstration of breadth: a range of abilities, techniques in drawing, as well as a level of risk taking.


Students must submit five actual works of art that successfully demonstrate overall mastery of Drawing.  These pieces can come from the breadth or concentration section of the student’s portfolio but don’t have to be.  The work may be related but doesn’t need to be.


Students must submit twelve digital images that thoroughly investigate an original theme or visual idea through the visual form of drawing. Through both student and teacher lead critique, in addition to thorough personal reflection and investigation, students will identify a visual idea that they wish to pursue. Further, students will develop and execute a coherent plan of action to achieve their goals.

Potential topics for Concentration might include:

• Design and execution of a children’s book

• Political cartoons using current events and images

• Series of works starting with representational interpretations and evolving into abstraction

• Exploration of pattern and designs found in nature and/or culture

• Abstractions developed from cells and other microscopic images

• A personal or family history communicated through symbols or imagery

• Use of multiple modules to create compositions that reflect narrative or psychological events.

• Series of landscapes that use color and composition to intensify artistic expression


Students submit twelve images of twelve different works, which demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles of design within the context of drawing. This part of the portfolio should show process, growth, and discovery as well as a range of abilities, techniques, and a high level of risk taking. Breadth may be achieved in these drawing studies with the use of one medium of a variety of media.

Potential topics for Breadth might include:

  • Minimalism
  • Academic still life drawn from observation
  • Design a tarot card
  • Pure abstraction
  • Emulation of an artist or movement
  • The grid
  • Non-traditional materials
  • Etc.

2D Design

  • Quality
    • 5 actual works, min. size: 18 x 24 inches
  • Concentration
    • 12 digital images, some of which are detail (close –ups)
  • Breadth
    • 12 digital images of 12 works


  • Quality
    • 5 actual works, min. size: 18 x 24 inches
  • Concentration
    • 12 digital images, some of which are detail (close –ups)
  • Breadth
    • 12 digital images of 12 works

Content of the Class

The course includes the following three components:

  • A. Study of contemporary artists and movements. In addition to class work, students are expected to visit galleries and the local art museums on their own plus read materials from the recommended reading lists.
  • B. A sketchbook to be composed of visual ideas, notes, photos, doodles, plans, short assignments, quick drawings, critiques and practice of various techniques to help students build depth and meaning to their artwork.
  • C. Development of the student’s portfolio for AP Drawing or Design.


Students will have regular small-group, class, peer and one-on-one teacher critiques of their work. By the end of the year students will be able to discuss their work as well as the work of others thoughtfully and with the ability to use the elements of art and principles of design.


All work must be original. If students use someone else’s work or a published image as a basis for their own pieces, there must be significant alteration to the piece for it to be considered original! During individual as well as group discussions and critiques, students will develop an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and how to maintain their own artistic integrity. Copyright issues are discussed with the students early on—they are made aware of the legal issues involved with working from someone’s published work.

Course Schedule

Check the BHS School website, AP College Board website frequently for all important dates regarding deadlines for registration and submission dates.

Students will be required to turn in a Portfolio Power Point to Mr. Harkleroad by the end of the school year.

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