AP Art 2D


Foothill Technology High School: AP Studio Art 2d design syllabus




AP Art 2-D Design


Course Description

AP Studio Art 2D is designed for the art and design student who wishes to grow their portfolio and depth of work through intensive production and peer/self-review. The course is for students passionate about visually expressing their ideas and concepts through art and who seek a course that allows for a large amount of individually developed projects. Emphasis is placed throughout the year on the creation of a portfolio that focuses on Quality, Breadth, and Concentration. Details of these three sections are shared in class, are found on the AP 2D exam poster and shared from the AP website. Each project is to be considered an opportunity to communicate an idea or concept. It will be the task of each student to make informed decisions using the tools of visual communication and through the use of the Elements and Principles of Design. Please note that previously created work as well as work made outside of the AP Studio Art course may be used for submission in the final portfolio. Each student will submit 24 works from projects completed throughout the year. Twelve works are to represent the artist’s Breadth and twelve works are to represent the artist’s Concentration. Additionally, five works must be included for the Quality section of the portfolio. Students will use the year to develop mastery in concept, composition, and the execution of 2-D design.

The Breadth portion of the portfolio is to represent the artistic range of the student. It is to contain an assortment of concepts, materials, and effectively utilize the Elements and Principles of Design. Each student will be aware of the artists associated with the assorted chosen genres. In the creation of the Breath portion of the portfolio, each student will discover what they naturally gravitate toward. This direction will lead to the Concentration portion of the portfolio. While the Breadth portion will represent the range of the artist, the Concentration portion will contain a focused, in-depth grouping of work with related features and styling. Successful concepts will be discussed at length in class. Each student will need to propose their concentration ideas through writing and through small group discussions in order to receive constructive and critical feedback. Nicholas Roukes’ book “Design Synectics: Stimulating Creativity in Design,” will be used throughout the year for the Concentration portion. Taking images and trying an assortment of variations on a theme is important and will help develop expanding each student’s visual vocabulary.

Student Objectives:

  • Students will create work that is visually expressive.
  • Students will declare their goals and desired outcomes for their art work through online writing and class discussion.
  • Students will understand that creating art is an evolutionary process.
  • Students will be open to peer-review and giving feedback to help improve other’s work.
  • Demonstrate a breadth of high-quality work, 12 pieces.
  • Develop a personal Concentration of 12 pieces.
  • Select 5 excellent quality pieces for printed presentation.
  • Discuss and record the development of the Concentration through in-class discussions, online reviews and small group critiques.
  • Students will create new work with historical knowledge of artists who are associated with the particular style they are developing. Time is given in class for research. A broad range of art history will be presented in class with specific artists and genres directed to students with related work.
  • As the class is a college level course, it is expected that students show great attention to detail and to the quality of their work.
  • It is expected that students will experiment with a broad range of mediums and become aware of the strengths and shortcomings of each.
  • Learn to collaborate; art is not made in a bubble.

Course Content:

Digital Software:

Photoshop, Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, Lightroom

Acceptable Mediums

Any 2D medium a student wishes to use to complete a project is acceptable. Digital imagery, photography, filmmaking, animation, and graphic design are all acceptable. Creating the work through traditional means initially and then scanning in the work digitally to further alter the work is acceptable as well. Filmmaking and Animation student need to be aware that motion work is not reviewed by the AP judges, but will be reviewed in class. For the end of year portfolio, Filmmaking and Animation students will be turning in screenshots of their work. It is recommended that Filmmaking students shoot a photo of their scenes before filming. This will produce a higher resolution file to work with and edit.

Online Resources:

All attempts are made to keep class material current and relevant. Therefore, an official class textbook will not be used. References from books, artist interviews, artist websites and work will be consumed through online viewing and through the class as a unit; culling and sharing found work that inspires and is relevant to the goals of the class. Below is an assortment of sites to be used throughout the year.

http://photography.bastardsbook. com/lessons/the-quality-of-light/ http://dailypost.wordpress.com/20 13/07/16/quality-of-light/ http://contemporaryartblogs.com /blogs http://artpatrol.blogspot.com/ http://www.vvork.com/ http://www.artnet.com/artists/ http://www.artnet.com/artists/top -300-artists/ http://vectroave.com/ http://newdev.viiphoto.com/ http://www.viiphoto.com/feature. html http://photographynow.net/photographers/artists/ http://www.fstopmagazine.com/li nks.html http://www.thefoxisblack.com/ http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/ http://www.featureshoot.com/ Ted Talks: Art Ted Talks, Rebel Design http://blog.iso50.com/ http://submit.curioos.com/ http://vectroave.com/ http://lookslikegooddesign.com/art-by-thefallen/ http://lookslikegooddesign.com/ http://design-milk.com/ http://behance.net http://500px.com http://1x.com http://www.booooooom.com/ http://arcofhysteria.com/ http://artistaday.com/ http://artistaday.com/?page_id=9901 http://artofoverwhelm.com/ http://foundinspirationmovingforward.tumb lr.com/tagged/quote http://www.booooooom.com/2013/05/07/ ultimate-list-of-all-the-best-art-phototumblrs-to-follow/ http://www.indefenseofart.com/archive http://juxtapozmag.tumblr.com/ http://bsimple.com/home.htm Vimeo.com


AP Photography/Digital AP 2-D Design Portfolio Requirements


Projects are assigned to the class as a whole to satisfy the Breadth requirement of 12 works. Each student is expected to demonstrating a willingness to experiment with a variety of techniques, mediums, methods and versions in order to develop the work to the level of concept and expression expected for the resulting end of year portfolio.


Each student will develop their Concentration focus throughout the year starting with an artist statement and peer review of previous years’ work. Each student is expected to propose their Concentration project ideas to the instructor as well as on the class website/Edmodo Page.

Peer Review & Self Review

For each project, each student is required to respond to five individual’s projects with constructive peer review through group class discussion, small group review and written online review. To encourage deliberate and sustained investigation of one’s art and encourage growth toward increasingly higher quality work, each student is to address the following questions before and after each project:

Research Sources

  • What influences prompted the creation of this Concentration project?
  • What outside influences can be found in your work?
  • What inspired you to make this work?
  • What did you do to prepare for the creation of this work?
  • Did you change things as you developed the work? How so?


  • What are you trying to communicate in this work?
  • What do you want the viewer to think about or feel when they look at this work?
  • How well do you think you were able to accomplish this?

Technical Applications

  • How did you integrate the Elements of Design and the Principles of Design in this work?
  • What Elements and what Principles did you focus on?

• How is color used in the work? Creative Solutions (to be written upon completion of project)

  • What did you learn from this project?
  • What are the strengths of the project?
  • What areas would you like to improve?
  • If you had to do the project over, what would you change or do differently?

Academic Integrity

It is expected that all work is original. The use of any visual media that is not created by the student is highly discouraged. Work that is based on photographs must move beyond duplication to illustrate an original idea or solve a visual problem. Direct copying of another artists work is plagiarism and may be in violation of copyrights.

Visual Digital Journal

Students are expected to keep a WordPress or Tumblr account to use as a repository of inspirational ideas and artists, as well as writing. This is to be considered for use as a digital visual journal of thoughts, ideas, and personal work.

Directed Projects for Breadth:

Project 1: Minimalist/Conceptual

Each student will pick a topic/concept to address. Pursuing that concept and/or topic, determine the best method to communicate and explore the idea. Determine which elements of design and principles of design will effectively communicate the concept. Will certain colors communicate the concept better than others? Use of space, composition, all decisions will affect how the viewer perceives the image. Layering images and textures within layers and transfer modes in Photoshop allows for collage.


Minimum of 100 images turned in for rough edit.

10 final images turned in.

Shoot in RAW

Make sure proper white balance is selected.

Pay careful attention to lighting and the quality of light. The following pages will be viewed and discussed in class:

Photography 101: The Quality of Light

Photographer Wenjie Zhang discusses the quality of light.

The Quality of Light and Shadow – The Bastards Book of Photography by Dan Nguyen

Not all kinds of light are equal Light is the one resource that can be easily and cheaply exploited by any photographer with any camera to produce a beautiful photo. Before you get caught up in the infinite other details of how your camera works, it’s more important to fully appreciate the role of light.





Decide how color will communicate within the project. Will you be making the images black & white later on? Consider limiting your palette of colors used. Example: black, white and red. Consider using muted colors, low saturation.

Push yourself creatively, do your best work, find inspiration before shooting through music, films, art, design…just find your inspiration. I always shot with loud music playing and found images I liked beforehand to give me ideas. Find your inspiration.

Project 2: Artist Copy

Why are you making the art you are making?

“A lot of good and regular art gets made because of who you talk to. No one is immune to human contact and art is not made in a vacuum.” (R. B. Kitaj)

Art is made in reaction to one’s environment. Each person brings their own perspective and life experience to their art. Art is a byproduct of this reaction. If you are not aware of your environment, and not aware of your surroundings including community, politics, social, environmental then you may not have anything to react to. I insist that you plug in to what is going on in order to respond. Your reaction to life and all its facets will provide a wealth of subject matter to address. Write these topics down to cull from. Check current news stories; see what is happening in the world, your country, your state, your city. Research topics that address your age group, your gender, your belief system, science or technology. Respond with your artwork.

Assignment Details:

Please peruse the art blogs posted and find an artist whose work you connect with. Identify what it is about the work that inspires. Is it their subject matter, their styling, their use of materials? Using their style as a springboard, you will create your own unique and personal project.

Filmmaking students,

Each of you will work with the same visuals, but your shots will of course include motion. Plan to have at least 10 different clips of approximately 30 seconds each. All shots should be done in full 1080p resolution. I will have videos for you to watch in class for examples.

The finished project will consist of 10 final images. If shooting photos, a minimum of 100 raw images is required.

Project 3: From Digital to Analog

Each student will use an image that is to be enlarged to approximately 48”x60”. This is to be done through enlarging the image using Photoshop. The image may need to be converted to a higher contrast version or converted to purely black and white using the threshold setting. Once enlarged, the image is to be sliced up into 8”x10” sections and printed onto sheets of paper. Traditional computer paper is not to be used for this assignment, instead paper grocery bags, thick art paper or watercolor paper is recommended. Demonstrations on printing are given in class. Students will add additional mediums to the work such as watercolors, pen and ink, text written or printed, soaking the image in a color wash or stain such as coffee. The goal of the project is to move from the pristine digital image and remove all the unneeded information until

Project 4: Music Inspired Project

Concentration 4 is based upon music and the visuals the music creates. The next project has its foundation rooted in music. We all listen to music and listen to different music depending on the situation, our mood, the weather, time of day, etc. Each student will pick a song or album to use as the inspiration for the project. It will not need to be a direct interpretation, but instead express the song holistically. Listening to the song, try to imagine what is going on, the story, the colors, and the mood. All of these visual elements will need to be integrated into the project. Bring the music in along with ideas to share in class. Consider using songs or music with open-ended lyrics or no lyrics at all. Here are examples that I think work well. Regardless of liking the songs or not, they have strong visuals and tell a story.



This last video is from a scene in the movie, Immortal Beloved. In it, the very deaf Beethoven is remembering scenes from his childhood, (spoiler…bad father) while his music is being performed. The scene of running matches the music well. For your project, try to imagine what is going on, a visual soundtrack. Ten final images will be turned in for a total of 100 points.

Concentration 5: Thesis Statement

Thesis: an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument.

Antithesis: exact opposite; “his theory is the antithesis of mine”

What defines who you are? Are these characteristics visual, or internal, or both? Each student will need to determine what it is that defines who they are. This will need to be done in visual terms. At the conclusion of this, each student will need to post a thesis statement declaring “I am…”

In contrast, an antithesis will need to be created. The statement, “I am not…” will help prompt ideas for visual representation of who or what the student isn’t.

Once having completed the creation of a list of “I am” and “I am not…” statements it is time to start creating visual metaphors for the concepts behind thesis/antithesis. Use of color, background, hair, clothes, settings, body language and expression will help create the strength of the images.

For the Thesis/Antithesis project, you the student will be declaring what you are, and what you are not through the creation of 8 highly staged photographs. This will be hard, I am aware of that, push yourself with your ideas and at the completion of the project, you will be proud of your creation.

The only alteration of the images in Photoshop is: levels, color adjustment, cropping, or converting to B&W. Shoot both images in the same format; both portrait or landscape format. A lighting demo will be done in class using artificial light, window light, bounced light, and a combination of artificial and natural light. Go forth and create stunning images that provoke, inspire, create questions, create answers, and ultimately, you are proud of.

Project 6: Juxtaposition Project

Objectives Objectives

The student will create three pairs of images containing/creating paradoxical juxtapositions. The student will select one pair to print out and mat.

Requirements · Each student will create three compositions.
· Each composition will have a minimum of two images side by side.
· It will be the student’s option to add additional images to the composition, and the placement of the images.
· The recommendation is side-by- side, or images paced on top of each other.
· If adding more than the required two images, it must be with great discrimination.
· Additional images can greatly weaken the power of the contrasting images, blurring the intent of the student’s message.
• Each composition will be either 8″x20″ or 16×8″. We will be printing the images on computer paper, and each composition will take two sheets, thus

the sizes.

Description Project two is designed to force the exploration of paradox. Paradox will be defined through the choice of images and the juxtaposition created when the images are placed together. Paradox and juxtapositions will be thoroughly discussed in class, as will example images.

Examples can be found at the following websites: Juxtaposition Art Politic Political Art

Each student should pick a topic/concept that they feel passionately about. Project 3 is not necessarily a political project, but political topics are acceptable. Please select topics that have depth. Ideas that would work include: politics, environment, race, poverty, pollution, war, peace, love, hate, etc. If unsure about the chosen topics, please see the instructor. Have fun, explore, try new ideas: avoid the stereotypical, the obvious, and the banal.

Specifications The images used for project 3 needs to be ready for print. Therefore, the images will need to be at high resolution in order for high print quality. If a camera smaller than two megapixels is used, the quality will not be acceptable. A demo will be presented on the creation of the final Photoshop document. Final images need to be saved in PSD format at 150-200 ppi. Careful consideration will need to be given to images that are extremely dark, as they will not hold the shadow detail when printed.

As this is a project, grading will be based upon the photo rubric and grading will focus on the technical mastery, as well as the creative effort and concept. It is important that the concept be thoroughly thought out before shooting. Please pay careful attention to every aspect of the image, (i.e. contrast, color, composition, focus, motion, saturation, grain, and format).

Project 5: Extraordinary Project

For the Extraordinary Project, your job, as a photographer is to create images that are extraordinary. Come up with ideas, concepts that are out of this world, create combinations that are not usually seen.

Your ideas should include: altering the look of the person by changing their hair style, hair color, add things to the hair, etc. Makeup: this is an excellent time to experiment with makeup. Go overboard; we are used to seeing images with lots of makeup. Use the makeup as a tool to create a mood in the photograph. The placement of the person is very important, think of the background you can use. Do not turn in anything less than amazing! Conjure up all of your creative juices and have fun with this project!

Project 7: This I Believe Project

This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. In creating This I Believe, Murrow said the program sought “to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization.” This I Believe website


1. There is No God 2. Finding Pride in America 3. Seeing with the Heart 4. Recovering the Hope of Children

5. The Bird Who Broke Through the Window 6. How my son saved my life

7. Honor Killing Project details: Each student will create ten images that visually translate the topics discussed in the “This I Believe” essay. Images should be technically proficient: properly exposed, in focus, and with a strong concept. Please avoid images that deal with surface level topics; instead focus on creating imagery that has metaphor and allusions.

The project consists of three parts:

  1. Images: Ten images relating to the project including supporting text.
  2. Essay: Three to five paragraphs of writing on a specific topic. Please select something with substance and meaning to you. Again, avoid surface-level topics that might include material possessions.
  3. Design element: How the images and essay are put together into one unified projects. As discussed in class, consider the placement of the pictures, type of paper used, fonts, inks, etc. It is perfectly acceptable to cut up the images, paint on the project, and handwrite the text. Move away from creating a presentation board to creating a piece of art that incorporates text and imagery. The method to display the images is open for interpretation as well. It is recommended that each student design a unique way to present the project to the class. Projects will be browsed over before presenting to the class. Each student will read their statement, then explain the images used in the project.

Project 8: Questions Without Answers Project

Each student will be creating a series of work from the theme of Questions Without Answers. The series will be conceived and executed by the student through a series of steps to be discussed at length in class.

The final project is to be a personal narrative on the theme of Questions Without Answers. The work of Duane Michals Doug and Mike Starn, and Robert Parkeharrison will be reviewed in class, and examples can be found below using the provided links.

Artists Studied:

Starn Twins Examples and their Website

Rober ParkeHarrison Website Video Slideshow

Duane Michels here & here Bio images story

Teun Hocks Each student will be individually addressing the concept of Questions without Answers through the use and creation of imagery, poetry, text, and image manipulation. Think of the project as a graphic journal with a theme. Ask a question, and then attempt to answer the question for yourself. An example would include, “what is the meaning of life?” Your answer will be different from other students, that is why the question has no true answer.

All text needs to be handwritten, and can be done in any medium. Text can be neat, sloppy, in columns, spill over onto the image itself, etc. All use of text should be well thought out and add to, not detract from the power of the image. Do not use work from other artists in this book, only images created by you. The text should be from poems, lyrics, personal reflections, personal writings, etc. All text is to be handwritten.

The project requires each student to ask themselves unanswerable questions. Examples include:

  1. What is my purpose in this world?
  2. Who am I to be in this world?
  3. What is Love, Life, Death, Hate, Regret, Fear?
  4. My last breath, will find me…
  5. My Last breath will leave me having done…
  6. Why your fears, why your dreams, why your passions?
  7. You are changed by me because…
  8. My fingerprints are found…

The themes that should be addressed are to be questions on both a global scale and questions at the individual/personal level. Examples include being or not being American, Californian. Address being female/male, your ethnicity, religion, beliefs, etc. Address universal themes,and bring it to the individual level. The intertwining of BODY-MIND-SPIRIT will need to be addressed and integrated into your writing. How do your body-mind-spirit create who you are? Video example from The Thin Red Line

Fight Club

“It is no accident that you are reading this. I am making black marks on white paper. These marks are my thoughts, and although I do not know who you are reading this now, in some way the lines of our lives have intersected… For the length of these few sentences, we meet here.

It is no accident that you are reading this. This moment has been waiting for you, I have been waiting for you. Remember me.”

– Duane Michals Images for book are due on the server (20 pts)

Completed book/collage (200 pts)

It is not a requirement for this book that the cover be made from hand. Examples will be shown in class for acceptable types of purchased covers. Each student still has the option to create a cover by hand. It is required that each image be printed as a photograph as opposed to using ink-jet printers. Size of book should not exceed 8.5″x11″ Larger sizes must be first approved by the teacher.

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