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AP Studio Art Summer Assignment


You will complete a minimum of 3 projects over the summer as your AP Studio Art class preparation. These assignments will be due the first day of class, September ___. You will receive a major grade for your summer work. It is your choice as to which assignments you complete from the list to follow. Pieces should be between 9×12” and 24 x 36” in size – the assignments are about quality, not quantity. Work with the size of paper that is more comfortable for you. You may use any media or mixed media of your choice.  You are encouraged to explore media that you have not used before. These pieces are work for your “Breadth” section of the portfolio and the emphasis on this section of work is a variety of media, styles, approaches and subject matter.


  • A self-portrait that expresses a specific mood. Think about the effects of color and how its’ use can help to convey the individual mood. You may use any style (realism, cubism, expressionism, etc.). Do some research online or at area museums about different artist’s self-portraits and the styles and techniques they used to create them.
  • Still life arrangement that consists of 3 or more reflective (glass or metals are good) objects. Your goal is to convey a convincing representation.
  • A drawing of an unusual interior – for example, looking inside of a closet, cabinet, refrigerator, inside of a draw, inside your car, under the car’s hood etc.
  • A still-life arrangement of your family members’ shoes. You should include at least three shoes – go for interesting shape, design, texture, color. Set them in an interesting composition.
  • A close-up drawing of a bicycle/tricycle from an unusual angle. Do not draw the bicycle from the side! (note:  a few art schools still require a drawing of a bicycle in your portfolio)
  • Buildings in a landscape: Do a drawing on location. Look for a building or spot in your neighborhood that is part of your neighborhood’s identity. It could be a firehouse, restaurant park, church or any other building or place that you frequent or pass by often and would miss seeing if it were torn down. Use correct perspective techniques. 
  • Expressive landscape: locate a landscape near your home or use a photograph you have taken of a landscape – you can also use multiple sketches or photos of different landscapes to create a unique one (it is best to work from an actual subject, so try to do this outdoors, looking at the actual landscape). Use expressive color to draw that landscape to express a mood or feeling.
  • Create a self-portrait that is done by looking at your reflection in an unusual reflective surface – in other words, something other than a normal mirror. This could be a metal appliance (toaster, blender), a computer monitor, a broken or warped mirror, etc.
  • Café drawing (or any other local hangout): go to a place where you can sit and sketch for a long period of time. In your drawing, capture the essence of this place (local eatery/café, bookstore, mall, etc.) by drawing the people and places you see.
  • Action portrait: have a friend or family member pose for you doing some sort of movement (jump roping, walking, riding a bike, walking down stairs, etc.). Capture the entire sequence of their action in one piece of artwork. How will you portray movement in your work? Look at “Nude Descending a Staircase” by Dada artists Marcel Duchamp to see an example of an action painting.

NOTE: If you attend an art class or workshop over the summer at a college, museum, or art center, you can submit 3 pieces from that class.


You should be thinking about and developing your concentration idea during the summer. Your concentration will be 12 pieces of related works of art and will be the focus of the AP Studio Art class in the fall semester. You can access information about the concentration section of the AP Studio Art portfolio at the College Board website under the course description for AP Studio Art (2D design, drawing or 3D design).


Just as soon as possible, register at www.collegeboard.com!!! Here you will find information about AP Studio Art classes, the exam, scoring rubrics used, and examples of past student work in each of the portfolio areas.

The AP Program offers three portfolios: Drawing, 2-D Design, and 3-D Design. The portfolios share a basic, three-section structure, which requires the student to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual concerns (and methods). Each of the portfolios asks the student to demonstrate a depth of investigation and process of discovery through the concentration section (Section II). In the breadth section (Section III), the student is asked to demonstrate a serious grounding in visual principles and material techniques. The quality section (Section I) permits the student to select the works that best exhibit a synthesis of form, technique, and content.

The table below summarizes the section requirements for each of the three portfolios.


2-D Design

Section I: Quality

Five actual drawings; maximum size is 18″ x 24″ w/ mat

Five actual works; maximum size is 18″ x 24″ w/mat

Section II: Concentration

12 slides; some may be details

12 slides; some may be details

Section III: Breadth

12 works; one slide of each is submitted

12 works; one slide of each is submitted

All three sections are required and carry equal weight, but students are not necessarily expected to perform at the same level in each section to receive a qualifying grade for advanced placement. The order in which the three sections are presented is in no way meant to suggest a curricular sequence. The works presented for evaluation may have been produced in art classes or on the student’s own time and may cover a period of time longer than a single school year.


  • Your portfolio may include work that you have done over a single year or longer, in class, on your own or in a class other than high school such as one at a museum.
  • If you submit work that makes use of photographs, published images, and/or other artists’ works, you must show substantial and significant development beyond duplication. This may be demonstrated through manipulation of the formal qualities, design, and/or concept of the original work. It is unethical, constitutes plagiarism, and often violates copyright law to simply copy an image (even in another medium) that was made by someone else.
  • Your portfolio will be evaluated by a minimum of three and a maximum of seven artist-educators. Each of the three sections is reviewed independently based on criteria for that section, and each carries equal weight.