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AP Summer Assignments

AP Art Summer Assignments

(AP Drawing, AP 2D Design (Photography, Graphics)

First of all, let me say that I am extremely pleased and proud of you for accepting the challenge of such a rigorous course. In August we’ll talk much more about national requirements, goals and expectations. For now...as you begin to approach the AP Art Studio experience, I encourage you to relax, enjoy the summer, take time to hang out with family and friends, volunteer your services somewhere, read, sleep, eat pizza, walk on the beach, go white water rafting. But...whatever you do, do it with a heightened sense of awareness. I strongly encourage you to take photos incessantly! Get an inexpensive digital camera and take it everywhere and shoot everything. These photos will be a great resource later. Artists have always been and will continue to be the great observers, interpreters, inventors and creators in the societies in which they live. Really look at everything and see what so many people never see - explore not only with your eyes, but your heart and your mind.

If you have questions over the summer, email me. I try to check email at least once a week.


Now, down to the nitty-gritty…

Summer assignments help alleviate the pressure during the school year of having to produce the required number of quality pieces needed for a successful and passing portfolio. At this point you may not be sure which portfolio you want to complete...Drawing, 2D Design, 2D Design Photography, 2D Design Graphics. Don’t fret if you’re not sure, you’ll actually find yourself gravitating to the portfolio that is most suitable for you.

OK...there are 2 assignment categories: Reading/Research and Projects. The assignments will be due the first week of school and will be your first AP grades. Completing more than is required will put you that much further ahead when school starts. Also, let me say something about sketchbooks/journals...I believe in and strongly recommend keeping a working sketchbook (I still have one). Take it with you whenever possible, record images, plan artwork, write ideas, rough sketches and thumbnails, glue in reference photos, etc. That said, I’m leaving it up to you. In previous years I have required students to periodically turn in sketchbooks for evaluation. But I feel that it’s a personal choice; however, I will say that every artist I’ve ever met or researched kept a sketchjournal-from Leonardo to the present.

Reading/Research Projects:

(150 points) Try to visit art galleries, museums and art festivals. Read art magazines, artists’ biographies,search the Internet for artists dealing with the same subjects as you. Study their work, philosophy, life and influences. (Refer to the suggested reading list)

List any galleries, etc., you visited. What did you see?

From your research, list at least 3 artists that interested you. Describe the issues they explore in their art. What do you like about their work? Describe the subject matter, style, etc., of their work.

Also...become familiar with AP website. It’s full of valuable information for you and your parents as well as lots of examples of student portfolios: apcentral.collegeboard.com


Complete at least 5 projects from the assignments listed below: Projects are worth 100 points each for a total of 500 points. Pieces should be no smaller than 9x12 inches and no larger that 18x24 inches. The assignments are about quality, not quantity. You may use any media or mixed media of your choice. We will use this work for the “Breadth” section of your AP Portfolio. If you are absolutely certain that you plan on doing the 2D Photography Portfolio, assignments will be a little different.

1. Create a portrait or self-portrait that expresses a specific mood/emotion: anger/rage, melancholy/loneliness, happiness/joy, etc. Work with lighting, values, color to enhance the psychological atmosphere. Consider the environment/setting. Research portrait artists for inspiration. AP Photography students will take 10 photos instead of drawing/painting a portrait.


2. 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. Photo students take at least 10 photos.


3. Still life arrangement of at least 3 reflective objects. Something should be reflected in the objects. Render as accurately as you can. Again, research still life. Photo students 10 photos.


4. Drawing of an unusual interior- a closet, cabinet, refrigerator, inside your car, under the car hood, etc. This is where a camera comes in handy - take a variety of photos to draw from. This should be a very detailed work. Photo students take 20 shots.


5. Expressive landscape. Use expressive color similar to the Fauvists or the Der Blaue Reiter. take a photo to work from or draw from observation. Photo students research the Fauvists and expressive color. take at least 10 landscapes to be manipulated in Photoshop later.


6. 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.


7. Combine text with art. Collage other elements.


8. 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. Photo students take closeup details.


9. Create a colorful design for a handbag, clothing, chair, etc. Research Trina Turk’s bags and the psychedelic art movement.


10. Hands drawing. Create a drawing of your hands (or photograph someone’s for reference) arranged in a variety of poses. Photo students shoot at least 10 different poses.


11. 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.



12. 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.


13. 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. Photo students take at least 10 close up photos, shoot in black and white if possible.



14. Surrealism. Research the surrealist artists (historical and contemporary). Read what the surrealist state about their work. Create a work in the surrealist style. You may want to do this as a mixed media piece. Have fun with it! Photo students take a variety of random images that you can work with in Photoshop to create a surreal image.



15. Abstraction. Research abstraction and the works of Tom C. Fedro. Create an abstract work similar to his designs. Faces, animals, objects, etc.


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. Some of these will be class assignments.

CD Design

Poster Design

Package Design

Typographic Designs


 Color Design

        Package Design

Logo Design

Poster Design



Logo and Stationery Design