Ms. Coffin,

Fall 2011

Course Syllabus Pre – A.P. Art



This course is designed to prepare each student for the A.P. Art Class net year. AP Art prepares students for the AP exam, which consists of a portfolio including 5 works from Section I: Quality, 12 works from Section II: Concentration and 12 works from Section III: Breath, as well as an artist statement explaining the efforts of your body of work through the 2D Design or Drawing lens. The majority of the AP course is based upon portfolio development. Students must sustain an investigation of all three components of their portfolio development, including a cohesive body of work exploring and developing an original fundamental idea (concentration)

The goal of our Pre A.P. course is to prepare you for A.P. portfolio development and the A.P. exam by supplying you with the skills, tools and confidence to develop mastery in your work. From this point forward everything you do must demonstrate Mastery. During the first semester we will focus on Section I, Quality and Section III, Breadth.  Moving into the second semester we will introduce Section II, Concentration at which point you will begin to focus you work and your ideas towards developing at thematic body of work. Starting in the second semester you will be scheduled for 4 individual portfolio concentration development assessment sessions with your teacher. In each assessment session, you will discuss your ideas, compositions, quality and media as well as how each pertains to overall cohesion in your concentration. These sessions provide help for you to create a specific plan of action in developing your concentration so that you are prepared for A.P. and can enter with an existing body of work.


 Pre A.P. Art demands an overall interest in art as well as a willingness to be outwardly expressive and open to a complex analysis of visual art, its impact on culture, and the current social climate. This course is a full year course, (semesters 1 & 2). Along the way you will be given assignments and projects as well as learning the skills and techniques to create various forms of 2 Dimensional works of art up to the standards of the A.P. review board. Private and class wide critiques will be held to help each of you achieve the highest quality work and understanding yourself through the process. Remember A.P. 2D Design is a college level course; works selected for your portfolio must exhibit MASTERY. The highest quality work should only be submitted, any other work will be returned to you that day, where you will be given the chance to resubmit it for a better grade and demonstrating mastery.


Class Participation

Your success in this course is reliant on your ability to consistently participate while in class.  We believe that the most difficult part of this course will be standing against the frustration you may feel while producing work to not only our standards but to the standards of your peers and most importantly, yourself.  Many projects we assign will be difficult and test both your imagination and skill.  It is important to remember that your level of participation affects our perception of your dedication to a successful completion of the course.


Class Requirements

1. Keep a sketchbook. This will be your weekly homework assignment. This will also contain your daily do now, notes taken on reading assignments, lectures, films and demonstrations. Your sketchbook will be a work in progress that we will discuss in the first unit.

2. Be present and on time for class, participate in discussions and critiques, make efficient use of class time.

3. Complete all sketches, worksheets, homework, and assignments in a timely manner.

4. Be responsible for tools, supplies, and studio work area.




You are required to bring your sketchbook to class every day that class is in session.  At the beginning of every class you are required to take out your sketchbook and draw the “still-life” assigned as part of your “Do Now” assignment.  If you are not working by the time the late bell rings you will not be participating and your grade will be affected. Every day of class you are also expected to have your sketchbook out and ready for inspection.  You will be using your sketchbook every day for the Do Now as well as for note taking so it is VERY IMPORTANT that if for any reason you decide to take your sketchbook home that you return with it the following school day.  If for any reason you loose or damage your sketchbook you are responsible for producing another.


Assessment, Evaluation, and Grading Policy


Each student will be assessed and evaluated based upon a gallery comment card and rubric generated for this class at the end of each assignment and class critique.














Overall understanding of the assignment







Grading will be done on a points-system / with each type of assignment worth a distinct number of points. Emphasis will always be placed on writing, sketchbook and larger scale assignments:

  • Projects = 100 points each
  • Tests/Exams = 100 points each
  • Sketchbook = 50 points
  • Quizzes = 15-30 points each (depending on length)
  • Class work = 5 points each
  • Homework = 5 points each (homework will include reading quizzes)


Due Dates: Students will be given adequate time to complete each assignment. The numbers of assignments are allocated with regards to the school calendar allowing significant time for each project in each term (there are four terms in a school year).

Assignments not turned in on time will receive a 10 point deduction in grade each day it is late. Unfinished work will receive only partial credit.


Artistic Integrity/Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism


All works created in this class must be unique and ORGINAL! If a student chooses to use a published image, photograph, and/or other artists’ work as reference, the basis of the work, then must significantly move beyond duplication in order to change the image and or idea to create an original work of art. This is matter of artistic integrity


Course Schedule

Semester 1


Unit 1 - Design + Technique/Experimentation with Media

• The AP Portfolio Section I – Quality, Section III - Breadth

• The Sketchbook

• Relationships in Compositions

• Symmetrical/Asymmetrical

• Organic/Geometric

• Positive Space/Negative Space


Unit 2 – The Picture Plane + Technique

• The AP Portfolio Section I – Quality, Section III - Breadth

• Composition strategies

• Shape, Plane, Volume

• Spatial Illusion

• Perspective

• Positive Space/Negative Space


Unit 3 – Color + Technique

• Color Theory Section I – Quality, Section III - Breadth

• Color Relationships

• Color Schemes

• Color Mixing


Semester 2


Unit 4 - Surface and Embellishment + Technique

• The AP Portfolio Section I – Quality, Section III - Breadth

• Texture

• Invention

• Additive materials  


Unit 5 - Establishing a Context for Making Art / Technique/Experimentation with Media

• The AP Portfolio Section II - Concentration

• Thematic Development

• Developing a body of work

• Motifs and Themes

• Content

• Contemporary Art

• Appropriation and Re-contextualization


Unit 6 –Beginning Approaches to Artistic Communication / Finding your Artistic Voice and Style

• The AP Portfolio Section II - Concentration

• Art as an Idea

• Organizing and Conveying Artistic Themes

• Concentrations in Art

• Contemporary Methods of Artistic Communication

• Artistic/ Historical Knowledge as Power



-Pencil (must be brought to class daily)

-Sketchbook that opens from the side (like a book) with plain, white drawing paper containing no lines (Sketchbooks and related materials can be found at Pearl Paint, Utrecht, or any related art supply store)

Rules and Protocols:

  • 5 latenesses equals one school detention
  • School policy requires that all electronic devices be checked in at the front door, there will be no electronics of any kind allowed in the classroom at any time.
  • All work must be neat / clean and presentable
  • All materials provided by the art department must be returned before the end of class unless otherwise instructed
  • Each student is responsible for his / her own property and all valuables should be kept in backpacks, purses, lockers etc.
  • No student is allowed to wear any clothing other than the assigned uniform
  • One student may use the restroom at a time without exception
  • Every student must be respectful of the materials provided by the art department as well as other student’s use of these materials
  • Each class is responsible for cleaning the art room before the end of each period
  • No cursing or inappropriate language is acceptable in the classroom
  • No student may touch another students work without permission
  • All work must be stowed in your designated area or it will be tossed