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Getting to Know the AP Art and Design Course

The key document for each AP course is the course and exam description. Start by reviewing it to understand the objectives and expectations of the course and exam.

AP Art and Design Course and Exam Description (.pdf/3.7MB)


Your course must fulfill these requirements.

AP Drawing curricular requirements:

  • The teacher and students use a variety of art and design resources which can include books, periodicals, reproductions, and online media.
  • The teacher and students have access to a digital camera and a computer equipped with image editing software and an internet connection, as well as a digital projector and screen for viewing and discussing works of art and design.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to practice and develop skills in the following skill categories:
    • Skill Category 1: Inquiry and Investigation
    • Skill Category 2: Making through Practice, Experimentation, and Revision
    • Skill Category 3: Communication and Reflection
  • The course teaches students to understand integrity in art and design as well as what constitutes plagiarism. If students produce work that makes use of others’ work, the course teaches students how to develop their own work so that it moves beyond duplication of the referenced work(s).

AP Drawing resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has access to art and design materials and resources necessary to meet the requirements for the portfolio the student chooses to submit.
  • The school ensures that each AP Drawing classroom has at least some of the following types of instructional materials that support the formulation of a creative problem and its comprehensive investigation: art and design books, periodicals, reproductions, and digital images.
  • The school ensures that each teacher has access to a digital projector and screen for viewing and discussing works of art and design with students.
  • The school ensures that each student and teacher has access to a digital camera and a computer equipped with image editing software and an internet connection. This equipment is required for submitting digital portfolios through the AP Art and Design Digital Submission web application.

Although the use of textbooks is not required in the AP Art and Design courses, teachers may find this sample list useful when completing course syllabi and planning curriculum.

  • Acero, Rául. Making Ceramic Sculpture: Techniques, Projects, Inspirations. Lark Books, 2001.
  • Aimone, Steven. Expressive Drawing a Practical Guide to Freeing the Artist Within. Lark Books, 2009.
  • Barrett, Terry. Making Art: Form & Meaning. Mcgraw-Hill Education, 2011.
  • Buster, Kendall, and Paula Crawford. The Critique Handbook: The Art Student's Sourcebook and Survival Guide. 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, 2009.
  • Currey, Mason. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
  • Davidson, Margaret. Launching the Imagination 2D: A Comprehensive Guide to Three-Dimensional Design. 6th ed., McGraw Hill Education, 2019.
  • Day, Jesse. Line Color Form: The Language of Art and Design. 1st ed., Allworth Press, 2013.
  • Galer, Mark. Photography Foundations for Art and Design: The Creative Photography Handbook. 4th ed., Focal Press, 2007.
  • Goldstein, Nathan. Figure Drawing: The Structure, Anatomy, and Expressive Design of Human Form. 6th ed., Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004.
  • Green, Sarah Urist. You Are an Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation. Penguin Books, 2020.
  • Greenhalgh, Wendy Ann. Mindfulness & the Art of Drawing: a Creative Path to Awareness. Leaping Hare Press, 2016.
  • Jahoda, Susan E., and Caroline Woolard. Making & Being: Embodiment, Collaboration, and Circulation in the Visual Arts. Pioneer Works Press, 2019.
  • Kerwin, Barbara, et al. Drawing from the inside out: Projects for Beginning through Advanced Drawing. ATS Art Textbook Society, 2015.
  • Kukielski, Tina, and Susan Sollins. Being an Artist: Artist Interviews with Art21. Art21, 2018.
  • Maslen, Mick, and Jack Southern. Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing. Black Dog Publishing, 2015.
  • Morrill, Rebecca, and Marina Abramovic. Akademie X: Lessons in Art and Life. Phaidon, 2015.
  • Paul, Zelanski. Shaping Space: The Dynamics of Three-Dimensional Design. 3rd ed., Wadsworth Thomson, 2006.
  • Pentak, Stephen, and David A. Lauer. Design Basics. Cengage Learning, 2016.
  • Petrovich, Dushko. Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment. Paper Monument, 2012.
  • Rockman, Deborah A. Drawing Essentials: A Complete Guide to Drawing. 4th ed., Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • Rothstein, Dan, et al. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions. Harvard Education Press, 2017.
  • Saltz, Jerry. How to Be an Artist. Riverhead Books, 2020.
  • Stewart, Mary. Contemporary Drawing: Key Concepts and Techniques. Watson-Guptill Publications, 2011.
  • Stewart, Mary. Launching the Imagination 2D: A Comprehensive Guide to Two-Dimensional Design. 6th ed., McGraw-Hill Education, 2019.

This annotated sample AP Drawing syllabus shows how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

AP Drawing Sample Syllabus 1 (.pdf/2.4MB)

Review this document for help creating your syllabus.

Syllabus Development Guide: Art and Design (.pdf/161.14 KB)

This resource includes the guidelines reviewers use to evaluate syllabi along with three samples of evidence for each requirement. This guide also specifies the level of detail required in the syllabus to receive course authorization.

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