Exams: 2014 Studio Art 2-D Portfolio Student Sample

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2-D Design

The student works displayed on this page are reproductions of actual works submitted by students in June 2014.

All of the samples here were chosen because they clearly represent different points on the scoring scale. In the course of the AP evaluation, each section of the portfolio is scored on a six-point scale. Once the evaluation is complete, the various scores assigned to each student's portfolio are combined and transformed into the final AP grade of 1–5.

Note: With the exception of a small number of spelling corrections and clarifications (in brackets), all information in the commentaries is transcribed exactly as the students wrote it.

Media and dimensions for the works shown are based on information provided by each student. In some cases minor revisions have been made for clarity.

Each group of works is accompanied by a brief rationale for the scores awarded to the works. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the students who have agreed to share their works in this way.

Click an image to view a larger version.

2-D Design Sample 1: Lorelei Shannon, Spring Woods Senior High School, Houston, TX

AP Portfolio Score: 5

Quality Section (Selected Works)

Score: 6, 6, 6

Rationale for Score
  • The work demonstrates successful application of the principles of design. In image 5, for example, the artist uses the quality and repetition of line to create form, texture and shadow in the figures and background. Proportion and scale give varying power to the characters, and effective figure/ground relationships create depth within dynamic compositions.
  • The artist skillfully uses a neutral color palette, with the addition of saturated color, to direct the viewer to important elements in the design and narrative. Note the use of green-yellow for the main character, which is mimicked in the eyes of the robot in image 4.
  • The subdued patterns and colors of the caves in image 3 activate the negative space and establish the environment without detracting from the foreground.
  • There is unity and variety within the overall layout of each page. For example, in image 2, there is thoughtful cropping within the boundaries of individual frames, elements break outside the edges of other frames, and sometimes smaller frames are placed within larger frames.

Concentration Section (Sustained Investigation)

Score 6, 6

Student's Commentary

What is the central idea of your concentration?
The central idea of my concentration is a comic story set in space. I wanted to create a science fiction story because of the endless possibilities and imagination. My stories are a blend of important messages and a serious situation with a tinge of humor. Set in outer space, Captain Zodiak, the main character, is in pursuit of two alien villains who are on the run from the law. While Zodiak appears to be a hard-core hero, he is willing to sacrifice himself to save others, friend or foe.

How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea? You may refer to specific images as examples. When referencing specific images, please indicate the image numbers.
I chose Captain Zodiak as my main character but I couldn't decide on the rest of the story. Once figured out, I designed new characters & finalized their appearance. I started with a pre-story in the summer drawing the new characters. As I continued developing the story, the personalities of the characters determined how they would react to certain situations & to each other. For example the shorter villain Dr. Zurdoc (2) wants his plans to proceed flawlessly, & is angered when they don't. This causes conflict with his clumsy minion Exar(3). I introduced SAM later in the story. Unimpressed by the droid's appearance, Zodiak doubts SAM's abilities. Later, SAM saves Zodiak's life which shows that one shouldn't judge by appearance (8–12). At first the story was going to be 12 big pages but I decided to go with smaller pages so they weren't too busy. However I couldn't end at 12 so I tried to end at 24.The story became more complex & I couldn't end in 24 pages. I came to a stopping point so the reader was left wanting more but not confused. Zodiak takes his job seriously but his boldness clashes with Zurdoc's temper, causing conflict (6–11). Zodiak is brave even when he is disadvantaged (11–12).The story shows that being courageous isn't being unafraid but being afraid & facing the challenge anyway.

Rationale for Score
  • Experimentation and successful transformation of design elements is evident as more events in the comic narrative are introduced. Additional panels are included within individual frames to express simultaneous events (for example, image 4). Visual representation of sound effects crosses through multiple panels beginning with image 5.
  • The student successfully uses variation of tone and color, line, one and two-point linear perspective, and varying points of view to move the viewer in and out of the pictorial space, as in image 6.
  • Font variation ranging from reverse type for computer-synthesized voice to casual type for character speech to hand drawn fonts for sound effects and emphasis in speech demonstrates well-informed decision making within the designs; image 3 provides a good example.

Breadth Section (Range of Approaches)

Score 5, 5

Rationale for Score
  • The artwork represents a variety of intentions and approaches, successfully using media and applying 2-D design principles, although at varying levels of accomplishment. Images 5 and 12, digitally drawn graphic novel pages are excellent, whereas Image 1, a hand-drawn illustration, and Image 10, a computer-generated event poster, are strong. Finally, Images 2 and 6, digital illustrations are good.
  • Innovative manipulation of the elements of design is highlighted in Image 8, a digital illustration. The contrast of cool, desaturated color effectively transitions to warmer, intense color while repetition of line and shape in the monster's teeth and the character's visor integrate the figure/ground relationship, creating unity and variety in the composition.
  • Expressive and evocative qualities are noted in Images 8 and 9 in which clever composition and the use of color and tonal values expertly create mood and subtle humor. Images 3 and 4, in contrast, are less engaging.

2-D Design Sample 2: Bolutito Babatunde, Brook Hill School, Bullard, Texas

AP Portfolio Score: 4

Quality Section (Select Works)

Score: 4, 4, 4

Rationale for Score
  • The application of 2-D design principles is generally good in this portfolio, as seen in the framing of compositional space. The intensity of color in some images shifts the weight within the frame and meets with uneven success. For example, the overly saturated yellow of the truck seat in image 3 throws the composition off balance.
  • The work demonstrates good use of line, shape, and repetition as seen in the repeated hoops going back in space in image 1. Depth is created by the framing of the netting in image 2.
  • Some evocative qualities result from the experimentation with color and the use of texture filters in images 4 and 5. However a more subtle application might have enhanced the compositions still more.

Concentration Section (Sustained Investigation)

Score: 5, 3

Student's Commentary

What is the central idea of your concentration?

How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea? You may refer to specific images as examples. When referencing specific images, please indicate the image numbers.
The idea of my concentration is the integration of parts in order to function a machine. The simplicity in appearance of a part of a machine disregarding the complexity that lies underneath.

Rationale for Score
  • The concentration topic presented, parts of machinery, is reinforced with tight, thought-out compositions highlighting the mechanics. However, altered color and filter choices appear repetitive and do not enhance the actual investigation of the concentration topic.
  • The work demonstrates a generally good, yet inconsistent, understanding of the principles of design. Image 11 is a well-framed, strong composition in which color is used effectively with blue and red unifying the right and left sides of the image. In contrast, images 1, 2, and 8 lack a strong center of interest or other elements that could create greater unity in the composition.
  • The student's use of photo-editing software filters reflects experimentation and allows for discovery but with uneven levels of success. In Images 3, 4 and 5 the color complements the organization of the composition and accentuates the textural surfaces of the subject matter. Conversely, the intensity of color and digital "noise" detract from the compositions in Images 2, 6 and 8.

Breadth Section (Range of Approaches)

Score: 4, 3

Rationale for Score
  • Although the work exhibits uneven levels of accomplishment, overall the application of 2-D design principles is at a moderate to good level. The figure/ground relationships in Images 2, 3 and 12 show confident framing that results in a good use of negative space. In contrast, images 4 and 9 do not exhibit the same level of compositional proficiency.
  • Skill in the use of oil pastels and oil paint is moderate in Images 8 and 9 which do not exhibit a good understanding of the capabilities of the materials, though photographic skill in images 2 and 3, for example, reflects good technical competence.
  • Image 12, which plays with the edges of the pictorial frame effectively, and image 7, which breaks the boundaries of the frame, are examples of innovative thinking and originality.