Exams: 2013 Studio Art Drawing Portfolio Student Samples

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Drawing

The student works displayed on this page are reproductions of actual works submitted by students in June 2013.

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.

Drawing Sample 1: Owen Dodgen, A.N. McCallum High School, Austin Texas

AP Portfolio Score: 5

Quality Section

Score: 6

Rationale for Score

  • This Quality section demonstrates confident execution. The student's clear intention in each work engages the viewer, through both meticulously rendered and gestural work.
  • Technical fluency is consistent in each piece and expresses imaginative content.
  • The use of light, shade, and rendered form demonstrate exquisite mark making with purpose.
  • Images 1 and 4 present mastery of drawing media along with original conceptual deliberation. This communicates the student's ability to push an ordinary exercise beyond the expected.
  • Descriptive, gestural strokes of expressive color are used to construct form in Image 5. The extreme worm's eye view in Image 2 exemplifies the illusion of depth using a clever compositional structure.

Concentration Section

Score: 6

Student's Commentary

What is the central idea of your concentration?
The complexity of the human mind has always been fascinating to me. My concentration expresses an exploration of the development of thought and the inception of idea through scenes of awe and wonder. By capturing a moment of inspiration or concentration paired with a physical manifestation of thought I wish to give the viewer a greater understanding of the processes of their own mind and the connection one's personal perspective has with the reality around them.

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 my concentration is based on has taken several forms in the work I have produced. In the series of blue colored pencil [images] labeled 1[through] 4 I have taken the complexity of thought and the inner workings of the mind and paired them with the physical complexities of the human hand. As my drawing skills grew I was able to express this manifestation more clearly as can be seen in the progress made from 1[through]4. In piece number 4 a woman looks off to the left, her brow furrowed with concentration. The hands protruding from her bald head and the attention to detail I gave to every vein and tendon represent the complexity of the thought she must have in the moment captured. I often include appropriated imagery from religious artwork to convey moments of enlightenment, wonder, inspiration and awe. In [image] 3 I appropriated some of the anatomy of Adam from Michelangelo's great Sistine Chapel mural to convey the feeling of a great reach for enlightenment and a dive into reflection and introspection. In[image] 12[,] I appropriated an image of a dove often representative of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ to symbolize the blessed moment one has when basking in new found knowledge and idea. In some of the less striking images I created I still wish to convey moments one has of unhindered and authentic exploration into an inner reality.

Rationale for Score

  • There is an inventive and imaginative integration of the concentration topic in all the work.
  • An original vision with evocative nuances is expressed in the student's confident personal style through the use of inventive surreal components, such as arms and heads.
  • Technically excellent, the work exhibits a confident application of drawing and painting processes. All of the works demonstrate excellent use of light and shade, rendering of form, mark making, composition, and the illusion of depth.
  • A subtle and sophisticated exploration of surface is confidently presented in images 7 and 8. Image 7 explores the portrait in such a way that is seems intentionally rendered to appear on a flat surface. In contrast, the red cardinal is perched just outside the subject's head. A beautifully rendered face opens up across a grid of folders in image 8. This unique drawing surface exhibits the student's confidence with materials and personal expression.

Breadth Section

Score 6

Rationale for Score

  • The work exhibits clear decision making using evocative themes and exploring a broad range of media and visual concepts.
  • The work is confident and evocative. Every image engages the viewer with visual qualities. Images 5 and 6 demonstrate expressive verve, as the student expands observational drawing to a conceptual level by melting the fingers and toes together. Nuanced subtlety and the student's wit are shown in images 2, 7, and 10.
  • The control of materials and compositional constructs reveals the imagination and innovation.
  • Exceptional printmaking skills are demonstrated in images 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, and 12. The deliberate mark making and color choices contribute to the carefully considered compositions and enhance the works' evocative themes.

Drawing Sample 2: Bryanna Aguilar, Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, Albuquerque, N.M.

AP Portfolio Score: 5

Quality Section

Score: 5

Rationale for Score

  • The work is expressive and evocative, showing a range of confidently executed pieces. Overall, the work is strong and engages the viewer.
  • Technical confidence is exhibited through the purposeful use of media and techniques. Light and shade, rendering of form, mark making, and the effective manipulation of materials are demonstrated in the drawing compositions. In image 3 the student creates emphasis and contrast through carefully rendered areas while purposely leaving other areas in a gestured state.
  • Image 4 expresses conventional 2-D modeling techniques and formulaic drawing , whereas several images (images 1, 5, and 6) in the Breadth section present higher levels of exploration through risk taking and informed decision making. These could have been better choices for the Quality section and exhibit a higher range of skill, thought, and voice.
  • There are varying levels of accomplishment, but overall the work is of strong quality.

Concentration Section

Score 5

Student's Commentary

What is the central idea of your concentration?
The central notion of my concentration was "Birds of a Feather Flock Together." This idiom was explored within the works as well as the gradient of beliefs from traditional western world views to a more spiritual take on life and death.

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 development of my concentration started out with the idea of realism and grouping birds together as seen in images 1 [and] 2. It portrays a rational view of an idea that eventually lead to an abstract concept as seen in the rest of the images. Images 3, 4 [and] 5 show a more imaginative take that still draws from reality without being purely scientific. Portfolio entries 6, 7, [and] 8 rely heavily on the spiritual aspect and a slight air of memento mori. The connection between life and death as well as "like breeds like" going along with the theme of Birds of a Feather is found in image 9. [Image] 10 is spiritual and relates more to living (seen in image 5), all the while having a slight aspect of decay shown in the fact that they have skulls lacking flesh but retain their living bodies. Image 11 is the western interpretation of the same idea and focuses more on death. Image 12 is different from the rest as it is in a realm where the traditional western view, the idea of pure death, has no bearing on the spiritual conclusion as the ghostly figure does not harbor a skull and wears a necklace of souls.

Rationale for Score

  • An evocative topic is demonstrated with a nice range of exploration (sketchbook drawings, Photoshop, acrylic, marker, ink, and pencil drawings). There are a few pieces of lesser quality, but overall the work creates a strong concentration.
  • The evolution of the images is informed by research and observational drawing.
  • The student's careful use of underdrawing in images 7 and 9 constructs a form that engages the viewer while using a limited number of marks. The compositional decisions enhance the visual expression of the concept.
  • The written part of this concentration unveils the student's intelligent and thorough research, which was used to inform the visual response (specifically images 3 through12). The student states that the work is a "rational view that eventually lead to an abstract concept." The iconography chosen in the visual work is also well constructed and demonstrates the student's knowledge of art history.

Breadth Section

Score 5

Rationale for Score

  • The work demonstrates successful experimentation and risk taking using a variety of media in many of the images. Image 6 reveals the student's confidence with classical drawing techniques while using digital media to explore an idea and inform the concentration section.
  • Most of the images demonstrate strong drawing skills and clear understanding of drawing concepts. The gestural studies express the student's understanding of the body and how it moves in space. The layering of images transforms these studies beyond observational sketching and demonstrates an intentional consideration of the composition.
  • Innovative ideas and conceptual thought are also evident in images 1, 2, 6, and 10. The color choice and subject matter give image 1 a vintage, 'kitschy' feel.
  • Drawing media and materials are used well to express ideas in images 2 and 3.
  • Varying levels of technical accomplishment are revealed in works, such as 4 and 7.

Drawing Sample 3: Ashley Dlouhy, Reavis High School, Burbank, Ill.

AP Portfolio Score: 4

Quality Section

Score: 4

Rationale for Score

  • Color harmony, repetition of marks, and composition connect the viewer with the work and reveal the student's voice.
  • Technical confidence and the use of drawing materials are uneven. In image 4, the figure/ground relationship is confusing and unresolved. In image 2 the relationships among the nose, string, and paw are unclear. The light and shadow across the right eye of the cat does not work.
  • Image 5 achieves expression and has evocative qualities; however, there are technical issues with the rendered form.
  • There are uneven levels of accomplishments, but overall the work in the Quality section is good, demonstrates intent, and expresses the student's personal voice.

Concentration Section

Score: 4

Student's Commentary

What is the central idea of your concentration?
The central idea of my concentration is to capture the essence of my cats' individual personalities. I explore these qualities through their poses and body language as well as color and expressive mark making.

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.
In the beginning my pieces were black and white and showed the cats in a mostly static position. As I observed them, the more I recognized various aspects of their individual personalities; they could be thoughtful or stubborn, alert or restful, and quirky, playful and curious. No matter what mood they are in, cats are intense, so I decided to use color to help show the vibrancy of these moments. [Image] 4 is the first introduction of color and shows the cat looking at himself in the mirror with a surprised look on his face. [Images] 6-8 are close ups, focusing on the cats' faces to show their powerful sense of awareness. The bold colors in [images] 7 and 8 emphasizes [sic] this idea. At the end of the concentration I showed the cats in more active positions. Toys and background information are incorporated into the composition. Finally, the color becomes more and more vibrant and truly captures the playful and animated actions of each cat.

Rationale for Score

  • The concentration topic is explored consistently throughout all the work.
  • The work presented is technically good, demonstrating the student's control of media and compositional constructs in most works. The colorful hatch marks express the artist's voice.
  • The student's careful choices in composition, perspective, and color convey, "various aspects of their [the cats'] personalities."
  • Decisions about composition and point of view indicate good imagination and risk-taking.
  • Images 2, 4, and 11 exhibit technical aspects that are unresolved.

Breadth Section

Score 4

Rationale for Score

  • There is a good application of a range of drawing concepts—light and shade (images 1 and 4), rendering of form (image 5), and the illusion of depth (images 1 and 9).
  • Composition is good and exhibits the artist's voice (images 4 and 8). In image 8, the subject matter's close point of view and the intentional use of color create an appealing quality.
  • Creative use of surface manipulation and mark making are evident in images 1, 2, and 10. Image 1 is particularly engaging, controlled by the one- point perspective lines, interrupted by the drawn circles, and embellished by the carefully rendered marbles. In addition, there is a nice marriage of drawing and painting skills.
  • Though the work contains some evocative qualities, there are some works in which intention is unclear (see images 3, 6, and 11). Technical aspects and articulation of ideas do not always work together.

Drawing Sample 4: Crystal Kline, Moorpark High School, Moorpark, Calif.

AP Portfolio Score: 3

Quality Section

Score: 3

Rationale for Score

  • In image 5, the drawing concepts—light and shade, rendering of form—demonstrate confident technical skill, whereas the other works exhibit emerging competence. For example, in image 2, the features on the shadow side do not appear to be drawn using the correct value.
  • The light and shade and rendering of form in image 4 would be enhanced with an expanded range of values. For example, lightening the window frame and darkening the house siding could make the image more effective.
  • The relationship between form and content is beginning to come into focus. For instance, conceptual expression is presented through inventive color in image 3.
  • Overall, the work demonstrates an emerging level of accomplishment.

Concentration Section

Score: 3

Student's Commentary

What is the central idea of your concentration?
The central idea of my concentration is portraits of people. My favorite part of art is drawing people because there are so many possibilities on how you can express a person emotionally and physically. In the first few portraits I started with close ups because I wanted to focus on one part of a face. I then evolved on to drawing bigger pieces with the whole face. I began experimenting with different mediums and as my work progressed I started adding more emotion and detail to my pieces.

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.
Images 1, 2, and 3 are the close up pieces I did with pastels and a little colored pencil. I was mostly focused on trying to create pieces that had focused in on a small part of a person's face such as an eye and nose in image 2. As I moved on to pieces 4, 5, and 6 this is when I started using more pencils and colored pencils. By using pencils I was able to create more detail which then helped create emotion in my drawings. For example in image 4 the detail I added to the eyes and posture of the lady made it seem like she is thinking or confused. I then began using different mediums I have never used before. In image 7 I used acrylic paint and in image 10 I used scratch board. In image 10 I attempted at creating an innocent emotion [through] making the baby have wide eyes and an innocent look to him. In 8, 9, and 11 I went back to pastels but added more detail to the portraits. I made the eyes of the people very detailed so it could create a more somber and emotion. In my last piece, image 12, I used white charcoal. In this image I again put a lot of detail in the eyes to create a saddened emotion.

Rationale for Score

  • A common concentration theme (portraits) is presented with a range of predicable solutions.
  • Creative thinking is exhibited in images 5 and 9, which explore the use of color in an expressive way.
  • The student's voice and the transformation of work based on photographic sources are minimal.
  • The works demonstrate emerging technical confidence, and the use of materials and media is of moderate quality (images 2, 4, 8, 7, and 10).

Breadth Section

Score 3

Rationale for Score

  • Compositional solutions to the work are tentative. Examples include images 2, 6, 9, 10, and 11, in which the subject matter is placed conventionally in the middle of the picture plane.
  • There are a few imaginative ideas and concepts, (image 4) which are modestly explored.
  • Image 12 exhibits technical competence and engages the viewer. Also, image 9, though not technically strong, exhibits an emerging student voice.
  • Surface manipulation (image 2), light and shade (image 10), mark making (images 9 and 12), and the rendering of form (image 12) are beginning to become expressive; overall the work is of moderate quality.