Exams: 2013 Studio Art Drawing: Quality Samples

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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

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.

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.

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.

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.