beginning of content:

Please note that the Sustained Investigation and the Range of Approaches sections below are from two different students’ portfolios.  

Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  1. My concentration focuses on exploring the effects of natural light and shadows on different surfaces, ranging from inanimate objects to living creatures. In my portfolio, I used colour, shape, and value to capture the strength of light and how that affected the intensity of the shadow. Light falling upon objects and creating shadows gives me a sense of peace. I wanted to evoke that serenity by using congruent colours and having light and shadow peacefully contrast with one another.
  2. I explored the relationship light and shadow had on different surfaces; the quality of light and shadows varied depending on the strength of the sun and the time of day. From Pieces 1 to 7, I used watercolour as my medium to explore the intensity and different hues of colour light and shadow held that made them contrast yet coexist together. In Piece 5, the concentrated afternoon sunlight created a vivid contrast of colour between the eye and the skin. With human skin as the surface, the strong light created intense shadows that held vibrant colour hues. This contrasts with the early afternoon sunlight in Piece 7, as the light source was weaker and the surface, concrete, that the light shone on held less colour than skin. Later in my development, in Pieces 8 to 12, I switched my medium to pencil to instil that feeling of peace. The softness of pencil and the blending allowed me to explore how light and shadow were distinct entities, as both seemed to be “separate” things when the light “cuts” the shadow, but they were cohesive and created a peaceful contrast together. In Piece 11, the light and shadow had sharp distinctions from one another, but the blending achieved with pencil allowed me to soften the edges needed to achieve a peaceful contrast between the two.

Rationale for Score

  • The topic—“exploring the effects of natural light and shadows on different surfaces”—and the work presented are closely related. Shapes of light and shade are present in every image.
  • Some clear decision making (e.g., the use of “color, shape, and value to capture the strength of light and how that affected the intensity”) and discovery (e.g., “the quality of light and shadows varied depending on the strength of the sun and the time of day”) are evident in the investigation of the topic.
  • The sustained investigation demonstrates some originality and some innovative thinking, such as using the cast shadow shape (see images 7 and 12) for emphasis and contrast and articulating the figure/ground relationship (see images 8 and 10).
  • A clear theme—the different effects of light at different times of day—engages the viewer, especially in images 8 and 9, and is discernible in some of the other work.
  • Some transformation is noticeable. For example, the composition used in images 8, 10, and 12 and the intentional use of pencil to render hard and soft edges in images 8 through 12 demonstrate some growth, but some of the work may be repetitive.
  • The work demonstrates adequate technical competence and use of watercolor to render form and light and shade, as seen in images 1 through 4; also, the use of pencil for mark- making, line quality, light and shade, and illusion of form in images 7 through 12 is good but does not rise to the level of strong technical competence.
  • Although the works may show a varying range of accomplishment, overall the work is at a good level.

Rationale for Score

  • The work demonstrates a good investigation of varied visual concepts and compositions, depicting people, places, and things.
  • The work demonstrates some originality and some innovative thinking (see images 1 and 6) and purposeful manipulation of the elements and principles of design, such as rhythm and repetition (images 2 and 5) and figure/ground relationship (image 10).
  • The work shows a variety of intentions or approaches, although not all are successfully articulated - see images 6 and 8.
  • Some of the work has discernible evocative or engaging qualities, such as images 2 and 12, though confidence is not clearly apparent in image 9; conversely, the work may display confidence but not be engaging, as in image 1.
  • The work demonstrates good technical competence with colored pencil (image 2) and pastel (images 10 and 12) and good use of materials and media (image 11). Technical aspects and articulation of ideas do not always work together (see, for example, images 6 and 8).