AP Studio Art


Taylor Seo

Taylor Seo’s watercolor painting is just one of the many pieces he intends to use for his art portfolio.

Juliette Fournier, Photojournalist

Drawing comes easy to many people, so taking AP Studio Art should not seem too difficult right? In reality, this class is not as simple as it looks. AP Studio Art is a class offered at Yorba Linda High School taught by Ms. Carson (Staff) and Mrs. Fritz (Staff). Throughout this class, each student must create twenty four individual pieces which can be split into two categories. Twelve of the pieces, which are made during the first semester, are called breadth pieces. These pieces use a range of different media such as watercolor, colored pencil, graphite, etc. Within each of these pieces, the students must demonstrate a range of approaches and voices of the artist. They must also use these to display their skills with composition (the placement of elements in the artwork according to the principles of art) and techniques like texture or shading.

On top of this, each student must create twelve works which consist of a thorough investigation of one specific idea. For example, one student in the class is using fairy tales. However, these are not just simple ideas. What the College Board looks for is a growth and development of this idea from the first piece to the final piece. Specifically, they seek to find a student’s inner voice.

These students do not actually have a regular AP test, yet they still have a testing day and time. During this time, every one of the pieces must be submitted online to the College Board and students must answer two questions regarding their concentrations: “1. Clearly and simply state the central idea of your sustained explanation,” and “Explain how your work demonstrates your intent and the sustained investigation of your idea.”

McKenna Biegert
This charcoal drawing is drawn by McKenna Biegert, a senior in the AP Studio Art class.

When asked what they look for in the students’ artwork, both Ms. Carson and Mrs. Fritz agreed that the main component of the pieces should be the student’s artistic voice. Ms. Carson explains, “Ideally, student work shows a personal interpretation of the elements of art and principles of design to help students realize their artistic voice.” In addition, Mrs. Fritz looks to make sure the piece looks like a college level concept rather than a high school project. Since it is an AP class, it must look like college level artwork.

With all the pieces they create, students end up with a portfolio of all the artwork they have done. Not only do colleges acknowledge the portfolios, but students can use the class to get college credit. This allows the artists to move on to higher level art classes in college. It’s also a great opportunity for students who want to prepare for the rigorous college art classes.

Derick Ma
AP Studio Art allows students to use a multitude of different medias. This piece is a collage created by Derick Ma.

Since the majority of the work is done outside of school, it is recommended to take art all four years of high school, or at least do Drawing and Painting and Advanced Drawing and Painting. Mrs. Fritz adds that those who have a passion for art or want to be challenged artistically are usually the types of students that fit well in the class.

Not only does AP Studio Art give the student artists of YL a challenge, but it also really helps the students grow as artists. It both allows students to connect with other artists and to test their abilities with different materials and mediums.  AP Studio Art students are extremely hardworking and dedicated and deserve recognition for all their efforts and ideas.