AP Class Reviews

Drawing taught by Meldrum & Settino

by Students and Parents

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No Pain, No Gain! posted by Claudia Ng on May 22 2012 at 13:54:08

Of course! It prepared me more than I ever imagined it would. It prepared for me in areas that I did not even know was necessary for preparation.

After taking this course, I find that my observation towards light and form have definately been fine-tuned. And am confident of not needing to use an eraser. Students who take this course will be taken out of their comfort zones and placed into foreign ground. Those who accept the challenge, will rise up to it. They will be surprised to find out how much they know about different mediums, such as charcoal, marker, acrylic, and ink wash. And will be amazed to discover how to make the media work out for their benefit. There is a thrill to conquer one's foes and to take a step further to become best friends.

Ms. Settino and Mr. Meldrum are very helpful and specific with their answers and will try the best that they can to reply any of our questions as soon as they can. This has exceeded our expectations for online programs/distance learning.

It also helped that my mom helped me buy all the supplies, prints out the assignments, makes sure that I remember all the deadlines, checks up on me with my work in progresses. It was a good judgment on her part to make sure I completed all my Breadth Portfolio WIPs during winter break, or I would not have been able to take it in April. It was also wise of her to make sure I did not form a habit of handing in WIPs. That was a life - saver.

Oh yes, and I have to mention that this course is not for the talented only. Because I started art classes only 8 months prior to taking AP Drawing. And I survived. :)

I spent at least 25 hours each week working on this course, while doing 11th Grade Abeka DVD program (6 credits) for only 2-3 days of school work per week. On an average starting the day at 8 AM and ending around 11:30 PM. (I was able to do so little amount of school each week because we don't take summers off.)

The planning and ideation usually took up the first half of saturday. While the prep sketches took the second half. Sometimes the assignments are not so easy to understand, and I found it extremely helpful to read and reread each new assignment several times. The requirements are given and there will be examples, but the problem is to find a solution that will fit the puzzle perfectly.

All were valuable because the assignments Ms. Settino and Mr. Meldrum come up with are designed to build our skills on top of each other, and to constantly remind us of what makes good art. But my favorite ones would have been B5 "Stippling" using marker, B7 "Drawing with Light" using graphite powder, B9 "Wrapped" using ink wash, and B12 "Total Space - Total Place" using acrylic.

If it did not enhance interest in the subject, I don't know what will. But I guess it made me more interested in art because... of curiosity. There is a drive in me that wants to know how to improve and how to make things better. How to use one medium for its strength and play it against another for its weakness. How to complement one medium with another and build something worth thinking and looking at. It enhances my interest towards art because this is something that makes me think: how am I supposed to reach my goal if I have so many obstacles in my way. And that's when interest comes - when I start to learn and to understand how to overcome the trifle errors that once plagued me. It is the learning process that intrigues me, because there will never be a point in this life that we can attain perfection.

Yes. Ms. Settino and Mr. Meldrum were right. Every student will eventually find their "hand" at drawing. And it is so interesting sometimes to see one student's artwork and know that it is theirs. Even though there was not a whole lot of verbal communication with other students in this class, I think everyone communicated by what they drew. And that was immensely valuable. Because we were allowed to see what made them stop and stare and draw. And it pushed me to want to see what they see in the life around me. And sometimes, what one student draws will give inspiration to another. That was remarkable.

I would recommend this course to other students. But only to those who are serious about wanting to succeed, to learn with an open mind, and to work very, very hard. I think the sort of student who would do well in this course would be a risk-taker. One who is not afraid of making mistakes, yet learning from those mistakes to do even better. Of course, that does not mean that students who do not enjoy taking risks will not benefit from this course. Everyone has a differnent perspective on things, it is just that, I, personally, enjoy looking images that make the mind bend. Besides, there will come a point when everyone becomes confident enough to push things a little further.

If art is a chore, than this class will be the epitome of boredom. However, if art is something to die for, then perhaps, one might expect to find life. :D


AP Drawing: A Challenging & Rewarding Course posted by Kate DeRoos on May 21 2012 at 20:56:33

Absolutely.  I was very satisfied and pleased overall with my work in the end. Looking back, I should have worked on my WIP’s more throughout the year, as opposed to saving all of them for April, and I ended up cutting it a bit close at the end of April, but that’s because of my own time management. But ultimately, I felt prepared.

Usually about 14-16. On weekdays, I scheduled approximately 2 hours each day for it, and on the weekends it just depended on the assignment and what I was doing over the weekend. It did vary greatly depending on the assignment and medium. Honestly, it was a struggle to adjust to the amount of time every day spent on it at first, and there is really no way to cut down or finish much quicker. I had to forgo some social things on the weekends when I had more work to do than usual, and my mother noted that due to spending my afternoons on artwork that I did quite a bit less reading over the year.  By the second semester I was in the routine of doing things and it really didn’t seem like such a big deal, and since art is something I enjoy I really started looking forward to those few hours every day. Once I got in the rhythm of things, this really became the most relaxing and stress-free subject of my year.

Oh, where to begin. I had several favorites, it was really fun to play with different ideas in Breadth assignment #5, (Stippling). I really liked assignment B9, ‘Wrapped’ because it was so out-of-the box and just cool to try different textiles and compositions. B11 was one I liked as well, and working with colors has never been something I’ve been good at so I feel like I grew a lot in that, it introduced a new way of thinking of colors in temperatures instead of pigments.  Although some assignments I liked less than others, I am nevertheless grateful for them because I grew just as much in those as I did in my favorites.

Most definitely! Before this course, I had always liked art, and I did it occasionally for fun but had never thought about pursuing it in the future, and it wasn’t even a very big part of my life. I was always pretty good at art, but for me, the thinking and desire was there without a lot of structure or technique. This course gave me the tools I need to move forward, put plenty of drive and experience behind my simply liking art. I am now strongly considering a design major in college, which was not on the table before this year. I’ve also found that I want to do art more, I didn’t even go for all of Christmas break without doing a little artwork on my own, and since the course has finished I didn’t even go a week before starting new art projects, and I am very excited for summer break to have a lot of time to spend furthering what I learned this year on my own.

Yes. While I really didn’t talk to any of the other students very much at all, I was able to see all of their works and critiques, which I think strongly influenced my artwork in a very good way. It was also nice being able to see their self-assignments over the 2nd semester, it was interesting to see what kinds of things they did on their own. I also really appreciated the student critiques we did on our own, it was cool to see what they thought of my work and to be able to tell them what I thought. Although we didn’t actually talk much over the year, I feel as if I know my fellow students very well, just from seeing their artwork.

Absolutely!!! This has been the most rewarding course and looking back I am extremely glad that I decided to take it, I have no regrets. I would recommend this course for any students (like me), who simply really like art but might not have a whole lot of technique or knowledge of different medias and how to use them. I feel like a much bolder artist after this year. Even if you’re not fantastic at the actual art, I realized that a big part of the challenge is the actual thinking-ideation and composition, and the more you work the better with you will get overall and with each media. I would not recommend this course for students who are simply cannot enjoy doing art, even if you’re good at it, because this course requires a lot of time and hard work, and if I didn’t enjoy all of it, this would have been a very hard course for me. I also would not recommend this course for students who are not willing to make a lot of time sacrifices throughout the year, especially on the weekends. It simply cannot all be done. There were definitely some other school subjects & social things that suffered because of the time spent doing artwork.  It was all very worth it in the end, but it was hard at first. But if you feel like this is something you might want to do, I definitely think you should go for it. I did, and it was so worth it. I was really scared of failure at first, but the amount I have grown in this year leaves me very satisfied with the time spent & work done. Overall a great investment into my artistic skills and future! I also want to note that I am very grateful for very understanding, patient, flexible, and overall fantastic teachers.  :)


Parent Review of Studio Art: Drawing posted by Moira on May 20 2012 at 23:48:00

Despite the dire warnings that this isn’t a class for seniors, I suggested to my daughter that she apply for the drawing course.

Why? She’s a good student but her senior year courses were largely focused on the things she needed to complete rather than the things that she’s interested in. I wanted her to have something she could look forward to doing each day.

So how did it work out? No argument that it was hard for her to keep up with the work and sometimes she didn’t exactly look forward to doing the assigned work--but she got it done.

She had college applications (including two portfolios) to complete as well as working most Saturdays for The Food Project (thefoodproject.org). This last made things difficult because Mr. Meldrum’s schedule required preliminary sketches for assignments received on a Thursday to be submitted on the following Sunday. But...she was engaged and learned a huge amount about the process of creating art and about herself.

Would I encourage another to pursue this? Absolutely. It was hard work but immensely rewarding.


My daughter, Jessie Kusuma, is a high school senior. Last year she took AP Drawing and this year she is taking AP 2D Design. Jessie decided a long time ago that she wanted to be involved in the visual arts in some way when she grew up. She has known for years that she wanted to major in art when she went off to college. Throughout her childhood, Jessie has churned out lots of art and has had a fairly decent exposure to an environment rich in the visual arts. Living in the Washington, D.C. area has afforded us the convenience of lots of top art museums and galleries and i myself have a background and degree in Art ( BFA from MICA, 1982).

But I'm here to tell you that nothing prepared Jessie for the process of applying to the nation's top art schools and programs as much as these two AP classes. Yes, God blessed my daughter with a bit of artistic talent and, yes, she has a terrific work ethic, but believe me when I say, these classes have made all the difference.

Both Linus Meldrum and Dianne Settino are top-notch instructors in every way imaginable. Think for a minute about all the qualities you're probably looking for in an instructor for your high school student....someone who:

That said, of course your student must be willing to do his part and invest of himself if he wants to succeed in these classes. But the rewards of committing the time and effort in both classes are so worth it. My daughter was taught with such a comprehensive approach to the complete process of art making. This built her confidence in herself, in her work, and in her ability to produce the work.....it became a vicious cycle in the best possible way.

Like I've already said, Jessie has been producing art all of her life, but none of us were prepared for the level of work she was able to produce out of her experience in these classes. She was able to use many of these pieces to fulfill the portfolio requirements when applying to art schools and colleges.

So how did Jessie do in the whole art school application process? She was admitted to every program to which she applied. RISD ( Rhode Island School of Design) the #1 top-ranked art school in the country since before I was applying to art schools, offered her $25K per year to attend there. According to The College Board, RISD only accepted 34% of the students who applied this year. SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) offered her $21K per year. She was also accepted at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) which shares 4th place ranking among art schools with VCU School of the Arts where Jessie was accepted as well. VCUarts boasts the #1 rank of Public Schools of Art in the country. Carnegie Mellon University, School of Design, which is ranked 5th and only accepted 33% of all applicants this year also offered Jessie admission.

By now you may be asking yourself: What if my student thinks he wants to major in art at college but later changes his mind? These classes may be a great place for him to sort all of that out now.....and save himself a lot of time and money in the long run. Or, as in the case with my daughter, these classes may be the place to assure and convince you (and them) that furthering their education in art is exactly where God wants them to be.

Judy Kusuma (parent)


Words can not describe how much I loved this class. It was challenging and frustrating and time consuming and absolutely amazing. At the beginning of last year I knew that I loved to draw, but I was insecure and uncertain. I had many ideas, but I didnít know how to go about putting them down on paper and when I did they seemed disappointing and hopeless. Taking this course changed everything.

You donít have to be an amazing artist to start and finish this course, but you do have to love it. You have to be truly passionate about growing as an artist and willing to work as hard as you can to make yourself better. More than anything I think that this class gave me confidence. Not confidence by making me feel like I was great at art, which I certainly am not, but by showing me that I can try. It stretched my limits so that I know what I can and can not do. Thatís a really great thing to know. Thereís no more uncertainty and hesitation when some one asks me to draw something for them. I know that it wonít be the most amazing thing ever, but I know that if I donít hold back I can do my best.

Whenever I told some one that I was taking an online art course their first reaction was ďwell how could that possibly work?Ē But really the fact that it was online never once caused a problem. Actually I think it may have helped in some ways. We had to learn to work on our own time and use our own judgment instead of constantly relying on a teacher to show us how to do something and keep us doing it. That, I believe, took the experience and learning potential to a whole new level.

The assignments are clear and concise and while giving the student a solid grasp of what is required, leave plenty of room for personal expression. I never felt hampered by excessive guidelines, but neither did I feel at a loss for direction.

The teachers are wonderful. They are considerate and understanding. Their critiques are honest, helpful, and individual as they work with each student to develop their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Questions are always answered and encouragement is always given. Mr. Meldrum and Ms. Settino go beyond the role of just teachers; they truly care about their students.

The work is very hard. I probably spent about 20 hours a week on it. I had to sacrifice much of my free time, but even though it was difficult it really was so much fun. Itís a very fast paced course which sometimes left me feeling a little overwhelmed, but never stagnant or bored. You will develop the confidence and initiative necessary to just dive in when you are feeling a little insecure. Honestly it doesnít even give you the chance to doubt your abilities, you just do it. Itís amazing to be able to spend all that time doing something you really love. So all I can say to you on that matter is that the workload will be much easier if you just jump in and donít procrastinate (unfortunately this was something I wasnít very good at) and most importantly enjoy it for all itís worth!

You will get to try many different mediums like charcoal, acrylic paint, ink, markers, and more. With those you will discover new techniques and styles. Things like contrast, perspective, ideation, and composition suddenly become important and with your fellow classmates you will find yourself on a great adventure of discovery and exploration in the world of art.

On a practical note, one very important thing is to have a place to work. I started out working on my dining room table. This only worked for a short time because it was uncomfortable having no privacy and my mom was getting tired of scrubbing charcoal powder off the table, chairs, and just about everything in the general vicinity. After that I tried working on my bedroom floor. Even worse. Within two weeks I felt like I was an eighty year-old with back problems. Finally we got a good, sturdy work table for my room. Problem solved. It is absolutely crucial to have a comfortable workspace that you donít have to worry about getting messy.

This course was worth ever penny and every minute. It was worth every back-ache and wrist-ache and head-ache. Not only will it make you a better artist than you ever knew you could be, it will give you an idea of what working in the art field would be like and if thatís something for you. Regardless of whether you decide to pursue art as a career or just keep it a hobby, if you work hard and diligently you will not regret taking this course. Even though itís challenging, itís also ridiculously fun and exciting. Over all it was a fantastic experience and I would love to do it all over again.

Good luck!

Liana Caggeso (student)


A Parent's Review (final) posted by Mary Keenan-Sadlon on June 02 2010 at 18:09:18

For any parent whose child is considering art, engineering, or architecture as a possible career choice, this class is a GEM! Just be prepared for W-O-R-K. This class is the equivalent of a part-time job and IS NOT for the over scheduled, overly committed student


A Parent's Review posted by Mary Keenan-Sadlon on June 02 2010 at 18:04:18

AP Studio Art-Drawing was the first class with Penna Homeschoolers that my daughter(Lucille) has taken. We have been following a traditional approach of 4 years each of Foreign language, English, Mathematics, and lab Sciences. Last summer my daughter expressed an interest in Architecture as a possible college choice and I learned that she would have to assemble an Art portfolio for admission to university. Knowing that I did not have the expertise to assist her in this task and looking at other options, we chose the Settino/Meldrum team. It was definitely MORE than we bargained for!

This class is NOT a "light filler" nor an easy way to obtain an AP credit! The workload is TREMENDOUS due to College Board requirements. We were already carrying a heavy course schedule of advanced Math and Physics, an honors Latin and a Literature class in addition to two other self-paced subjects. There were simply not enough hours in the day to follow what we thought was going to be our class schedule for the year. I discovered that the average time Lucille spent in composing, preparing, drawing, photographing, etc. her work for the Drawing Class was more in the neighborhood of 20-25 hours a week! Something had to give.

Ms. Settino made herself available both by phone and email and through talking with her I was able to better understand the process of teaching a drawing class online. I could not intellectually grasp how a visual medium could be taught in this manner and the delivery of such instruction is totally unique in comparison to being in an art studio setting. Even such a skill as holding a brush takes on new meaning when watching/learning via video. Parents MUST be understanding of this and willing to forgo preconceived ideas about the delivery of instruction. Your son/daughter will be working in a "virtual art studio". Things that would take a few moments at the elbow of a "live" art teacher take more time on-line.

All throughout the process, the Settino/Meldrum team provided my daughter with thoughtful,insightful instruction that was totally geared to her individual needs. The weekly art critiques that were provided for each piece she submitted were truly remarkable. They were a treasure-trove of information, suggestions,inspiration, and encouragement. She could not have received finer instruction anywhere! I really cannot imagine how much time the Settino/Meldrum team devoted to these weekly critiques. 

AP Drawing requires the parent to be an active facilitator, working with the student when needed and communicating with the instructors. It is NOT a hands-off affair! Parents need to be informed, interested, and flexible with their time and make necessary adjustments that help their child with the course load. Even buying the art supplies was an education! I believe that AP Drawing is every inch a university-level course and since it is production-based, rather than exam-based, your student may need considerably MORE time to complete the required pieces. Due to the complexity of my daughter's pieces (one piece took over 32 hours to complete!) and the importance of a quality portfolio should she choose to apply for architecture/design school) AP Drawing had priority in our school day. During the final weeks of portfolio admissions we put some other school subjects aside temporarily to gain maximum time.

AP Drawing was a remarkable experience for the entire family. The work that Lucy produced is the best she's ever done. She has a strong portfolio for college admission and the invaluable experience of working in a production environment all year. She was able to learn from her fellow students and they proved to be a great source of inspiration and education. She knows what it is to create a drawing under time constraint and her composition skills have improved tremendously. In addition, she has developed strong competency in giving and receiving critique, which is a crucial skill in architecture and architectural engineering.

 


AP Drawing: A Review posted by Hannah Watson on May 25 2010 at 15:28:21

This is a great course for someone who is looking to go into art school. It will prepare them for the workload, improve the skills necessary, and expose them to new mediums.

 

This course did prepare me personally for the AP Drawing exam, especially for all the work I had to put into the pieces; and believe me there was a lot of work needed. The final exam was 5 quality art pieces submitted to the school and 24 digitally submitted pieces.

The teachers helped prepare me for the exam not only by preparing me for the workload, they helped by giving me new ideas, they made me aware of things I needed to work on or fix, supported my ideas and were always excited to see what I would create next.

This course requires a LOT of work. We are required to work for at least 12 hours a week. I worked about 16 hours and sometimes more on the bigger projects. I worked so much on them because it took me longer to build up value to make sure everything looked right and because I am primarily a photographer, I wasn’t used to drawing what I see.

 

One of my favorite mediums was Pen and Ink and also Ink Wash. These were my favorites because they all flowed into one another and I felt like I had more control of the mediums. Pen and Ink was fun because you could add lots of textures. For one assignment we had to draw trees and one of the trees I drew looked furry, my teachers call it the Were Tree and it pops up in at least two of my other drawings. Ink Wash was also fun because you could mix different shades of wash to build up deep and dark colors so you could have very light areas and very dark areas in one drawing.

An assignment that was very valuable was in the beginning of the year where we focused on value (light). I had never realized how important light is in a drawing and other art. Now whenever I draw, sketch or even photograph something I always add or am very aware of the light source.

This course has also made me interested in other art so I’ve explored a lot of older art. While I was in the library around Thanksgiving this year and I found a book called “30,000 Years of Art” I borrowed it and was reading it in the car on the way home. Later I received it as a Christmas present. I love flipping through the book looking at all the different art by so many different people with different styles. This book is also in one of my drawings.

Students that would do well in this course are students that are organized, love to draw and don’t procrastinate. This is a very fast paced course and procrastinators would have a hard time keeping up with it. All of the hard work was worth it in the end because this year I discovered skills that I didn’t even know I had.

 

One of the benefits of this course is that I have a new appreciation of art because I know that the artist put a lot of work into a piece even though that may not be their favorite piece.


Not Any Old Sissy Class: I Loved It!!! posted by Jessie Kusuma on May 18 2010 at 20:52:57

I loved the teachers. I loved the course work. I loved the results.

Now, my overview of the class and recommendations for future students:

Personally, I felt this course prepared me thoroughly for the exam. The assignments were clear, useful, and concentrated. The feedback was constructive and very helpful.  Because I stayed on schedule for the majority of the year, I was able to turn out a two portfolios I could be proud of. At the end of the class when it was time to arrange my work and send it in for the "exam", everything was there and it was quite easy.

I spent well over 10 hours per week working on average.  In the beginning of the year, I spent 6 to 8 hours, but as the assignments progressed and became more difficult, the time started adding up. One piece took me over 30 hours (which is party because of my perfectionism). In previous years, I didn't really make time for making art.  This class forced me to invest hours in drawing every week, and I am So glad it did.  Before I took this class, I never knew it was even Possible for me to turn out 1 quality piece in a week, every week, for an entire school year.  Since I am definitely planning on attending an art school, my parents and I thought it worth while to invest as much time as I could into the class work.

Honestly, the assignments that I found the most valuable were: ALL OF THEM. But if I reeeally had to specify, definitely the contrast exercises in the beginning. I never realized how the dramatic use of lights and darks could make my drawings so much more intense, rich and impactive.  The assignments were presented in a logical order so that the next assignment added onto, related, or was a step up from the previous. If you have been limiting yourself to just one medium in the past, you will expand your horizons in this class. Before this class, I only liked to work in graphite pencil because I liked the control and accuracy I could achieve with it. I didn't like washes because I couldn't control them very well.  This class helped me experiment with liquid media, and after a lot of practice I am much more confident with the brush and ink wash is one of my favorite mediums.  The self portrait assignments were also very fun.

[According to Me] A prospective student who wants to do well in this class should...

...Be enthusiastic about art!  I would not recommend taking this class because your parents are forcing you [hey, its a valid possibility] or if you are dibble dabbling in drawing and think it would be sorta fun to draw some pictures this year.  This is serious stuff, if you do not have an excitement for art, you will probably either A) do poorly, B) have a difficult time having fun, or C) Both. But if you are an enthusiastic young artist who would love to learn a lot, advance your artistic ability and blast out a lot of art for your portfolio, then go for it!

...Know How To Manage Their Time. Since time management is KEY for this class, the student should have that mastered. If you don't have the skills going into the class, then you will coming out (or at least have some metaphorical scars from trying if you don't) Read: Procrastinators, Beware!  If you get behind, you will not have a very fun time. Please don't take the class if your class schedule is already packed, something will suffer if you do. 

...Have supportive parents. Not that its a must, but it sure does help.  I'm not sure if I would have survived without my mom and her support, constructive criticism and general awesome Mom-ness. If you are a parent reading this: be prepared to encourage your child.  A lot. They will need it. If you can, help them stick to the schedule and hold them accountable. Be in the know about assignments so you aren't clueless.

...Keep a positive attitude. It's going to be hard work, so don't let it get you down. If their is a certain assignment that you didn't do well on, put it aside and move on to the next one, it might be easier for you than the previous medium.  If you get critiqued on something that you need to fix, don't get caught up in it, try really hard to do better in the future- it will make you a better artist!  Persevere! If you do end up taking the class and make it through to the very end, you won't regret it, it's an Awesome accomplishment.

I hope I didn't scare you with all of that. If you do fit the above descriptions, then I would Totally recommend this class. But if you are now thinking it's impossible to succeed here, it isn't true. Several students triumphed at the end of the year.  They just worked really hard. :)


Review of Mr. Meldrum and Ms. Settio's AP Studio Art posted by Isaac Wagner on May 14 2010 at 17:15:54

Mr. Meldrum and Ms. Settio's AP Studio Art is an excellent class. It gave me an idea what it would be like to study art in college, something I was (and am) undecided about. By the end of April I had two complete portfolios, which I can use for college admissions (or whatever). It taught me new techniques, and to think of art differently--not only my own work, but that of others. It had a great de-mystifying effect. I saw that art, like most else, is built up on careful work and observation, practice and consideration. It's not simply a stroke of inspiration to which only a few can aspire. At least on its lower levels, good results can be attained with a liberal application of work. This class has shown me that disciplined study of art is work. You don't just breeze through. There's no exam, but the 'exam' (that is the building of your portfolio, which you draw a picture for each week) goes on all year long. So don't let anyone tell you it's easy! (On the other hand, if you're taking another 'normal' AP along with it, the lack of a final exam is a bonus.)

 

This class is a wonderful introduction to art's 'higher' elements: light, shadow, and particularly, composition (which I found fascinating and valuable). You never look at a picture or an illustration the same way again...you find yourself analyzing it. Likewise, you learn to compose your images to create a mood or tell a story, something I had not tried before.

 

The class does a lot with different mark making techniques. I certainly would not have tried them without taking it... We did stippling, ink, drawing with erasers, and washes.

 

Perhaps the best thing (and hardest) about this class is the amount of time required to keep up. I did about 16 to 19 hours a week, sometimes more. With that much time you have to improve. I am definitely a better artist for having taken this class.

 


AP Art: Demanding and Worthwhile posted by Corinne Ryynanen on May 09 2010 at 18:52:49

Art is my passion and what I want to do with my life. After taking this AP Art course, I am even more sure of this. I never could have imagined, signing up for the class, how much work and how demanding, time-consuming, and difficult it would be. I spent easily 2 or 3 hours each day working on art some weeks, and many assignments took me over 12 hours per week to complete. But I must say that no class has ever been more worth my time. For me, I saw the work as a foretaste of college and career. I have a better idea now of what lies ahead, and I think I am better prepared for it. I was very fortunate to be able to take this class this year, as I had only two other classes in the fall and spring semesters, which gave me more time to focus on art. All the same, it did compete with my other classes from time to time, and there were times when I was worn-out and overwhelmed. I have learned more than just art from this course - I've learned time-management, diligence, and perseverance. I know what it's like to work when I'm feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. It is difficult to keep up with the deadlines; I'd often finish one assignment and jump headfirst into the next. I have grown so much as an artist. I've learned things I had never known before about ideation and composition. I'm way beyond the skill level I was when I first began. I know I can push myself because this course has required me to do so. To me, what I've learned and how I've grown was worth the commitment and the time, and there was often very little time. I can't say I had a favorite assignment, because each one taught me something different. For me, though, I know that any assignment requiring lots of shadow and tonal value (particularly in ink) were challenging for me, and extremely valuable. Moving from the Breadth to the Concentration, though, I would say that I found working from my imagination more difficult than working from a motif right there in front of me, but just as rewarding; sometimes even more so. I would recommend this course to anyone choosing art as a career. If art is your passion, then this class will be worth all the time, effort, and commitment. Like me, you probably won't know what you're committing to. It's fast-paced and emotionally, physically, and mentally taxing. Art takes energy! If you have the energy and passion, you will be able to take on this challenging course. Staying on task is KEY. This course is hard work, and it has fueled my passion and interest in art.