“Art is something we do, a verb. Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and desires, but it is even more personal than that: it’s about sharing the way we experience the world, which for many is an extension of the personality.” – Georgia O’Keefe
Visual arts is more than just a subject, it’s a form of expression. It helps you understand yourself and the world around you better. Visual arts in the IBDP can be challenging, hectic and frustrating; but in the end, it’s worth it. From personal experience, I can say that my journey was a bit rocky. But with the right guidance and knowledge, I received a 7. Guidance in the subject is absolutely crucial, and you’ve come to the right place for it. In this blog, you will find everything there is to know about IB Visual Arts and will leave you feeling thoroughly confident.
There are three main components in Visual Arts: Comparative study, Process Portfolio and Exhibition. Let’s take a look at these in further detail.
What is it? As the name suggests, the CS involves analysing and comparing art by different artists from varied cultures and backgrounds.
- The Comparative study is 20% of your final grade. Hence, it is recommended to complete your CS in the first year itself.
- HL vs SL. SL requires you to make 10-15 slides. HL requires you to make 10-15 slides, plus an additional 3-5 slides explaining how the chosen artworks have affected your work.
- The Comparative study must analyse and compare three different artworks by at least two different artists.
- Sources must be included in a separate Word document.
- Introduction of theme/artworks. On the first screen, you should provide a brief introduction about your theme and why you chose those particular artworks.
- For each artwork, you must make a separate screen for formal analysis, cultural significance and function and purpose.
- Comparison. Once you’ve thoroughly analysed each artwork separately, you must then compare the three on the basis of all aspects. Here you can include similarities, differences and connections.
- For HL, you must add a few additional screens for reflection to your own work.
- For formal analysis of the artwork, you can use Feldman’s approach as it acts as a guide.
- For cultural significance, you can use McFee’s conceptual framework as it provides structure to your content.
- Ensure that you always describe, Analyse, Interpret and Evaluate.
- Presentation is the glue that holds your content. Ensure that you creatively present your information, while making it perfectly clear as well.
Important note: Ensure that you use subject-specific terminology/langauge throughout to demonstrate a good understanding of the subject.
Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves. – Julia Morgan
The Process Portfolio (PP) is a compilation of your artwork throughout the 2 years of IBDP. It demonstrates the development of ideas, experimentation of different media and techniques, inspiration and reflection on artists and their artwork. Sketching and journalling are absolutely essential in compiling your PP digitally in the final stage. Your PP must involve the process of making your final pieces for the exhibition.
- The PP consists of 40% of your final grade.
- HL vs SL. SL requires you to make 9-18 screens, whereas HL requires you to make 13-25 screens.
- You must experiment with a wide range of media, such as 2D, 3D and digital forms.
- The last screen must include a list of sources.
- The first two to three slides must include initial intentions and brainstorming ideas. You can use mind maps to show various ideas and initial themes.
- The next few slides must show experimentation with different media to figure out which one is most suitable and appropriate.
- Artist influence. Discover other artists’ work and show their influence on your artwork. You can recreate their artwork or show similar techniques/ideas.
- Composition ideas. Show different composition ideas to figure out which best suits your elements.
- Rework on composition ideas.
- Show process of making artwork to show evidence.
- Refine or redo and reflect. You can use Feldman’s Analysis approach here as well.
Important note: Keep in mind that the examiner is not going to be impressed by the end result, but by the process, effort and thought that goes into it. Do not just include your successes, ensure that you also include failed attempts to show improvement.
The exhibition is your final component. It is the final presentation of two years of hard work and effort. This component, unlike the others, is internally moderated and then, later on, is moderated by the IB. The final works of the exhibition must not be displayed in the Process Portfolio.
- It consists of 40% of your final grade.
- HL vs SL. For SL, it is required to make 4-7 artworks, whereas for HL it is required to make 8-11 artworks.
- A curatorial rationale is required. For SL, it must consist of 400 words, and for HL, it must consist of 700 words.
- Exhibition text involves writing a small description of each artwork– 500 characters per artwork. The title, medium and size should be included.
- Ensure that you incorporate multiple types of media when making your artworks.
Now that you’ve made it all the way to the end of this blog, you’re all set! Keep all these points in mind when going through the process of completing IBDP Visual Arts. Good luck, you got this.