Advanced Placement

The Differences Between AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing

Do you have a passion for creating art? If so, you may be thinking of taking one or more of the three courses that make up the AP Art and Design Program. Learn about the similarities and differences between AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing so you can choose the course that’s right for you.

What Will You Learn in AP 2-D Art and Design?

In AP 2-D Art and Design you’ll develop skills using materials and processes such as graphic design, photography, collage, printmaking, fashion illustration, and others. As the course concludes you’ll submit a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to practice, experiment, and revise your own work while communicating your ideas about art and design. To learn more about the course visit the AP 2-D Art and Design course page.

 

What Will You Learn in AP 3-D Art and Design?

In AP 3-D Art and Design you’ll learn how to create art in different disciplines such as sculpture, architectural rendering, metal work, ceramics, and others. At the end of the course you’ll submit a portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge of art skills using three-dimensional materials. To learn more about the course visit the AP 3-D Art and Design course page.

 

What Will You Learn in AP Drawing?

In this course you’ll experiment with a variety of materials and processes as you develop your drawing skills. At the end of the course you’ll submit a portfolio that demonstrates the different drawing abilities taught in the course, which include mark-making, line, surface, space, light and shade, and composition. To learn more about the course visit AP Drawing course page.

 

How Are AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing Similar?

All three AP Art and Design courses conclude when you submit a portfolio of your artwork at the end of the school year—and none of the courses end in an “exam” with multiple-choice questions or essays. Your work in your art portfolio makes up the entirety of your AP score for each of these courses. You will work with your teacher or AP coordinator to mail in your portfolio, as well as upload the digital images of your work and commentary online. 

All AP Art and Design portfolios follow a two-section structure where you will demonstrate foundational knowledge and a range of understanding of visual methods. Each section is graded on a 5-point scale and contributes to the final portfolio score. 

You'll also learn similar skills in all three courses, including:

  • Investigating the materials, processes, and ideas that artists and designers use.
  • Communicating your ideas about works of art and design.
  • Practicing, experimenting, and revising as you create your own work.

 

How Are AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing Different?

The topics covered in the three courses vary, as do the technical skills and knowledge you’re expected to show in your final portfolio. See the table below for examples of the mediums where you’ll develop and demonstrate these abilities throughout the course and in your portfolio.

AP 2-D Art

AP 3-D Art

AP Drawing

  • Graphic design
  • Digital imaging
  • Photography
  • Collage
  • Fabric design
  • Weaving
  • Fashion design
  • Illustration
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Figurative or nonfigurative sculpture
  • Architectural models
  • Metal work
  • Ceramics
  • Installation
  • Performance
  • Assemblage
  • 3-D fabric/fiber arts
  • Drawing (analog or digital)
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Mixed media work

 

Check out these recent student profiles from the AP Art and Design Digital Exhibit of work from AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, or AP Drawing.