Tips for A level Art
Once you have created some mock-ups, pick one, refine it, and prepare to make a mock final piece. Think about what materials you want to use, what canvas, and also consider how long it would take you to finish the piece. Consider size, if you do it larger you may have to sacrifice detail.
So next, create a mock. This should be what your final piece is going to look like, it can be smaller than what you want your final piece to look like though. If when you have completed it, you wish to change something, then do it, explain it in your book. Then be ready to start your final piece. Your final piece will be completed in exam conditions, however, with this project you will have extra time to go back and improve your final piece. The exam is 15 hours (separated across 3 days), and then you have some time to finish off after in non-exam conditions. Once your final piece is done, your sketchbook should be done too. Shortly after completing your final piece, your next exam project will come out. It is not a good idea to try and be balancing two projects at once so make sure you are happy with your first project. The essay component of the personal project must be completed too. Your school should give you some directions on how to complete the essay, but ultimately it is meant to be a detailed exploration of your chosen project.
Externally set projects usually come out towards the end of winter, it is a topic set across the country for that exam board. Do not be discouraged by the title, you can twist it to whatever interests you. For example, in my year, the exam title was ‘environment,’ and I loved painting people. My first thoughts when seeing the title were that I was going to have to paint my surroundings, like trees, buildings and leaves. I soon learnt that this was not the case, I could take that title in any direction I wanted. It was about my interpretation of it. So I chose to explore the mind as an environment and made surreal portraits. With the externally set project, you follow the same procedure as the personal investigation. This time, there is no essay component. But you still need to write about your work throughout the project. The difference between this project and the last is that there is no going back. You have a strict deadline, and cannot work on it past the deadline. Therefore when you walk into your final art exam, your textbook should be complete. The exam is 15 hours again, and must be finished in those 15 hours. Think wisely about how much you can get done in 15 hours. The exam component is worth 25% of that assessment mark. A total of 80 marks can be awarded for externally set projects, and 120 for personal investigations.