High School 

    Visual Art Portfolio

    CLICK the link below for ideas and inspiration!

    In order to prepare students who are interested in applying to arts focused high school, PS/IS 163 suggest that students prepare their portfolios way in advance of application. They need to develop an arts portfolio that shows their talents, interests, and focus in art.  

    Below are some ideas and examples of what is typically included in each student's portfolio:

     Watercolor Landscape: Tips: First begin by LIGHTLY sketching a nature setting. When you begin painting, start applying the paint very lightly at first (use a lot of water). Let the area dry, and then go back and add darker shades of paint by using less water on your brush.  Remember: You can always add more paint….but you can’t take it off the paper!  So start lightly!

       2.    Black and White Self Portrait with Shading:   Start by sketching. Again, begin lightly!!!  You can always get darker later! 

        3.    Interior of a room in perspective: Begin by sketching a room and all of the objects/furniture inside of it.  Go back in and darken it with some strongerpencil lines. 
    Add shading next.   

         4.    City Scene with buildings in perspective. Try to make the buildings
     and objects “go back into space”.   

        Color pencil Still Life: Choose objects such as fruits, books, vases, glasses, a mirror with the reflection, or any type of “setup” that could be on a tabletop. Begin by using a regular pencil to sketch the objects that you are drawing. Instead of darkening with your pencil….begin to add in color pencil showing the light and dark by shading with your color pencils.     

    6.    Photography: Take some pictures of random things: beach scenes, parks, still life setups….etc.  Try to make the composition interesting by not centering the main subject and also by experimenting with lighting.  Make it a little off center and crop your pictures in a unique way.  You don’t have to print them we can do that at school. Just make sure to save the images so we can get them on paper eventually. 

          7.    Close-up drawing of textured object (strawberry, sponge, flower): In this drawing, I want you to show your skills with drawing close-up details and adding shading.  You can use just regular pencils or colored pencils.

        8.   Figure Drawing: Draw people in different poses, doing different activities.  Sketch first until you get the proportions correct and darken to give it a more finished look. Add shading or color.

        9.    Draw your hand holding an object: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it on the first try. Hands are one of the most difficult things to draw. 

         10. Oil Pastel still life: Close-up or far away. Make sure you blend colors and make smooth gradations….this is why oil pastels are great to work with!

    NYCDOE Arts

    It is a goal of the New York City schools to provide all public school students a high-quality arts education. Students will discover the lifelong enjoyment and wonder inherent in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. They also will connect to arts institutions and organizations that exhibit and perform the arts, offer advanced study in the arts, and generate the many financially and personally rewarding jobs available in New York City’s arts-related industries. 

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