CoolCavy
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I thought i would make this thread since this is the time of year that AS art students start their personal investigation for A2 and i also find myself writing similar things on art threads. I don't profess to be an absolute expert on this but having recently finished A2 everything is still quite fresh so i thought i would write it down.
Two things are worth noting: this thread is technically for the AQA course however i think that some things for art a level are quite generic and could probably be laterally applied across many courses. Secondly, the art a level has changed structure so the AS no longer counts, it didnt count when i was doing it a year ago as we were the first people through but im not sure how the AS course is taught anymore as some schools don't do defined 'projects' AS, therefore this thread is probably most relevant to 2019-20 A2 students

A2:
The course for AQA A2 art is split into the following:
  1. Personal Investigation (June/July 2020-February 2021): This is a project of your own choosing. Please make it something you are interested in as you will have to sustain it for a very long time period. It also has to be something that you can gather primary research for (i.e. photos). That doesn't mean that you can't choose something exciting and interesting but if you choose something more abstract you will just have to be more clever about how and what you photograph. This element is technically the 'coursework' element and is worth 60% so make if anything is going to be excellent make it this. This project also includes a 3000-3500 word essay about your PI.
  2. Externally Set Assignment (February 2021 - April 2021): This is the shorter 'exam' project. You will be given a list of topics from the exam board in this format. You then choose one of these topics. Make sure you read the information supplied in the question carefully. For example if it says the 'colour' or 'shape' of said topic then you need to focus on colour or shape. You don't have to be entirely literal with the topics either and in a way it is better if you put a bit of a unique twist on it but make sure you check it with a teacher so that you aren't diverging too far off the required path. This unit is worth 40%.

There are marking areas for each of these projects and they are the same for both, I have broken them down into roughly the same as the advice we were given by teachers:

  • Research:
This is very important, if you don't have a good base to work from the end product will be sub-standard. Whilst the internet and sites such as 'pinterest' are good starting points to find artists research (of which you will need around 4 artists typically) you will need primary photographs that you have taken yourself of your subject matter. On the topic of artists it is worth mentioning that no-one is interested in their life story and that your annotations should be about what you like and dislike about the artist's work and style and how you could incorporate parts of their style/expression etc into your own work. For the primary research get out and go to places. Examiners love this as it shows real effort and enthusiasm. Don't be afraid to ask to go behind the scenes at galleries or museums etc, the worst thing anyone can say is no and most of the time they are happy to help students. Doing this gives you an edge over other students as you will have access to resources that no-one else does. Speaking of art galleries make sure you go to a couple at least as part of your research, this shows an interest in 'art history' and whilst i will admit they aren't the most exciting things in the universe they become important for the essay you will write about your personal investigation.

  • Experimentation:
Experimentation in different media and styles is also very important for projects, examiners like to see versatility and students stepping out of their comfort zone. Try lots of styles and materials even if you think you wont like them. If you dont like them you include them in your sketchbook and say why which will get you marks and if you do like them include them in the sketchbook and say you will develop and refine this technique. This makes your final prep outcome more varied and interesting. Experimentation with techniques such as printing can also help speed up slow workers as unfortunately this course does place a heavy emphasis on quantity as well as quality. Experimentation doesn't have to mean materials either, it could be using a different colour scheme or creating pieces of different scales.

  • Development/Refinement:
After the experimentation phase you will need to pick the techniques that you enjoyed the most and looked the most effective. You then need to practise using these techniques to achieve an excellent standard of the pieces being produced. Document this process in your sketchbook with lots of photos to show the progress.

  • Outcome:
After all the previous stages this is the culmination of all of that work. Choose the pieces that you think look the most effective from what you have produced and then mount these on an A2 board. This is your 'prep sheet' you can include photos on this or do a separate photos board. You can also include standalone pieces that can be mounted on a separate board. This outcome work will eventually be put in a display case for the moderator to see. The outcome will also include your 15 hour exam piece. This is the final 'exam' and will be done over the course of 3 days (5 hours each day). You are not allowed to touch any of your work except this final piece from when you start on the first day. This piece shouldn't be a totally new technique, it should be something you have created as a result of a culmination of ideas from your prep work and needs to link directly to this. Make sure you choose something doable within the time frame.

General Tips:
-Your sketchbook is your best friend, document everything in your sketchbook as you will get marks for it and it shows an organic thought process. Don't just include the things you have done which worked, include things that didn't and explain why they didn't and why you aren't happy with it.
-Don't throw stuff away, even if you aren't happy with something you have produced save it and stick it in your sketchbook
-Don't be too stubborn, whilst it is easy to get defensive of your own project listen to constructive feedback and act on it, it is always good to get opinions from others
-Try to find some local artists that you could liaise with or go to a workshop with, you could learn some new techniques from them and this will really impress the examiner
-Plan your time carefully and meet internal deadlines. For a course like this it is really important that you get things done on time as then at the end you will be less stressed. Furthermore if you get all your art work done on time then this frees you up to revise your other subjects for the A2 exams as art finishes quite early

Finally good luck :pierre: this is a hard and intense course but it really does feel rewarding to see your work in a display case on the walls at the end of the year

hopefully that helped at least someone
Last edited by CoolCavy; 9 months ago
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Kevin De Bruyne
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I thought i would make this thread since this is the time of year that AS art students start their personal investigation for A2 and i also find myself writing similar things on art threads. I don't profess to be an absolute expert on this but having recently finished A2 everything is still quite fresh so i thought i would write it down.
Two things are worth noting: this thread is technically for the AQA course however i think that some things for art a level are quite generic and could probably be laterally applied across many courses. Secondly, the art a level has changed structure so the AS no longer counts, it didnt count when i was doing it a year ago as we were the first people through but im not sure how the AS course is taught anymore as some schools don't do defined 'projects' AS, therefore this thread is probably most relevant to 2017-18 A2 students

A2:
The course for AQA A2 art is split into the following:
  1. Personal Investigation (June/July 2017-February 2018): This is a project of your own choosing. Please make it something you are interested in as you will have to sustain it for a very long time period. It also has to be something that you can gather primary research for (i.e. photos). That doesn't mean that you can't choose something exciting and interesting but if you choose something more abstract you will just have to be more clever about how and what you photograph. This element is technically the 'coursework' element and is worth 60% so make if anything is going to be excellent make it this. This project also includes a 3000-3500 word essay about your PI.
  2. Externally Set Assignment (February 2018 - April 2018): This is the shorter 'exam' project. You will be given a list of topics from the exam board in the following format: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...A-7202-SQP.PDF. You then choose one of these topics. Make sure you read the information supplied in the question carefully. For example if it says the 'colour' or 'shape' of said topic then you need to focus on colour or shape. You don't have to be entirely literal with the topics either and in a way it is better if you put a bit of a unique twist on it but make sure you check it with a teacher so that you aren't diverging too far off the required path. This unit is worth 40%.

There are marking areas for each of these projects and they are the same for both, I have broken them down into roughly the same as the advice we were given by teachers:

  • Research:

This is very important, if you don't have a good base to work from the end product will be sub-standard. Whilst the internet and sites such as 'pinterest' are good starting points to find artists research (of which you will need at least 4 artists) you will need primary photographs that you have taken yourself of your subject matter. On the topic of artists it is worth mentioning that no-one is interested in their life story and that your annotations should be about what you like and dislike about the artist's work and style and how you could incorporate parts of their style/expression etc into your own work. For the primary research get out and go to places. Examiners love this as it shows real effort and enthusiasm. Don't be afraid to ask to go behind the scenes at galleries or museums etc, the worst thing anyone can say is no and most of the time they are happy to help students. Doing this gives you an edge over other students as you will have access to resources that no-one else does. Speaking of art galleries make sure you go to a couple at least as part of your research, this shows an interest in 'art history' and whilst i will admit they aren't the most exciting things in the universe they become important for the essay you will write about your personal investigation.

  • Experimentation:

Experimentation in different media and styles is also very important for projects, examiners like to see versatility and students stepping out of their comfort zone. Try lots of styles and materials even if you think you wont like them. If you dont like them you include them in your sketchbook and say why which will get you marks and if you do like them include them in the sketchbook and say you will develop and refine this technique. This makes your final prep outcome more varied and interesting. Experimentation with techniques such as printing can also help speed up slow workers as unfortunately this course does place a heavy emphasis on quantity as well as quality. Experimentation doesn't have to mean materials either, it could be using a different colour scheme or creating pieces of different scales.

  • Development/Refinement:

After the experimentation phase you will need to pick the techniques that you enjoyed the most and looked the most effective. You then need to practise using these techniques to achieve an excellent standard of the pieces being produced. Document this process in your sketchbook with lots of photos to show the progress.

  • Outcome:

After all the previous stages this is the culmination of all of that work. Choose the pieces that you think look the most effective from what you have produced and then mount these on an A2 board. This is your 'prep sheet' you can include photos on this or do a separate photos board. You can also include standalone pieces that can be mounted on a separate board. This outcome work will eventually be put in a display case for the moderator to see. The outcome will also include your 15 hour exam piece. This is the final 'exam' and will be done over the course of 3 days (5 hours each day). You are not allowed to touch any of your work except this final piece from when you start on the first day. This piece shouldn't be a totally new technique, it should be something you have created as a result of a culmination of ideas from your prep work and needs to link directly to this. Make sure you choose something doable within the time frame.

General Tips:
-Your sketchbook is your best friend, document everything in your sketchbook as you will get marks for it and it shows an organic thought process. Don't just include the things you have done which worked, include things that didn't and explain why they didn't and why you aren't happy with it.
-Don't throw stuff away, even if you aren't happy with something you have produced save it and stick it in your sketchbook
-Don't be too stubborn, whilst it is easy to get defensive of your own project listen to constructive feedback and act on it, it is always good to get opinions from others
-Try to find some local artists that you could liaise with or go to a workshop with, you could learn some new techniques from them and this will really impress the examiner
-Plan your time carefully and meet internal deadlines. For a course like this it is really important that you get things done on time as then at the end you will be less stressed. Furthermore if you get all your art work done on time then this frees you up to revise your other subjects for the A2 exams as art finishes quite early

Finally good luck :pierre: this is a hard and intense course but it really does feel rewarding to see your work in a display case on the walls at the end of the year

hopefully that helped at least someone
Thank you so much Cavs, this was very well thought out and thank you for your time - it's sagely advice, particularly for a STEM-oriented website where there is little support or info around other subjects..

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CoolCavy
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(Original post by Kevin De Bruyne)
Thank you so much Cavs, this was very well thought out and thank you for your time - it's sagely advice, particularly for a STEM-oriented website where there is little support or info around other subjects..

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Thank you Sean :hugs: and i agree, i think that art is often overlooked because it's exam isn't the same formula as other subjects, however just because it isn't academically doesn't mean it isn't hard. Hopefully this can help someone :yes:
:hugs:

also Gingerbread101 idk if this would be useful to some people in your section?
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ShadowSeeker
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
I thought i would make this thread since this is the time of year that AS art students start their personal investigation for A2 and i also find myself writing similar things on art threads. I don't profess to be an absolute expert on this but having recently finished A2 everything is still quite fresh so i thought i would write it down.
Two things are worth noting: this thread is technically for the AQA course however i think that some things for art a level are quite generic and could probably be laterally applied across many courses. Secondly, the art a level has changed structure so the AS no longer counts, it didnt count when i was doing it a year ago as we were the first people through but im not sure how the AS course is taught anymore as some schools don't do defined 'projects' AS, therefore this thread is probably most relevant to 2017-18 A2 students

A2:
The course for AQA A2 art is split into the following:
  1. Personal Investigation (June/July 2017-February 2018): This is a project of your own choosing. Please make it something you are interested in as you will have to sustain it for a very long time period. It also has to be something that you can gather primary research for (i.e. photos). That doesn't mean that you can't choose something exciting and interesting but if you choose something more abstract you will just have to be more clever about how and what you photograph. This element is technically the 'coursework' element and is worth 60% so make if anything is going to be excellent make it this. This project also includes a 3000-3500 word essay about your PI.
  2. Externally Set Assignment (February 2018 - April 2018): This is the shorter 'exam' project. You will be given a list of topics from the exam board in the following format: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...A-7202-SQP.PDF. You then choose one of these topics. Make sure you read the information supplied in the question carefully. For example if it says the 'colour' or 'shape' of said topic then you need to focus on colour or shape. You don't have to be entirely literal with the topics either and in a way it is better if you put a bit of a unique twist on it but make sure you check it with a teacher so that you aren't diverging too far off the required path. This unit is worth 40%.


There are marking areas for each of these projects and they are the same for both, I have broken them down into roughly the same as the advice we were given by teachers:

  • Research:


This is very important, if you don't have a good base to work from the end product will be sub-standard. Whilst the internet and sites such as 'pinterest' are good starting points to find artists research (of which you will need at least 4 artists) you will need primary photographs that you have taken yourself of your subject matter. On the topic of artists it is worth mentioning that no-one is interested in their life story and that your annotations should be about what you like and dislike about the artist's work and style and how you could incorporate parts of their style/expression etc into your own work. For the primary research get out and go to places. Examiners love this as it shows real effort and enthusiasm. Don't be afraid to ask to go behind the scenes at galleries or museums etc, the worst thing anyone can say is no and most of the time they are happy to help students. Doing this gives you an edge over other students as you will have access to resources that no-one else does. Speaking of art galleries make sure you go to a couple at least as part of your research, this shows an interest in 'art history' and whilst i will admit they aren't the most exciting things in the universe they become important for the essay you will write about your personal investigation.

  • Experimentation:


Experimentation in different media and styles is also very important for projects, examiners like to see versatility and students stepping out of their comfort zone. Try lots of styles and materials even if you think you wont like them. If you dont like them you include them in your sketchbook and say why which will get you marks and if you do like them include them in the sketchbook and say you will develop and refine this technique. This makes your final prep outcome more varied and interesting. Experimentation with techniques such as printing can also help speed up slow workers as unfortunately this course does place a heavy emphasis on quantity as well as quality. Experimentation doesn't have to mean materials either, it could be using a different colour scheme or creating pieces of different scales.

  • Development/Refinement:


After the experimentation phase you will need to pick the techniques that you enjoyed the most and looked the most effective. You then need to practise using these techniques to achieve an excellent standard of the pieces being produced. Document this process in your sketchbook with lots of photos to show the progress.

  • Outcome:


After all the previous stages this is the culmination of all of that work. Choose the pieces that you think look the most effective from what you have produced and then mount these on an A2 board. This is your 'prep sheet' you can include photos on this or do a separate photos board. You can also include standalone pieces that can be mounted on a separate board. This outcome work will eventually be put in a display case for the moderator to see. The outcome will also include your 15 hour exam piece. This is the final 'exam' and will be done over the course of 3 days (5 hours each day). You are not allowed to touch any of your work except this final piece from when you start on the first day. This piece shouldn't be a totally new technique, it should be something you have created as a result of a culmination of ideas from your prep work and needs to link directly to this. Make sure you choose something doable within the time frame.

General Tips:
-Your sketchbook is your best friend, document everything in your sketchbook as you will get marks for it and it shows an organic thought process. Don't just include the things you have done which worked, include things that didn't and explain why they didn't and why you aren't happy with it.
-Don't throw stuff away, even if you aren't happy with something you have produced save it and stick it in your sketchbook
-Don't be too stubborn, whilst it is easy to get defensive of your own project listen to constructive feedback and act on it, it is always good to get opinions from others
-Try to find some local artists that you could liaise with or go to a workshop with, you could learn some new techniques from them and this will really impress the examiner
-Plan your time carefully and meet internal deadlines. For a course like this it is really important that you get things done on time as then at the end you will be less stressed. Furthermore if you get all your art work done on time then this frees you up to revise your other subjects for the A2 exams as art finishes quite early

Finally good luck :pierre: this is a hard and intense course but it really does feel rewarding to see your work in a display case on the walls at the end of the year

hopefully that helped at least someone
Hi
I have done A level Art. and I think this really amazing that you have written this. I would like to help after my exams are over which will be finish by the 28th June. To give my experiences , advices and tips. That is if you are happy.I had never had the opportunity such a post like this to guide and btw I dont hold an Art GCSE
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CoolCavy
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Hi
I have done A level Art. and I think this really amazing that you have written this. I would like to help after my exams are over which will be finish by the 28th June. To give my experiences , advices and tips. That is if you are happy.I had never had the opportunity such a post like this to guide and btw I dont hold an Art GCSE
hey :hello:
and of course :yep: i meant to write that in my OP actually, that people should feel free to give their own advice and experiences as this is by no means an exhaustive list
and good luck for your exams :hugs:
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ShadowSeeker
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hey :hello:
and of course :yep: i meant to write that in my OP actually, that people should feel free to give their own advice and experiences as this is by no means an exhaustive list
and good luck for your exams :hugs:
haha phew
thank you you too if you have any exams left
Art was one of my best subject for A level
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CinnamonSmol
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Would you say your advice is applicable to Graphic Design A-level? Also, how many hours would you say you did a week for Art outside the lesson? Did it distract you from studying from other subjects? (thank you for this post by the way, if only i had found it before my art gcse!)
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CoolCavy
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Would you say your advice is applicable to Graphic Design A-level? Also, how many hours would you say you did a week for Art outside the lesson? Did it distract you from studying from other subjects? (thank you for this post by the way, if only i had found it before my art gcse!)
im not sure sorry, haven't done graphic design before
well i had 2 frees a day at A2 so i would usually do art or my other creative subjects at school in those frees just to utilise the resources in school and because doing practical physical subjects like art and my other one can be oddly tiring and i didnt have the energy to do a lot when i got home (for numerous reasons) so any large painting or whatever i would do at school and also stay behind for an hour quite frequently (especially close to deadlines). It didn't really detract from my other subjects because the workload is so different for art etc compared to 'academic' subjects i.e there is no revision so in May i had a lot of time to revise for my other subjects when other people were trying to revise for 3 but that is countered by the fact that i did that work all year rather than just scrunched up at the end or around mock dates if that makes sense. I think it's just about finding the routine that works for you, for me personally i preferred to do stuff like art at school and stay behind if i needed to (unless it was something easy to do at home like drawing or sketchbook work) and then do my other subject work at home. I would just say use your frees wisely and holidays also, especially the Easter holiday before the april/start of may deadline

goodluck with it :hugs:
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XLittleSparrowX
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
I thought i would make this thread since this is the time of year that AS art students start their personal investigation for A2 and i also find myself writing similar things on art threads. I don't profess to be an absolute expert on this but having recently finished A2 everything is still quite fresh so i thought i would write it down.
Two things are worth noting: this thread is technically for the AQA course however i think that some things for art a level are quite generic and could probably be laterally applied across many courses. Secondly, the art a level has changed structure so the AS no longer counts, it didnt count when i was doing it a year ago as we were the first people through but im not sure how the AS course is taught anymore as some schools don't do defined 'projects' AS, therefore this thread is probably most relevant to 2017-18 A2 students

A2:
The course for AQA A2 art is split into the following:
  1. Personal Investigation (June/July 2017-February 2018): This is a project of your own choosing. Please make it something you are interested in as you will have to sustain it for a very long time period. It also has to be something that you can gather primary research for (i.e. photos). That doesn't mean that you can't choose something exciting and interesting but if you choose something more abstract you will just have to be more clever about how and what you photograph. This element is technically the 'coursework' element and is worth 60% so make if anything is going to be excellent make it this. This project also includes a 3000-3500 word essay about your PI.
  2. Externally Set Assignment (February 2018 - April 2018): This is the shorter 'exam' project. You will be given a list of topics from the exam board in the following format: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...A-7202-SQP.PDF. You then choose one of these topics. Make sure you read the information supplied in the question carefully. For example if it says the 'colour' or 'shape' of said topic then you need to focus on colour or shape. You don't have to be entirely literal with the topics either and in a way it is better if you put a bit of a unique twist on it but make sure you check it with a teacher so that you aren't diverging too far off the required path. This unit is worth 40%.


There are marking areas for each of these projects and they are the same for both, I have broken them down into roughly the same as the advice we were given by teachers:

  • Research:


This is very important, if you don't have a good base to work from the end product will be sub-standard. Whilst the internet and sites such as 'pinterest' are good starting points to find artists research (of which you will need at least 4 artists) you will need primary photographs that you have taken yourself of your subject matter. On the topic of artists it is worth mentioning that no-one is interested in their life story and that your annotations should be about what you like and dislike about the artist's work and style and how you could incorporate parts of their style/expression etc into your own work. For the primary research get out and go to places. Examiners love this as it shows real effort and enthusiasm. Don't be afraid to ask to go behind the scenes at galleries or museums etc, the worst thing anyone can say is no and most of the time they are happy to help students. Doing this gives you an edge over other students as you will have access to resources that no-one else does. Speaking of art galleries make sure you go to a couple at least as part of your research, this shows an interest in 'art history' and whilst i will admit they aren't the most exciting things in the universe they become important for the essay you will write about your personal investigation.

  • Experimentation:


Experimentation in different media and styles is also very important for projects, examiners like to see versatility and students stepping out of their comfort zone. Try lots of styles and materials even if you think you wont like them. If you dont like them you include them in your sketchbook and say why which will get you marks and if you do like them include them in the sketchbook and say you will develop and refine this technique. This makes your final prep outcome more varied and interesting. Experimentation with techniques such as printing can also help speed up slow workers as unfortunately this course does place a heavy emphasis on quantity as well as quality. Experimentation doesn't have to mean materials either, it could be using a different colour scheme or creating pieces of different scales.

  • Development/Refinement:


After the experimentation phase you will need to pick the techniques that you enjoyed the most and looked the most effective. You then need to practise using these techniques to achieve an excellent standard of the pieces being produced. Document this process in your sketchbook with lots of photos to show the progress.

  • Outcome:


After all the previous stages this is the culmination of all of that work. Choose the pieces that you think look the most effective from what you have produced and then mount these on an A2 board. This is your 'prep sheet' you can include photos on this or do a separate photos board. You can also include standalone pieces that can be mounted on a separate board. This outcome work will eventually be put in a display case for the moderator to see. The outcome will also include your 15 hour exam piece. This is the final 'exam' and will be done over the course of 3 days (5 hours each day). You are not allowed to touch any of your work except this final piece from when you start on the first day. This piece shouldn't be a totally new technique, it should be something you have created as a result of a culmination of ideas from your prep work and needs to link directly to this. Make sure you choose something doable within the time frame.

General Tips:
-Your sketchbook is your best friend, document everything in your sketchbook as you will get marks for it and it shows an organic thought process. Don't just include the things you have done which worked, include things that didn't and explain why they didn't and why you aren't happy with it.
-Don't throw stuff away, even if you aren't happy with something you have produced save it and stick it in your sketchbook
-Don't be too stubborn, whilst it is easy to get defensive of your own project listen to constructive feedback and act on it, it is always good to get opinions from others
-Try to find some local artists that you could liaise with or go to a workshop with, you could learn some new techniques from them and this will really impress the examiner
-Plan your time carefully and meet internal deadlines. For a course like this it is really important that you get things done on time as then at the end you will be less stressed. Furthermore if you get all your art work done on time then this frees you up to revise your other subjects for the A2 exams as art finishes quite early

Finally good luck :pierre: this is a hard and intense course but it really does feel rewarding to see your work in a display case on the walls at the end of the year

hopefully that helped at least someone
I know this is an old post from June but thanks for the info! I'm thankful for this due to being on AQA. I have an issue where I haven't been able to start my project yet due to illness and haven't been able to actually ask my teacher yet about it. I was wondering about the personal investigation and how I could actually get it started? Like can I choose anything? If so I'm not sure what to actually go for! I don't want to go back and be really behind.

Thank you in advance and hope you did well!
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CoolCavy
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I know this is an old post from June but thanks for the info! I'm thankful for this due to being on AQA. I have an issue where I haven't been able to start my project yet due to illness and haven't been able to actually ask my teacher yet about it. I was wondering about the personal investigation and how I could actually get it started? Like can I choose anything? If so I'm not sure what to actually go for! I don't want to go back and be really behind.

Thank you in advance and hope you did well!
:hello:
sorry to hear about your illness :hugs: hope you get well soon
yes your personal investigation can be on anything :yes: however the usual practice is to run it by the teacher first because they want to make sure you are on the right lines. They need to think that your chosen topic will be able to sustain you for the majority of the year and that you aren't going to run out of steam with it and can actually get research on it etc i've never seen anyone's topic get out and out rejected (apart from one person who wanted to do anime but that was at GCSE), usually they are just altered slightly or expanded upon (from a personal standpoint mine wasn't altered because i presented a lot of visual evidence about what i wanted to do and why and i had a lot of knowledge about the topic). It really is advisable to get a teacher to look over your idea before you go and invest loads of time into it over the summer only to be told that your topic needs changing when you get back however i can understand that in your situation that would be difficult. Is there no way you could make a mind map or collage of your proposed ideas and then email a photo of it to your teacher? best of luck with it :hugs:
no worries and thank you :hugs:
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XLittleSparrowX
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
:hello:
sorry to hear about your illness :hugs: hope you get well soon
yes your personal investigation can be on anything :yes: however the usual practice is to run it by the teacher first because they want to make sure you are on the right lines. They need to think that your chosen topic will be able to sustain you for the majority of the year and that you aren't going to run out of steam with it and can actually get research on it etc i've never seen anyone's topic get out and out rejected (apart from one person who wanted to do anime but that was at GCSE), usually they are just altered slightly or expanded upon (from a personal standpoint mine wasn't altered because i presented a lot of visual evidence about what i wanted to do and why and i had a lot of knowledge about the topic). It really is advisable to get a teacher to look over your idea before you go and invest loads of time into it over the summer only to be told that your topic needs changing when you get back however i can understand that in your situation that would be difficult. Is there no way you could make a mind map or collage of your proposed ideas and then email a photo of it to your teacher? best of luck with it :hugs:
no worries and thank you :hugs:
Thank you for the advice! Getting better now, so I should be able to do better this year. :hugs: I thought running it by my teacher would be a must. I might do little quick sketches that won't waste too much time if my teacher wants me to change it, just so I can show him what I mean and if it would be good enough. Looking into what I can do at the moment and seeing how much I'd like it over the year. I developed the topic I did last year but halfway through the year I got fed up with it and after handing my final work in, admitted to my teacher that I hated that sketchbook more than anything!

Thank you again!
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nancy.l
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Thank you so much for this, it's really helped me get my head around what y teachers actually trying to get at! Stopped a lot of stressing haha x
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by nancy.l)
Thank you so much for this, it's really helped me get my head around what y teachers actually trying to get at! Stopped a lot of stressing haha x
no worries glad it helped someone :hugs: and as little stress as possible is always a good thing

(Original post by XLittleSparrowX)
Thank you for the advice! Getting better now, so I should be able to do better this year. :hugs: I thought running it by my teacher would be a must. I might do little quick sketches that won't waste too much time if my teacher wants me to change it, just so I can show him what I mean and if it would be good enough. Looking into what I can do at the moment and seeing how much I'd like it over the year. I developed the topic I did last year but halfway through the year I got fed up with it and after handing my final work in, admitted to my teacher that I hated that sketchbook more than anything!

Thank you again!
did everything go ok with this in the end? :hugs:
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XLittleSparrowX
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
did everything go ok with this in the end? :hugs:
Yep, thank you! I decided to do Harmony and Discord as a theme and I'm enjoying it a lot. My teacher is also very enthusiastic about my theme and what I've produced so far. It was great to have some help to prepare myself so thank you for it
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TheAlchemistress
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CoolCavy


How do you layout your gallery book? I went to a gallery and I have postcards and cards etc, but because I am doing A-Level Art I don't know what to write or do, to make it more A-Level standard.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
CoolCavy


How do you layout your gallery book? I went to a gallery and I have postcards and cards etc, but because I am doing A-Level Art I don't know what to write or do, to make it more A-Level standard.
gallery book? i had gallery pages in my sketchbook if that's what you mean? for stuff like postcards and stuff i always tied in them a bit loosely to make it look a bit 'spontaneous' and scrapbooky and like i was doing my sketchbook at the gallery or something
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
gallery book? i had gallery pages in my sketchbook if that's what you mean? for stuff like postcards and stuff i always tied in them a bit loosely to make it look a bit 'spontaneous' and scrapbooky and like i was doing my sketchbook at the gallery or something
So what would you write about or do in them? I do know what to do because I have done GCSE Art, but for some reason it seems harder right now.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by TheAlchemistress)
So what would you write about or do in them? I do know what to do because I have done GCSE Art, but for some reason it seems harder right now.
i always just wrote a little intro of where i went and why and if you took photos of some of the artwork in the gallery say why you photographed it, what you liked about it and how you could incorporate the artist's styles and techniques into your own work, just similar stuff to what you write about when you do artists pages. Even if the stuff in the gallery seems really unrelated you can still say you are 'inspired' by the colour pallets and stuff in the paintings or the 'meanings' behind the art etc etc
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TheAlchemistress
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
i always just wrote a little intro of where i went and why and if you took photos of some of the artwork in the gallery say why you photographed it, what you liked about it and how you could incorporate the artist's styles and techniques into your own work, just similar stuff to what you write about when you do artists pages. Even if the stuff in the gallery seems really unrelated you can still say you are 'inspired' by the colour pallets and stuff in the paintings or the 'meanings' behind the art etc etc
Thanks.
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Nasarasuccess
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
I thought i would make this thread since this is the time of year that AS art students start their personal investigation for A2 and i also find myself writing similar things on art threads. I don't profess to be an absolute expert on this but having recently finished A2 everything is still quite fresh so i thought i would write it down.
Two things are worth noting: this thread is technically for the AQA course however i think that some things for art a level are quite generic and could probably be laterally applied across many courses. Secondly, the art a level has changed structure so the AS no longer counts, it didnt count when i was doing it a year ago as we were the first people through but im not sure how the AS course is taught anymore as some schools don't do defined 'projects' AS, therefore this thread is probably most relevant to 2017-18 A2 students

A2:
The course for AQA A2 art is split into the following:
  1. Personal Investigation (June/July 2017-February 2018): This is a project of your own choosing. Please make it something you are interested in as you will have to sustain it for a very long time period. It also has to be something that you can gather primary research for (i.e. photos). That doesn't mean that you can't choose something exciting and interesting but if you choose something more abstract you will just have to be more clever about how and what you photograph. This element is technically the 'coursework' element and is worth 60% so make if anything is going to be excellent make it this. This project also includes a 3000-3500 word essay about your PI.
  2. Externally Set Assignment (February 2018 - April 2018): This is the shorter 'exam' project. You will be given a list of topics from the exam board in the following format: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...A-7202-SQP.PDF. You then choose one of these topics. Make sure you read the information supplied in the question carefully. For example if it says the 'colour' or 'shape' of said topic then you need to focus on colour or shape. You don't have to be entirely literal with the topics either and in a way it is better if you put a bit of a unique twist on it but make sure you check it with a teacher so that you aren't diverging too far off the required path. This unit is worth 40%.

There are marking areas for each of these projects and they are the same for both, I have broken them down into roughly the same as the advice we were given by teachers:

  • Research:

This is very important, if you don't have a good base to work from the end product will be sub-standard. Whilst the internet and sites such as 'pinterest' are good starting points to find artists research (of which you will need at least 4 artists) you will need primary photographs that you have taken yourself of your subject matter. On the topic of artists it is worth mentioning that no-one is interested in their life story and that your annotations should be about what you like and dislike about the artist's work and style and how you could incorporate parts of their style/expression etc into your own work. For the primary research get out and go to places. Examiners love this as it shows real effort and enthusiasm. Don't be afraid to ask to go behind the scenes at galleries or museums etc, the worst thing anyone can say is no and most of the time they are happy to help students. Doing this gives you an edge over other students as you will have access to resources that no-one else does. Speaking of art galleries make sure you go to a couple at least as part of your research, this shows an interest in 'art history' and whilst i will admit they aren't the most exciting things in the universe they become important for the essay you will write about your personal investigation.

  • Experimentation:

Experimentation in different media and styles is also very important for projects, examiners like to see versatility and students stepping out of their comfort zone. Try lots of styles and materials even if you think you wont like them. If you dont like them you include them in your sketchbook and say why which will get you marks and if you do like them include them in the sketchbook and say you will develop and refine this technique. This makes your final prep outcome more varied and interesting. Experimentation with techniques such as printing can also help speed up slow workers as unfortunately this course does place a heavy emphasis on quantity as well as quality. Experimentation doesn't have to mean materials either, it could be using a different colour scheme or creating pieces of different scales.

  • Development/Refinement:

After the experimentation phase you will need to pick the techniques that you enjoyed the most and looked the most effective. You then need to practise using these techniques to achieve an excellent standard of the pieces being produced. Document this process in your sketchbook with lots of photos to show the progress.

  • Outcome:

After all the previous stages this is the culmination of all of that work. Choose the pieces that you think look the most effective from what you have produced and then mount these on an A2 board. This is your 'prep sheet' you can include photos on this or do a separate photos board. You can also include standalone pieces that can be mounted on a separate board. This outcome work will eventually be put in a display case for the moderator to see. The outcome will also include your 15 hour exam piece. This is the final 'exam' and will be done over the course of 3 days (5 hours each day). You are not allowed to touch any of your work except this final piece from when you start on the first day. This piece shouldn't be a totally new technique, it should be something you have created as a result of a culmination of ideas from your prep work and needs to link directly to this. Make sure you choose something doable within the time frame.

General Tips:
-Your sketchbook is your best friend, document everything in your sketchbook as you will get marks for it and it shows an organic thought process. Don't just include the things you have done which worked, include things that didn't and explain why they didn't and why you aren't happy with it.
-Don't throw stuff away, even if you aren't happy with something you have produced save it and stick it in your sketchbook
-Don't be too stubborn, whilst it is easy to get defensive of your own project listen to constructive feedback and act on it, it is always good to get opinions from others
-Try to find some local artists that you could liaise with or go to a workshop with, you could learn some new techniques from them and this will really impress the examiner
-Plan your time carefully and meet internal deadlines. For a course like this it is really important that you get things done on time as then at the end you will be less stressed. Furthermore if you get all your art work done on time then this frees you up to revise your other subjects for the A2 exams as art finishes quite early

Finally good luck :pierre: this is a hard and intense course but it really does feel rewarding to see your work in a display case on the walls at the end of the year

hopefully that helped at least someone
Thank u so much for the information, it is really needed
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