Here is a an extract from an A Level Portfolio basedon the theme of Identity. You can composition ideas for a final piece. Remember what I said about creating a mini final piece for your Set Task – this ensures you know what you are doing with your final outcome and that you are confident with the materials you are using.

The student artwork was taken from the Student Art Guide – a brilliant website showcasing GCSE and A Level Art coursework from around the world.



A03 Record – Observational Drawings from Photographs

Examples below of high quality photographs and studies.  Really look at the exmaples shown below – if you follow the layout and try to create similar studies, you will get the marks you need for your grade.

Remember, as well this post helping you with your Set Task, it will also help you with your C.P.  You will need to revisit parts of your skethbook to improve, so keep looking at past posts to help you gain those extra marks.

Continue to ANNOTATE!!!image5 image6 image2 image4 image1


SET TASK Ao3 Record – Photography Inspiration Pt3

Further examples of Ao3 record.  Some of the examples also have studies of the photographs on the same page.

Don’t forget to ANNOTATE!!  Remember the Annotate post and also pay reference to your GCSE booklet given to you at the start of September.

In the top right corner of the first page, you can see where the student has paid reference to their artist.  They have also created their interpretation of a win g which links to their initial theme.  Note the clear, plain background where they have taken the photograph of their object.

In the top right corner of the first page, you can see where the student has paid reference to their artist. They have also created their interpretation of a win g which links to their initial theme. Note the clear, plain background where they have taken the photograph of their object.


Photo’s which have been staged to communicate their theme. They have also started to experiment with drawing by drawing half of the photographs – this can bump up the Ao1 and Ao2.



Great example of annotation and photography.


Musical instruments – this is a good example of how to take clear photographs of objects zoomed in. Remember to use the macro setting when taking close up shots.


Good example of photography, studies and annotation.


You could use a scanner to take photos of objects. Creates a real sense of depth. Remember to close your eyes if you decide to scan your face!


SET TASK Ao3 Record – Photography Inspiration Pt2

This work explores the theme of Perception, Culture and Identity.  The student was interested in her religion of Islam and how the media has influenced peoples perception of the religion and blurred the lines of what is good and bad.  She staged her own photographs,  played around with projection and layering her photographs on top of one another digitally – I can show you how to do this in lesson depending on the avenue you go down with your theme.




Use of projection. Projecting a blurred image in the background to get the message of blurred perception of the Islamic faith.


Photographing glasses which make up the student’s identity


Fusing the photographs together to develop the theme and generate possible final outcomes.

SET TASK Ao3 Record – Photography Inspiration Pt1

Even though the example given below is a A level sketchbook, the general way of generating prep work is near enough the same.  The theme for the project was Distortion and the student was awarded 100% through their simple exploration and high quality studies.  I thought I would show you the whole process of her prep work as you will have to do the same thing.

The photograph’s are of a very high level as the student was also studying A level photography and used traditional methods of photography.  But this doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the same quality imagery (read the photography hints and tips post that will be up soon).  The student paid reference to her artists who influenced her initial theme and photography – remember do this as well when taking your photographs.


Photographs exploring the theme of Distortion


Experimentation with pencil and paint with further photographs


Charcoal studies to achieve the layers from the initial photographs


Further experimentation with colour and materials which relate to the artist research


Final idea development


You may think I am getting slightly obsessed with the theme of Headdress but the photography of two brothers Amit and Naroop really fits in well with the theme.  They have looked at the iconic turban worn by Sikh men.

The photograph’s explore various sikhs wearing the turban from watchmakers to polo players and give the viewer understanding of how the sikh faith is interpreted and adapted by these different sikhs.  You could apply this idea to other faiths as well or the way certain fashions are worn by people.

Visit their website for more information.  You may also get inspiration for your Ao3 work with regards to composition and general inspiration www.amitandnaroop.com


Gurbir Singh – Polo Player


Narvir Singh – Filmmaker


Balbir Singh – Temple Volunteer


Chaz Singh Fliy – Creative Director


Daljit Singh Plahe – Watchmaker



A03 and A03 – Compositions for final outcome

You are now at the point where you need to bring all your ideas and artists together to come up with a final outcome.

Creating compositions is very important part of the developmental process when it comes to your work – it helps you and the marker understand where your work has got to and how you have summarised your theme.

Just coming up with a page of compositions and then creating a small mock piece to show your experimentation techniques will help you gain the marks you need in order to achieve the grade you want .

Take a look at the example below – if you work this way, there will be no problems!!


Fantastic example of composition development. There is enough annotation to explain what their thought process is. Also, the drawing is of high quality – this still counts if you are creating small compositions.


This a final outcome. The two images below show the process with how the student came up with the final composition, along with colour combinations which reflected their theme of Natural Forms



A01 Develop – Artist Research Example Pt2

Consider the presentation of your artist research pages.  There is no need to spend ages on backgrounds and decoration.  You can use a simple wash, ink splats, interesting text or think about the general layout of your images and studies on the page.








A01 Develop – Artist Research Example Pt1

Here is an example of a few artist research pages for you to have a look at when completing your own work.

Key thing is to annotate – you do not need to write reems of information about the artist; condense it.  We are interested in your thoughts and how it relates to your starting point.

Visit the Archives and re-read the Annotate and Artist Research pages uploaded for you.  Also, keep looking at your GCSE booklet to guide you were given at the start of the term.