Last month I answered some questions that students had asked me about the Process Portfolio.

I have had a few more questions since then, so here are answers to the most recent PP questions.

MORE questions — and answers — about the Process Portfolio

1 ‘I like painting, so most of my intentions are just to create paintings, but my teacher says this intention is “not enough”. Why not?’

In terms of media, you cannot just focus on one medium/technique in the Process Portfolio. Look at the Art Making Forms Table and refer to the visual arts formal requirements of the PP. Ask your teacher to show you these if he/she hasn’t already. The Process Portfolio requires that you explore different media/techniques – ask your teacher to clarify these requirements.

In terms of intentions, PP criterion C (Communication of Ideas and Intentions) is concerned with your ideas and intentions for your artworks, and examiners will expect to see evidence of where the ideas for your artworks have come from, e.g. how and why you chose an idea, and the decisions that you make from the beginning and through the process of development.examiners

How does your idea or concept (conceptual practice) affect the materials, media, techniques and process (your material practice)? Paintings are about more than paint. Paint is the medium but there will also be an idea.

There will be a conceptual underpinning – an idea, a purpose. It might be general and it might evolve but to identify it you will undertake some aspects of reflection and evaluation: continually evaluate the most appropriate form and media for a work, and the best manner of application to realise intentions. It’s unlikely to be always and only paint. Both the evidence of the development of ideas as well as the assimilation of ideas, materials and techniques is needed to fully address Criterion C.

2 ‘My final PP file is 267MB. Is this OK?’

I’m afraid not. You need to reduce this to 20MB. For both the Comparative Study and the Process Portfolio, the final document is uploaded as a PDF file with a maximum size of 20MB. If you have Acrobat 8 or later you can click “reduce file size” and the program will do it for you. Alternatively, there is a range of online ‘reduce PDF file size’ sites that will do this for you for free.

3 ‘My PP is a PowerPoint presentation. Can I just upload the PowerPoint (ppt) file to the IB?’

No. The Process Portfolio file must be a PDF – but don’t worry, it’s very easy to convert/save the ppt file as a pdf file.

4 ‘Can I use the same artists in my process portfolio and my comparative study?’

Yes, you can use the same artists from the comparative study in your process portfolio. Some overlap between the components is natural, especially if your teacher has organised the course in a holistic manner.

However, it is essential that work is not duplicated, as this is duplication of assessment, which is an academic honesty issue – so do not use the same screens from your PP in your CS. (You could look at different works by the same artist to reduce the risk of “double-dipping” as well as promoting a wider approach (looking at more artworks?

5 ‘What is Double Dipping? I have heard that the IB has relaxed is position on including photos of works used for the exhibition in the Process Portfolio.’

Double dipping in terms of DP visual arts is a term describing the submission of the same piece of art in two different components, so that the work would receive marks twice. This is academically dishonest and is not allowed.
However, what is now allowed in the inclusion in the PP of final versions of work that have been included in the exhibition, providing it is accompanied by text that informs the examiner of this, such as ‘this is the final version of my work as included in my exhibition‘.

Process portfolio examiners focus on the process rather than the product, so it is more important that the process portfolio contains documentation (both in image and text) of the development of work rather than the finished piece.

6 ‘I am working from photos of my friends and myself, but I understand that the Process Portfolio has to be anonymous. Am I allowed to show these photos as part of my developmental process?’

Yes, these photographs could be important evidence of your developmental processes and skills. The anonymity rules are more about names, so (for example) when indicating to the examiner that you have made a particular piece, just write ‘this is my own work’ when providing details of title, artist, medium, size etc.

  • Thank you Mr P! Many of my answers to these questions were informed by the consistently useful and informative posts made by the online facilitator Jayson Paterson on My IB.
  • Wordclouds from
  • Thank you Rebecca for PP example page.