This blog is a continuation of the Reminders and ideas for the PP” that I started in January. Here are a few more things that I am talking to my students about.


Yes, the good old Art Making Forms Table. I am going to stress LBESB



Acronyms can mystify and I was momentarily puzzled by LBESB but of course it’s just a quicker way of alluding to lens-based, electronic and screen-based art forms. It’s an increasingly popular area of art-making but many students are not great at recording visually how their ideas and plans are developing, otherwise known as “process”.

Some of my students are currently experimenting with digital photography and image manipulation, spending hours in front of the screen working on their images, but I have to keep reminding them to DOCUMENT WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Taking screenshots of the evolving phases of development seems the easiest way of doing this.

If students are exploring the wonders of the dark room, then the relevant PP pages/screen should show contact sheets/proof sheets, test sheets, the results of darkroom experimentation, etc

The process will also include ideas for how the subject is being photographed, for example a range of possible compositional or lighting options, indoors vs outdoors, times of day or season, etc, with an emphasis on showing this (visually) rather than just talking about it. Talk is cheap, as they say.

(Column three of the AMFT is all about LBESB)


There is a new version of the Art-Making Forms Table in the Pre-Publication Visual Arts Guide, (see 2nd image) containing a wider range of examples of processes.

For example, the 3D forms column now contains carved, modelled, constructed and cast sculpture, and “designed objects” (fashion, jeweller etc). In Column 3 (LBESB) there is the new “Lens-less media” option (including pinhole photography, cyanotype, salted paper etc).

Don’t say the IB DP visual arts team don’t look after you!



PP screens should reflect work in three (or more) art-making forms, selected from a minimum of two columns of the art-making forms table.

But some teachers seem to feel that that students should have a go at working in multiple media, techniques and processes from all three columns in the Art Making Forms Table.


Variety may be the spice of life but may not be the best way of developing skill.

The old adage has it that “Practice – rather than dabbling – makes perfect”.

The PP formal requirements mentioned in the Guide refer to HL students submitting “13–25 screens which evidence their sustained experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of art-making activities”.

SUSTAINED is arguably the most important word here, so plan the course to allow for skill development over time.

Yes, facilitate experience of a range of media and techniques, but allow students time to experiment within these media and develop proficiencies; PP examiners are not keen on dabbling in a large number of different processes, and prefer to see sustained exploration. Of course students must explore the minimum number of art-making forms , but having done that it may be better for students to focus on a smaller number of works in greater detail, addressing all criteria overall for all included works within the allocated number of screens.

(Your students should also learn (be taught) how to investigate, analyse and reflect on the work of other artists and cultures as well as on their own work, and be helped to develop strategies and techniques to undertake this independently.)

Finally, academic honesty and


(Better safe than sorry)

Academic Honesty (and “EVERY image”)

The Guide says about the work/ideas “of another person” –

If a candidate uses the work or ideas of another person the candidate must acknowledge the source using a standard style of referencing in a consistent manner. A candidate’s failure to acknowledge a source will be investigated by the IB as a potential breach of regulations that may result in a penalty imposed by the IB final award committee”.

Guide page 4/5.


Fair enough. But what about the work of the student?

The Subject Report is fairly clear on referencing: “Every image used within the process portfolio must be appropriately referenced to acknowledge the title, artist, medium, date (where this information is known) and the source”.

The student should identify/acknowledge his/her OWN drawings photographs, paintings etc.

This is so that examiners are clear about the form and range of the media used; also, if work by the student is included but the examiner is not informed that its work by the student, the question of where did it come from arises. Let the reader of the PP know the source/basis of every image.


Better safe than sorry: label, cite and acknowledge everything. For the PP this applies to ALL images, from ‘other’ artists as well as the student’s own work