Formating is Important


I encourage students to underline, change font color or bold art words – especially on process and artist research screens – to enable examiners to quickly notice the HIGH LEVEL of art words the student is using.   For ideas on what constitutes Art Vocabulary, check out my Glossary. 

Click here for Miss A’s Art Class Glossary (and other useful information)


Do not choose a font that is too small (or too big) (or too curly, or cursive-ly).   As an Examiner – I can tell you this is VERY IMPORTANT. My favourite screens to mark are clean and clear.  Fonts like aerial, avenir, helvetica are good.  Also a white (or light) background with black type is sooo much easier to read.   You will notice many examples from last year are black with white text.  This is OK – but sometimes the font is too small and hard to read.  Keep it simple.  Don’t make examiners strain their eyes.  🙂


IB takes academic honesty very seriously.   And since Visual Arts now has a fully digital submission it is a VERY sensitive subject.  IT is too easy these days for students to google images, at the worst: download and submit the picture as their own work, or at the least: trace and/or copy over people’s work and ideas as their own.

You have worked hard for 2 years. Protect yourself and your work.


Before your submissions are finally uploaded your teacher must authenticate your work.  So it is a good idea to include your Art teacher in your idea development and process.  Of course, the IB course is your own process. And if you are more of an independent student who wants to do their own thing (which is cool!), please go ahead and choose your projects, your journey, your process – but it just makes good sense to make sure your teacher is apprised of all your work.  If you are doing any work at home, make sure you document (photo you WIP at various stages) and/or video your self at work.


Even more important is to make sure you cite and label EVERYTHING.  A general rule of thumb of is – if you discuss ideas or thoughts that are not yours – then you should add a citation.

ON SCREENS: When you are creating your screens for either Comparative Study or Process Portfolio, I advise my students to make sure all direct quotes and information is cited with IN TEXT CITATIONS.  Then URLS should be added to the bottom of each screen.

For LABELING IMAGES when they are of another artist’s work: Artist Name, Title, Medium, Date, Size, Owner, URL: (where you found it.)

For PHOTOS AT WORK (sometimes students like to add photos of them actually doing the work.. which is cool)  PHOTO: Subject (explain specifically what you are doing), Location, Date . It is assumed they took a photo of the work or sketchbook, so no need to credit the photographer. It is important to note the location and date and a brief explanation of what part of the process is being shown.

For PHOTOS OF PROCESS OR WORKS IN PROGRESS It is good to use your label to add as much detail as possible – to help visualy explain your process PHOTO: Subject (explain specifically what you are doing), Location, Date 

For PHOTOS OF SKETCHBOOK pages, I also like students to be clear that it is photos of your sketchbook – as the Visual Arts Journal is still a required part of the course – and IB Examiners do like to see them. I have students label specifically PHOTO: Sketchbook, Activity (explain specifically what the sketches are for), Medium, Date

For photos of your final RESOLVED WORKS: Resolved Work: Title, Medium, Size, Date

When you show finished works, refer to them as RESOLVED WORK. Then add the same information as any other art citation. Resolved works can be shown in the PP and CS to help the examiner understand the process. They should be small and not the focus of the slide – just enough to give an idea of the final direction of process.


Process Portfolio does (NOW! updated 2020) a List of Sources, so it is still useful to include URLs used on the bottom of each screen but more important to include all references in a List of Sources. This should be the last screen in your PP (and will not count toward the word count)

Comparative Study requires a List of Sources.  This is a separate document – so best way to submit it is on a plain document.  Use MLA format and ensure you follow the formatting properly.  Best resource for MLA formatting is the Purdue Owl (


In your Exhibition Text, if you use ideas from another artist’s work, you need to reference them.  If you are influenced from a particular artist, you can mention them in your text.  But if you have used a photo/image for close reference, then you have to CITE it fully.

This student used inspiration from Kahlo’s work. This is a very well known work so full citation is not necessary. Enough information is given that if needed, the artwork can be googled. The final submitted artwork does not have any copied parts from the work, just the ideas of Kahlo’s work were used to inspire.
For this work, the student used a photo from the internet of Katharine Switzer as a base for the work and it clearly shows Switzer’s portrait. Although the student used ideas of Picasso’s blue period changed the colour and feel of the work, this is still considered a copy. The student didn’t trace the work – but since the student did not take the original photograph and it was a strong likeness to the original photo, the original photograph needs to be cited fully – or the student will be in breach of academic honesty. *If you google Switzer, this photo can be easily found in the search.