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IGCSE Art: Year 1

The first two terms of year one in the course will be focused on developing skills in drawing, painting, mixed media (collage), digital art and 3d (sculpture).  Students will explore a range of dry and wet media while researching key art movements that have impacted the art world over time.  Term 3 is typically split between a unit on Figures & Portraits and beginning the Component 1: Coursework.


Below is a predicted layout for the first year of the IGCSE program.




3 (1st half)

3 (2nd half)

Topics / Skills Covered


Students will learn to draw still-life objects from direct observation. They will explore the visual elements of art- line, tone, shape and form whilst studying natural and organic forms. They will learn to use a variety of media such as pens, pencils, graphite and charcoal. They will learn about the history and characteristics of Cubism and make a final painting in a Cubist style using mixed media and collage.


Spaces and Places:

Students will start to explore the theme in a personal and individual way through direct observation and photographs. They will create paintings in watercolours, acrylics, pastels and other media. They will use colour theory to create colour schemes and use colour in an expressive manner. Students will create a final piece of the project in 8 hours as an assessment. 


Figures and Portraits:

Students will learn how to draw portraits and figures with accuracy. They will use rules of proportion and create a series of sketches involving figurative elements.


IGCSE Coursework Project:

Students start the coursework project for IGCSE Art & Design. They start by choosing a theme and gathering and recording images from direct observation. This is worth 50% of their IGCSE grade. 

Within this project students will experiment with a variety of images, media and techniques and demonstrate the development of an idea from start to a final resolved piece.

How Artists Capture Environments:


How Artists Explore Identity:

At the beginning of the coursework you will be asked to select a theme which will be the focus of your work for the next year.  Consider your theme carefully and aim to choose one that is of personal interest to you.

Choosing a theme may be more difficult than it sounds.  You might begin with this simple 3 step process:


Brainstorm          Evaluate         Narrow it down

For additional resources on theme development and a comprehensive list of artist's by themes click here

Full list of themes

Here are examples for Component 1.  There is no order nor have marks been assigned; just a variety of prior student work.

It is important that both Component 1 and 2 progress thematically with unity between each sheet.  Although there is no set format for how this is to be done, I instruct my students to follow idea progress based on the Elements of Art

Use this document
here to add structure and maintain organization between sheets.

Use these links for an in depth view on how to develop a final work:

If you are interested in a Surrealistic approach, look into the following links:

Citing Sources

PDF File Download

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