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IB Art Portfolio Development
Summer Course

August 5th - 16th, 2024

This summer course for young artists in high school is designed to advance students' artistic skills and creative thinking through a range of hands-on activities aligned with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Art as well as art university admissions criteria. With a small class size of no more than 6, students will work closely with the course instructors. Students will explore various artistic mediums and techniques, developing and expanding the range of their art portfolio. Over two weeks, students will engage in guided workshops and independent projects, receiving personalized feedback through one-on-one sessions with the instructors as well as group critiques. They will also have the opportunity to bring in any in-progress artworks and projects to complete, and work on their IB Art sketchbooks before the new school year starts.

Course Structure

Week 1: Exploring New Materials, Techniques, and Concepts

The first week will involve a series of structured workshops and activities which cover the following topics:

  • Technical skills and artistic processes 
    The primary focus will be introducing students to various materials and artistic approaches to refine their skills.

    • Painting and Drawing: The definition and possibilities of painting and drawing will be expanded through the incorporation of non-traditional materials and processes. There will be experimental approaches which prioritize expression and style, and also sessions which focus on core skills such as composition, rendering, perspective, mark-making, layering and color theory to give students a strong technical foundation.

    • 3D Art and New Media: Students will have the opportunity to explore 3D art (for example, plaster casting), installation and video art.

    • Expanding Perspectives and Observation: Students will complete a series of short activities designed to broaden their observation of the world around them, which can spark insights and open new creative avenues.

  • Concept Development and Artistic Research: students will be introduced to concrete steps and processes which can be used to develop and refine concepts and undertake artistic research. By focusing on HOW to think conceptually, students can build their critical thinking toolkit, empowering them to deepen the meaning and context of their artistic practice.

Week 2: Independent Projects and Feedback

In the second week, students will develop their independent artistic projects, receive individual feedback and guidance from the instructors, and engage in group critiques

  • IB Visual Arts Workbook and Portfolio Criteria: Guidance on the standards and expectations of IB Art exams and art university admission requirements, ensuring students are well-prepared for their assessments and applications.

  • Individual Feedback and Critiques: Each student will meet with the instructors in one-on-one sessions to discuss their projects and portfolio. With constructive feedback, students will be able to focus their efforts where it will have the most impact. Students will also engage in group critiques, learning from each other in a collaborative learning environment.

  • Development of Artistic Projects: Students will work on independent artistic projects with regular feedback from the instructors, applying the skills and concepts learned in the first week, and completing any in-progress artworks.


By the end of the course, students will have refined and expanded the range of their art portfolio. They will also have advanced their IB Art sketchbooks, preparing them for the upcoming exams. This summer course promises to be an enriching experience, combining technical skill development with imaginative exploration in a supportive and engaging environment.

Course Information

This summer course will meet for 9 days over two weeks, with a two hour morning session, lunch break, and a two hour afternoon session each day. The total instruction time of the course is 36 hours.


Ages 16+

Instructors: Melina Steiner, Abby Brown

Number of students: 2-6

Primary language: English


Monday through Friday from August 5th to 16th, 2024 

(No class on August 15th due to public holiday)


11am-4pm (with a one hour lunch break from approx. 1-2pm)


Course fee of €920

plus a materials fee of €60*

€980 total

*Materials fee covers the use of all paints, mediums, palettes, brushes, plaster casting materials, as well as all basic drawing supplies, such as graphite, charcoal, pens, markers, chalk pastels, ink, paper, etc.. Students must bring their own A3 sized sketchbook and for independent projects supply their own canvases and any unique materials if applicable.

Course Instructors

Abby Brown

Abby Brown is the head instructor and founder of AB Art Studios and has been teaching art since 2013. She is originally from North Carolina, USA, and is currently living and working in Vienna, Austria. She completed her Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, graduating Magna cum Laude with Honors in Fine Art. After moving to Austria, she has been living and working full-time from her artistic practice, and has exhibited her work internationally in Europe, the USA and Asia. She has a strong background in painting and drawing, and currently is primarily working with installation, video and performance art. She is also active as a curator and has organized exhibitions and other artistic projects and cultural events.

Melina Steiner

Melina Steiner is a painter and artist currently based in Vienna. She graduated in 2022 from Ursula Huebner's painting class at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz. Additionally, she holds a degree in Creative Pedagogy and has taught various painting classes for children. She also graduated from the Vienna International School in 2012 with a diploma in IB higher level Art. Melina's artworks have been showcased in galleries and art spaces throughout Austria. She is also an active member of VCAS - Vienna Contemporary Art Space, an artist-run organization focused on uniting artists from around the world and sharing their ideas and concepts with the city of Vienna.

Register IB Art

Register for the Course

August 5th - 16th, 2024
AB Art Studios in WEST / Alte WU
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