WAEC Syllabus for Visual Art 2022/2023

The WAEC syllabus for Visual Art is the topic you must study to sit for the examination. It contains the aims and objectives, notes and format for the Visual Art exam.

Studying the Visual Art subject is necessary for your exam preparation. It will serve as a guide for you to know the topics to read. There are also notes on concepts you should pay attention to learning.

Exam preparations without using the Visual Art syllabus are like going to the farm without your agricultural tools. You will end up not being productive.

Ensure you begin your exam preparations using the syllabus.

This post contains the Visual Art and recommended textbooks of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

WAEC Visual Art

VISUAL ART

PRAMBLE

The syllabus is intended to provide candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate the extent of their aesthetic awareness, emotional and visual development through self-participatory creative activities.

OBJECTIVES

To assess these qualities efficiently, candidates should be able to respond to questions which seek to evaluate their:

(a) development of deep sense of observation, analytical and expressive skills through a variety of self-participatory art activities.

(b) knowledge and skills in the use and maintenance of art tools, equipment and materials.

(c) level of appreciation of values and qualities of different works of art, including indigenous material culture.

(d) understanding and creative application of design elements and principles.

(e) knowledge of the history and branches of Art.

(f) knowledge and appreciation of the relationship between African Art and Western Art.

(g) understanding of the meaning, significance and role of art in socio-economic development and self-reliance.

(h) understanding and application of indigenous and modern technology in art.

(i) creative skills in the improvisation of local materials and resources.

(j) understanding of the relevance of art in other subjects areas.

(k) level of exposure to careers in art.

SCHEME OF EXAMINATION

The examination consists of three papers: Papers 1, 2, and 3 all of which must be taken.  Papers 1 and 2 will be combined in a composite paper and will be taken at one sitting.

Paper 1: This paper will contain forty multiple choice objective questions to be taken in 50 minutes for 40 marks.

Paper 2: This paper will consist of three sections: Sections A, B and C covering the following areas of the syllabus:

  • Section A: General knowledge in art;
  • Section B: Art of West Africa;
  • Section C: Pre-historic art, Ancient Egyptian art and Western Art.

The paper will contain a total of eight essay questions. Candidates will be    required to answer four questions choosing one question from Section A, two from Section B and one question in Section C. The paper will last 2 hours and carry 60 marks,

Papers 1 and 2 will focus on general knowledge in art, i.e. elements and principles of art; branches, processes, history and appreciation of art; as well as creative design processes. They will also involve tests on the use and care of art tools and materials.

The test in art history will cover both the traditional and contemporary Art of West African countries. It will also cover pre-historic art, ancient Egyptian art and European (Western art).  The section on art history will cover specific periods and regions and it is important that candidates should have adequate understanding of the beliefs and attitudes that influenced artists in their work.

Paper 3: The paper shall also have three sections: Sections A, B and C. Candidates for the May/ June diet of the examination shall be required to answer questions in Section A and those in either Section B or C. Those for the November/December diet shall answer questions in Sections A and B only. Details on the questions in the sections are as follow

Section A – Drawing

This section will contain three questions, one each on drawing from objects, nature or life, from which candidates shall attempt one question only in 3 hours for 100 marks. The instruction(s) for the section will be given to art teachers/supervisors two weeks before the date of the test. This is to enable the art them obtain the required materials for the test before the day of writing the paper.    

 Section B – Creative Design (2 – Dimensional)

This section will contain a total of six questions; two each on graphic design, textiles design and picture-making. Candidates will be required to answer one question only in 3 hours for 100 marks. The question paper will be given to candidates at least 2 weeks prior to the day for executing the work, but the art work must be done on the day for the test under appropriate WAEC supervision.

Section C – Creative Design (3 – Dimensional)

This section will contain four questions; one each on sculpture, product design/modeling, ceramics and crafts. Candidates will be required to answer one question only within six months for 100 marks

DETAILED SYLLABUS

PAPERS 1 AND 2

General Knowledge in Art

(a) Nature and branches of Art and careers in art;

(b) Visual awareness, understanding and appreciation of Art elements, their forms, characteristics and functions e.g. line, colour, space, shape, form, texture, etc.;

(c) Principles of Art –  creative application of art and design principles e.g. balance, rhythm, proportion, harmony, emphasis, variety, etc.

(d) Perspective – meaning and type e.g. aerial, linear (angular/parallel) and foreshortening.

(e) The knowledge of production, use and care of art/craft tools and materials e.g. brush, pencil, colour, palette, easels, etc;

(f) Art and craft terms e.g. tie and dye, biscuit ware, silhouette, relief, chiaroscuro, sfumato, aperture, etc;

(g) The inter-relationships of the arts e.g. music, visual art, dance, drama and literary arts.

Art of West Africa

Knowledge of traditional Art of West Africa, the basic concepts (e.g. animism, fetishism and mythology): art forms, geographical location, characteristics, underlying beliefs and the sacred and secular functions of art.  A general knowledge of contemporary artists and art educator, their works, style, media, materials and contribution to the development of art.

  • Ancient Traditional Art
  • Cameroon – Bamileke
  • Dahomey (Now Benin Republic) – Fon
  • Gambia – Wollof, Mandinka, Jola
  • Ghana (Formerly Gold Coast) – Ashanti, Fante, Ewe, Frafra
  • Guinea – Kissi
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) – Senufo, Baule
  • Liberia – Dan and Ngere
  • Mali – Dogon, Bambara
  • Sierra Leone – Mende, Sherbro
  • Upper Volta (Now Burkina Faso) – Mossi, Bobo, Kurumba
  • Nigeria – Benin, Ife, Nok, Igbo-Ukwu,
  • Esie, Owo, etc.

Modern Traditional Art

Oshogbo art, Ashanti and Ewe Kente, Modern Benin art, Winneba pottery, Abuja pottery, Ntoso adinkra, Bida brass works, calabash carving, Enyiresi basketry, Mbari mud sculpture, weaving, leatherwork, wall decoration, indigenous Decorative Motifs.

Contemporary

(a) Art institutions (art schools, art galleries, arts centres, museums).  Various departments responsible for art and culture, Art organizations, e.g INSEA (International Society for Education through Art), NSIAD (Nigeria Society of Industrial Artists and Designers), Ghana Artists Association, Ghana Craftsmen Association, Ghana Arts Council, GAT (Gambia Art Teachers Association), NAAC (National Association of Artists and Craftsmen) SNA (Society of Nigerian Artists), NSEA (Nigerian Society of Education through Art), Ona Art Movement of Artists, Ulli Art Movement, The Eye Society.

Cultural festivals (their artistic significance e.g. costumes, symbols, objects, masks, body decorations, wall decorations, etc).

(b) Outstanding contemporary West African Artists:  their training, style, achievements and contributions to the development of art.

Pre-historic, Ancient Egyptian and Western Art

(a) Pre-historic (Earlyman’s Art 20,000 – 2000BC)

(Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic stone Ages)

beliefs, materials, characteristics and functions;

(b) Ancient Egyptian art 11,000 – 7,000 BC (Old, Middle and New Kingdoms) beliefs, styles and functions;

(c) Greek Art – Periods and charctreristics;

(d) Medieval Art – Features, media and characteristics

19th Century Art

(a) Impressionism – Artists – Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Georges Seurat.

(b) Post Impressionism (late 19 century)- Artists – Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin etc.

Renaissance Art

Early, Low and High Renaissance Art – Artists: Giotto, Donatello, Masaccio, etc.

Medieval Art:  Features (characteristics).

Greek Art: Periods (Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic), characteristics and artists.

20th Century Art

Cubism: Influence of African Art and Artists – Pablo Picasso, George Braque.

Paper  3

Part A – Drawing

This paper will seek to test candidates’ ability to observe, analyse and accurately depict natural and man-made objects.  It will also test their ability to represent the structure and forms of the human figure.

The paper has three alternatives:

(a) Drawing from Objects.

(b) Drawing from Nature.

(c) Drawing from Life.

Works can be rendered in pencil, pastel, charcoal, pen and ink or poster/watercolour.  Candidates should attempt one alternative only.  All alternatives carry equal marks.

(a) Drawing from Objects

The aim of this alternative is to test candidates’ ability to observe and interpret a group of arranged objects as a total composition.  

It will require a drawing of a group of man-made objects.  The work may be carried out in relation to the surroundings or the part of the room in which the objects are placed.  The drawing may include objects such as old radio sets, parts of cars, bicycles, machines, bottles, etc.

(b) Drawing from Nature

The purpose of this alternative is to get candidates to make a study of natural objects to bring out the beauty of their forms and/or the nature of their growth.  

This may require the study of a branch which may include flowers, foliage, fruits and vegetables.  It may also be the study of rocks, bones, insects and birds, shells and other forms including fish, crustacean, skeleton etc.

(c) Drawing from Life

The aim of this alternative is to test candidates’ ability to observe and depict accurately, the structure and form of a living person.  The model (male or female) is to be posed in an attitude which will be described.  The figure must be drawn as may be instructed.

Part B – Creative Design (2 – Dimensional Art)

This Part contains six questions, two each on graphic design, textile design and picture making and candidates are to attempt one question only. It seeks to test candidates’ ability to visualize ideas and situations, sense of critical observation, originality and imagination in communicating personal vision in 2-Dimensional art forms.

Graphic Design

Questions in graphic design will test candidates’ sense of design, organizational ability and technical proficiency in the execution of the under-listed areas:

(i) Lettering and Poster Design.  

This includes:

the design and layout of a brief notice requiring formal lettering, which may be in Roman, Gothic or any other formalized characters;

creation of pictorial posters with suitable lettering;

lettering and layout appropriate for purposes such as greeting cards, formal invitations and book jackets, logo types, emblems, symbols, labels, wall hangings etc.

(ii) Book Illustration – This includes story and text illustrations in books, magazines and newspapers.

(iii) Printmaking – This includes linocut, woodcut, yam print, stenciling, screen printing and others.

(iv) Package Design – e.g. wrappers, cereal packages and record (CD) jackets etc;

(v) Computer Graphics – Designing any of (i – iv) with the use of computer software e.g. CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop etc.

Textile Design

Designing a piece of material such as cotton, or silk, dyed in a pattern as in batik, tie and dye or printed as in block or screen printing.  The piece should be at least two metres in length and unsewn.  This section will also involve the following:

(i) Appliqué – shaped fabric pieces sewn on a foundation fabric to form a Design or pattern.

(ii) Tapestry – a piece of fabric with a woven pattern or picture used as wall hanging, upholstery, etc.

Picture-Making

Questions on picture-making are meant to test candidates’ creative sense, ability and technical proficiency in the execution of the under-listed areas:

(i) Painting – Creating illustrative composition of ideas (themes) from everyday life or imagination, using suitable medium.  This shall include Mural.

(ii) Photography – the art of producing pictures with camera.  The purpose of this aspect is for candidates to be able to demonstrate basic knowledge and creative skill in shooting and printing of pictures from a variety of subjects such as:

Portraits – human compositions

Landscape – rocks, hills, anthills, buildings, street scenes, etc.

Seascape – beach scenes, streams, waterfall, dams etc.

Nature – plants, leaves, flower foliage, twigs, fruits, etc.

Pets – cats, dogs, birds etc.

Experimental photography with simple forms of photo tricks e.g. photo grams and image distortion in printing etc. is encouraged.

(iii) Mosaic – making picture with small pieces of regular shaped coloured materials e.g. glass, paper or tile stuck onto a surface.

(iv) Collage – making pictures by synthesizing a variety of irregular shaped materials like cloth, pieces of paper and other objects onto a surface.

Part C – Creative Design (3 – Dimensional)

This part is aimed at evaluating candidates’ sense of originality and imagination in communicating personal ideas and vision in 3-Dimensaional art forms. Candidates may use clay, papier-mâché, wood/plywood, cement, fiber-glass, Plaster-of-Paris, paper (including embossed/texturized card-board, chip-board and straw-board) etc.

Sculpture

This may be rendered in clay, metal, wood, papier-mâché, cement, etc.  All works rendered in clay must be fired.

Product Design/Modeling

Designing and producing models of industrial products, such as automobiles, phones, bottles, cosmetics, etc.

Ceramics

Ceramic wares such as jugs, flower vase, bowl, etc which a candidate has either moulded, hand-built or thrown on the wheel or any other object such as a toy animal or figure.  Clay works must be fired.

Crafts 

This shall include:

(i) Basketry:  the making of mats, chair, hat, stool, bag, macramé or other useful objects designed and woven or plaited in cane, raffia, etc.

(ii) Jewellery:  the design and construction of ornaments with metals, beads, plastic, shells, seeds, etc.

(iii) Calabash Decoration:  Designing and decorating calabash using various method.

General Note on Paper 3C

The project work in Paper 3C (3-Dimensional design) should be executed within 6 months of the examination year.  Notes, diagrams and working drawings must be submitted along with the finished projects.  These constitute 10% of the total marks obtainable.

Recommneded Textbooks

SUGGESTED READING MATERIAL

 S/NO. AUTHOR TITLE PUBLISHER/YEAR 
1.Amenuke, S.K.,B. K. Dogbe et alGeneral Knowledge in Art for Senior Secondary SchoolsMinistry of Education, Accra, Ghana
2.E. H. GombrichThe Story of ArtPhaidon Press Limited
3.Hellen GardnerArt Through the AgersHarcourt, Brace & World, N.Y. 1980
4.Kofi AntubamGhana’s Heritage of Culture 
5.Bernard S. MayersArt & CivilizationMcGraw Hill, New York
6.HarlowArt History inAfricaLongman Group Limited
7.Robert ClementThe Art Teacher’s HandbookCentury Hotchinson Limited, London
8.Harry StembergCompositionGrosset & Dunlop New York
9.Maurice De SamsmarezBasic Design: The Dynamics of Visual FormStudio Vista Limited, London
10.Harold OsborneArt of AppreciationOxford University, London
11.Henry PluckroseThe Book of CraftsEvans Brothers Limited, London
12.Werner GillonA Short history of African ArtPengium Books Limited, Harmondsworth, U.K.
13.WhitfieldBeginning Pen lettering (Book 3)Gina and Company Ltd, London.
14.Ayisi, Eric, O.An Introduction to the Study of African CultureHeinemann, 1972
15.Beier, UlliArt in NigeriaLondon, Cambridge University Press, 1960
16.Olaosebikan, W.A.Cultural & Creative Arts: A Source Book for TeachersIbadan: Evans
17.Underwood, LeonBronzes of West AfricaTransatlantic Art 1968
18.Wangboje, S. J.A Textbook on Art for Senior Secondary SchoolEvans Brother (Nig.) Ltd, 1982
19.Frank WillettIfe and the History of West African SculptureThames and Hudson, 1967
20.Pat OyelolaNigerian CraftsMacmillian 1981
  21. George Talabi Art Teaching in African Schools Heinemann Educational Books, Ibadan
 22. Frank Willett African Art Thames and Hudson 
23.Ibrahim BanjokoCultural and Creative Arts 
24.Emu OgumorCertificate Art for Junior andSenior Secondary SchoolsUniversity Press 2007
25.Uzoagba, I. N.Understanding Art in General EducationAfrican First Publishers Ltd, 2008
26.Filani KunlePatterns of Culture in Contemporary Yoruba ArtSymphony Books 2005.

JOA/bao*

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