Visual Arts in the IB is a subject for those who enjoy art practice and independent work. The independent nature of the IB program is strongly reflected in the Visual Arts. Generally the students use all of their class time to plan, create and critique their art work.

The IB considers that HL students should spend 240 hours of class time and SL 150 hours over the two year course. Study is divided into Process Portfolio 40% (this is basically a sketchbook of ideas, but is presented at the end of the course in a series of electronic screens made by the student) The Exhibition 40% which is the work done during the course. Again this is photographed and presented in electronic format. It is internally assessed and externally moderated. Thirdly - A Comparative Study. This is worth 20%. Students should make a theoretical comparison between at least 3 art works by at least two artists. Again it is presented as electronic screens. HL sudents should also use 2/3 screens to compare their own art work to the pieces chosen.

The IB examiner looks for a strong correlation between the IWB and the student's work. The unity of the student's portfolio is also a very important part of IB Visual Arts. Although IB does not require a "theme", there must be a focus of the art; change over time tracing the development of the student. Having a theme in your work can be helpful though, and is encouraged by most teachers. Many students find that after they have started creating pieces, they can naturally find the focus of their portfolio.

Although students considering taking this course should evaluate their proficiency in various art techniques, skill is not the major focus. Instead, IB Visual Arts is a class where the students are able to grow and develop themselves. Despite what has been said, the course, especially at HL, does require some talent as well as many, many hours of hard work.