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NECO Visual Art Syllabus

Are you writing Visual Art in your NECO O’level exams? Download the recommended Visual Art syllabus to excel in your exams.

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About NECO Visual Art Syllabus

The NECO Visual Art Exam Syllabus will serve as a guide to ace your NECO Visual Art exam. It’s more than just a list of requirements, it’s your chance to demonstrate your aesthetic awareness, emotional growth, and visual development.

To do well on the NECO Visual Art Exam, focus on key skills and knowledge areas. You should also demonstrate your ability to observe and express your surroundings through art. Show that you can use and maintain various art tools and equipment effectively. The examiners want to see your understanding of different art styles, especially those from indigenous cultures, and your ability to apply design elements creatively.

Be sure to know art history, including the connections between African and Western art and understand the role of art in society, including its socio-economic impact. Finally, be ready to showcase your knowledge of technology and your ability to improvise with local materials.

Marking Guide & Sections

Let’s break down the NECO Visual Art Exam to make sure you know what to expect. There are three papers to complete, and each has a different format and scoring method. 

Paper 1: Multiple Choice

Paper 1 is a 50-minute exam with 40 multiple-choice questions, worth a total of 40 marks. Each correct answer earns you one mark, so you can score a maximum of 40. The questions in this section will test your general knowledge in art, focusing on art history, elements, and principles.

Paper 2: Essay Questions

Paper 2 is a 2-hour essay exam with three sections: A, B, and C. You’ll need to answer a total of four questions: one from Section A, two from Section B, and one from Section C. Each question is worth 15 marks, making the total score for this paper 60.

Section A will cover general knowledge in art, focusing on elements and principles, as well as branches, processes, and art history.

Section B questions will focus on the art of West Africa, explaining its unique characteristics.

Section C focuses on prehistoric art, ancient Egyptian art, and Western art, requiring a broader understanding of these periods and their influence on modern art.

Paper 3: Creative Art

Paper 3 is the practical section of this exam, and it’s divided into three sections: A, B, and C. Each section has different tasks, and the questions are on different artistic disciplines.

Section A

In Section A, the focus is on drawing. You have three questions to choose from, drawing from objects, nature, or life and you have 3 hours to complete your chosen questions. This section is worth 100 marks, so take your time to create a detailed and expressive work.

Section B 

Section B has six questions to choose from, the question will come from graphic design, textiles design, or picture-making. Like in Section A, you have 3 hours to complete your chosen project, with a total of 100 marks up for grabs. The interesting part about Section B is that you receive the question paper two weeks ahead of the exam, allowing you to prepare. However, you must do the actual work on the day of the test under exam supervision.

Section C

Section C questions will be set from sculpture, product design/modeling, ceramics, and crafts. You will choose one question to work on, and unlike the other sections, you have up to six months to complete your project. This section is also worth 100 marks, so use the extended time to create something truly special.

The NECO Visual Art Syllabus

  
 Virtual Art
SNTOPICSOBJECTIVES
 PAPERS 1 AND 2
1General 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.
2Art of West AfricaKnowledge 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.
ATraditional ArtOshogbo art, Ashanti and Ewe Kente, Modern Benin art, Winneba pottery,
Abuja pottery, Ntonso adinkra, Bida brass works, calabash carving,
Enyiresi basketry, Mbari mud sculpture, weaving, leatherwork,
wall decoration, indigenous Decorative Motifs.
BContemporary Art(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.
3Pre-historic, Ancient Egyptian and Western Art(a) Pre-historic (Early Man’s Art 20,000 – 2000 BC)
(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 characteristics;

(d) Medieval Art – Features, media and characteristics
419th 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.
520th Century ArtCubism: Influence of African Art and Artists – Pablo Picasso,
George Braque.
 Paper 3
 Part A – DrawingThis 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/watercolor. Candidates should attempt one alternative only.
All alternatives carry equal marks.
ADrawing from ObjectThe 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.
BDrawing from NatureThe 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.
CDrawing 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.
AGraphic DesignQuestions 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.
BTextile DesignsDesigning 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.
CPicture MakingQuestions 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-Dimensional 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.
ASculptureThis may be rendered in clay, metal, wood, papier-mâché, cement, etc.
All works rendered in clay must be fired.
BProduct Design/ModelingDesigning and producing models of industrial products,such as
automobiles, phones, bottles, cosmetics, etc.
CCeramicsCeramic wares such as jugs, flower vase, bowl, etc which a candidate has
either moulded, handbuilt or thrown on the wheel or any other object such
as a toy animal or figure. Clay works must be fired.
DCraftsThis 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 3CThe 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.

 

Recommended NECO Visual Art Textbooks

1. Bernard S. Mayers Art & Civilization McGraw Hill, New York.

2.Bernardrt History in Africa ,Longman Group.

3. Robert Clemet, the Art Teacher Handbook, Century Hutchinson Ltd London.

4. Harry Stemberg, Composition Grusset and Dunlop New York.

5. Maurice De Samsmareze, Basic Design: The Dynamics of Visual Form Studio Vista Limited,London.

6. Harold Osborne, Art of Appreciation, Oxford University, London .

7. Henry Pluckrose, The Book of Craft, Evans Brothers Limited,London .

8. Werner Gillon, A Short History of African Art, Penguin Books Limited, Harmondsworth, U.K. 

9. Whitfield, Beginning Pen lettering (Book 3), Gina and Company Ltd, London. 

10. Ayisi, Eric, O. An Introduction to the Study of African Culture, Heinemann, 1972.

11. Beier, Ulli, Art in Nigeria, London, Cambridge University Press, 1960.

12. Olaosebikan, W.A. Cultural & Creative Arts: A Source Book for Teachers. Ibadan: Evans

13. Underwood, Leon, Bronze of West Africa. Transatlantic Art 1968.

14. Wangboje, S. J. A Textbook on Art for Senior Secondary School, Evans Brother (Nig.) Ltd, 1982.

15. Frank Willet, Ife and the History of West African Sculpture, Thames and Hudson, 1967 .

16. Pat Oyelola, Nigerian Craft ,Macmillian 1981.

17. George Talabi, Art Teaching in African Schools, Heinemann Educational Books, Ibadan.

18. Frank Willet, African Art, Thames and Hudson.

19. Ibrahim Banjoko, Cultural and Creative Arts.

20. Emu Ogumor, Certificate Art for Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, University Press, 2007.

21. Uzoagba, I.N. Understanding Art in General Education, African First Publishers Ltd, 2008.  

22. Filani Kunle, Patterns of Culture in Contemporary Yoruba Art, Symphony Books 2005.  

Frequently Asked Questions About the NECO Visual Art Exams

How much time do I get for each paper?

Paper 1 is 50 minutes long and consists of 40 multiple-choice questions. Paper 2 is a 2-hour essay exam with eight questions; you are to choose four questions to answer. Paper 3 has three sections, with drawing and creative design tasks that give you 3 hours to work on each task. The third section allows up to six months for completion.

What should I study for Paper 1?

Paper 1 questions are on general art knowledge, including elements and principles of art, art history, and basic processes. It is essential to understand different art forms and get familiar with important art tools and techniques.

What types of questions are in Paper 2?

Paper 2 has three sections: general knowledge in art, West African art, and prehistoric art, including ancient Egyptian art and Western art. It consists of essay questions, so practice writing structured answers that show your understanding of the topics.

How do I prepare for the creative tasks in Paper 3?

For Paper 3, you’ll be asked to draw or create designs. It’s best to practice your drawing skills and experiment with different techniques. Plan your time well and think creatively. If you’re working on a longer project, like in Section C, take advantage of the extra time to perfect your work.

Can I bring my own art supplies for Paper 3?

Yes, you can bring your own art supplies for Paper 3, but make sure they comply with the guidelines provided by your exam supervisor. It’s best you check with your school or instructor to ensure you’re using approved materials.

What if I accidentally damage my artwork during Paper 3?

Accidents happen, so try not to panic. If you damage your artwork, inform the exam supervisor immediately. They will advise you on what to do. If possible, continue working with what you have or use backup materials to fix the damage.

How should I prepare for the drawing section in Paper 3?

Practice drawing from different sources, such as objects, nature, or life. Work on your observational skills and experiment with different styles and techniques. Ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials before the exam.

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