This merit badge concentrates on two-dimensional art, specifically drawing and painting in various media, including an introduction to design applications in the fields of graphic arts and industrial design, history and design principles, and how these fields relate to fine art.


  1. Tell a story with a picture or pictures or using a 3-D rendering.
  2. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Design something useful. Make a sketch or model of your design and get your counselor's approval before you proceed. Then create a promotional piece for the item using a picture or pictures.
    2. Design a logo. Share your design with your counselor and explain the significance of your logo. Then, with your parent's permission and your counselor's approval, put your logo on Scout equipment, furniture, ceramics, or fabric.
  3. Render a subject of your choice in FOUR of these ways:
    1. Pen and ink
    2. Watercolors
    3. Pencil
    4. Pastels
    5. Oil paints
    6. Tempera
    7. Acrylics
    8. Charcoal
    9. Computer drawing or painting
  4. With your parent's permission and your counselor's approval, visit a museum, art exhibit, art gallery, artists' co-op, or artist's workshop. Find out about the art displayed or created there. Discuss what you learn with your counselor.
  5. Find out about three career opportunities in art. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.


Scouting Literature

Architecture, Basketry, Communications, Drafting, Graphic Arts, Leatherwork, Model Design and Building, Photography, Pottery, Sculpture, Theater, and Wood Carving merit badge pamphlets

Art History

  • Cumming, Robert. Great Artists: The Lives of 50 Painters Explored Through Their Work. DK Publishing, 1998.
  • Gombrich, E. H. The Story of Art, 16th ed. Phaidon Press, 1995.
  • Heslewood, Juliet. The History of Western Painting: A Young Person's Guide. Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 1995.

Traditional Media

  • Capitolo, Robert, and Ken Schwab. Drawing Course 101. Sterling, 2005.
  • Creevy, Bill. The Pastel Book: Materials and Techniques for Today's Artist, 2nd ed. Watson-Guptill Publications, 1999.
  • Edwards, Betty. The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Tarcher, 1999.
  • Guptill, Arthur L. Rendering in Pen and Ink. Watson-Guptill Publications, 1997.
  • Janson, Klaus. The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics. Watson-Guptill Publications, 2002.
  • Johnson, Cathy. Painting Watercolors (First Steps Series). North Light Books, 1995.
  • MacKenzie, Gordon. The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook. North Light Books, 2000.
  • MacPherson, Kevin D. Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light and Color. North Light Books, 2000.
  • Parramon's Editorial Team, ed. All About Techniques in Oil. Barron's Educational Series, 1997.
  • Sheaks, Barclay. The Acrylics Book: Materials and Techniques for Today's Artist. Watson-Guptill Publications, 2000.
  • Thomas, Gregory, and Earl A. Powell. How to Design Logos, Symbols, and Icons: 24 Internationally Renowned Studios Reveal How They Develop Trademarks for Print and New Media. How Design Books, 2003.

Computer Graphics

  • Ashford, Janet. The Arts and Crafts Computer: Using Your Computer as an Artist's Tool. Peachpit Press, 2001.
  • Hartas, Leo. How to Draw and Sell Digital Cartoons. Barron's Educational Series, 2004.
  • Pardew, Les. Game Art for Teens. Course Technology PTR, 2004.
  • Pollard, Jann Lawrence, and Jerry James Little. Creative Computer Tools for Artists: Using Software to Develop Drawings and Paintings. Watson-Guptill Publications, 2001.
  • Schminke, Karin, Dorothy Simpson Krause, and Bonny Lhotka. Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing and Traditional Artist's Materials. Watson-Guptill Publications, 2004.