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ART DEPARTMENT

Preparing a portfolio will be one of the most important things you do as an art student. Your portfolio is a representation of you as an individual. It will reflect how you think, how well organized you are and what your style may be. It is a task that needs to be taken seriously and should not be done in isolation. When you are ready to start the process, gather 10-20 pieces of work and seek out a qualified professional to help get you started. Preferably your art teacher.

Below are some tips on what you should include in your portfolio.

 

A Self Portrait

This can be done using a mirror, pencil or pen and a good quality drawing paper (16" x 20" or larger). To create your self portrait, find a quiet spot where there is good light. Decide if this is natural or artificial. If you choose natural light you might want to photograph yourself and use this photograph for reference later on. While building the foundation of your portrait, take the time to observe lines, shapes and value placement on your face, neck and shoulders. Begin by employing a contour line drawing technique. Pay close attention to size, position on the page, use of space, line quality and expression. Then choose a medium to identify and define value changes on your face. This can be achieved through watercolors, acrylics, oil pastels, chalk pastels, charcoal, marker, colored pencils or a simple drawing pencil. Maintain consistency of technique and skill with your medium throughout the drawing.

 

Still Life and Observational drawing

Choose 4-5 ordinary items that vary in size, shape and texture. Arrange these items in a composition that is interesting and engages the viewer. Your composition should suggest depth, foreground, middle-ground and a back-ground. Select a good quality drawing paper (16" x 20" or larger). Begin your drawing by building a foundation of contour lines. Successful drawings will show a consideration for size, position on the page, interaction between compositional elements, variety and quality of value, and expression. Remember – a still life does not have to consist of fruit, vegetables or flowers. Use your imagination to capture something in your everyday world.

 

Drawing(s) from imagination

Using any drawing medium and good quality drawing paper (16” x 20” or larger), compose one drawing of an interior and/or exterior scene from your imagination. Successful drawings will show a consideration for creativity, originality, details, size, position on the page, line quality and expression.

 

Tips for students interested in studying Drawing and Painting

Be sure to include works in your portfolio that demonstrate your basic understanding of:

  • Painting and drawing techniques

  • Positive and Negative Space

  • Compositional Design

  • Balance

  • Value

  • Foreground/Middle-ground/Back-ground

  • Depth

  • Patterns of highlights/shadows

  • Creative and expressive use of medium

  • Sketchbook; how to maintain and use one towards the development of your ideas

 

Tips for students interested in Sculpture and Ceramics:

Be sure to include works in your portfolio that demonstrate your basic understanding of:

  • Shape/Form and definition of space

  • Creative and expressive use of medium

  • Volume/Weight distribution

  • Positive/Negative Space

  • Focal Point/Emphasis

  • Sketchbook; how to maintain and use one towards the development of your ideas

 

Tips for students interested in Animation/Cartooning

Be sure to include works in your portfolio that demonstrate your basic understanding of:

  • Storyboards

  • Character designs and development from frontal view, side profile and 3/4 view

  • Any attempts to animate an object, whether drawn or on the computer

  • Sketchbook; how to maintain and use one towards the development of your ideas

 

Click here to learn more about what to expect from a college admissions portfolio review.