Portfolio Preparation

The portfolio preparation and admissions process can feel intimidating and overwhelming. This Portfolio Preparation class provides current Grade 7 or Grade 8 students planning to apply to high school Regional Arts Programs an opportunity to work towards the requirements of their portfolio, guided by an Ontario Certified Visual Arts Teacher. In this workshop students will be able to focus their energy on creating their best work with regular check-in points with the instructor to ask questions and seek feedback. This fully online workshop allows flexibility for students to join in from wherever they are, from the comfort of their own creative space at home. Students that take this workshop are usually applying to:

Mayfield Secondary School, Cawthra Park Secondary School, St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Earl Haig Claude Watson, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Father John Redman, Wexford School of the Arts, Rosedale Heights School of the Arts

Your portfolio should be your BEST artwork, not your first artwork!

Please note that taking this workshop will improve your portfolio but we cannot guarantee admission to art programs.


Online Class

Dates: October 25 to December 17, 2022


  • Online Lecture -¬†Tuesday Evenings - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Online "Open Studio" / Consultation -¬†Saturdays - 10:00am - 12:00pm or 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Length: 8 weeks

Price: $260

Materials: Additional Purchase Required - See Materials List

Discounts: A discount of $10 is available to students currently enrolled in our Art Fundamentals/Refined program. Enter coupon PPREP at the checkout.

Note: This class is delivered online via Zoom. Students will need access to a computer/tablet with the Zoom application installed. See our Online Classes - Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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Workshop Experience

  • One hour live online lesson and lecture from instructor, once a week, with a different topic every week, students will follow along with the lesson, step by step.
    • Live weekly lessons will include: What to do with your sketchbook, pencil drawing skills, portraiture (how to draw faces), turning ideas into artwork, 3D sculpture & design, acrylic / watercolour painting techniques, and other techniques and mediums by student request where time permits.
  • Two hour live online "open studio" time, once a week, for students to work on their individual projects. This time is hosted by the instructor, who is available throughout the session to provide individual guidance and answer questions.
  • Weekly live online individual student consultations to review student work, general strengths, specific areas of improvement, goal setting and staying on track. Instructor will advise the student of next steps and they will have one week to complete art work on their own time before showing the instructor their completed work at the next class.
  • The instructor is available to students by email for the duration of the course for additional feedback on art work, projects, techniques as needed. Students are encouraged to email photos of their art work for feedback and guidance.

About the Instructor

Paulina Su, BFA, OCT

Paulina Su is a Toronto-based artist and Ontario Certified Teacher at the middle and high school level. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts (specializing in painting and sculpture) and a Bachelors of Education from York University. As an alum of Mayfield Secondary School's Regional Arts Program she understands how intimidating the portfolio experience can be, and enjoys coaching young artists to explore their artistic potential with confidence. Paulina is a versatile artist with experience across all traditional visual arts mediums such as: drawing (pencil, charcoal, coloured pencil, scratchboard), painting (acrylic, watercolour, gouache), sculpture (plaster, clay, stone, metal, mixed media), photography, and printmaking.

Paulina started at Visual Arts Brampton as a student when she was 8 years old and is now a current board member. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the GTA.


Students should have the following BEFORE the first class:

  • The application checklist from the school(s) the student is applying to, if available (usually not released until mid October)
  • Sketchbook at least 8.5" x 11" or slightly bigger with more than 30 pages left (this can be a new sketchbook or current one)
  • Completed artwork from school or for fun to show the instructor, if you have any
  • Artworks in progress, if you have any
  • 2B drawing pencil (not a mechanical lead pencil), optional: 3B or 4B drawing pencil¬†
  • Eraser, pencil sharpener
  • Pencil crayons (set of 24 or more)
  • Extra art materials if you have it: markers, coloured pens, glue stick, magazines/ newspapers, other crafty materials

AFTER the first class, and after discussing with the instructor, students should plan to purchase materials for:

  • A Painting, pick one:
    • Acrylic painting -- Canvas board or stretched canvas, at least 8" x 10" or bigger, acrylic paints (the sets with lots of colours is better, but you need to have at least the primary colours, black and white), a set of paint brushes that are flat and round is preferred but at minimum you need at least 3 sizes (one smaller than 1cm, one medium size between 1cm-2cm, one larger size bigger than 2cm).
    • Watercolour painting -- Watercolour painting pad, at least 8" x 10" or bigger, watercolour paint set, a set of paint brushes that are flat and round is preferred but at minimum you need at least 3 sizes (one smaller than 1cm, one medium size between 1cm-2cm, one larger size bigger than 2cm).
  • A Sculpture, pick one:
    • Air dry clay (it is preferable that you have acrylic paint as well to paint it after)
    • Oven bake clay (no paint needed, the clay comes in different colours)
    • Recycled / found materials (no purchase necessarily, you should be able to use things you find at home)
    • Paper mache (it is preferable that you have acrylic paint as well to paint it after)

Suggested list of art stores, most will ship to your house: Curry's Art Store, Above Ground Art Supplies, DeSerres, Michaels.