Admissions

Main Content

Portfolio

Your portfolio should demonstrate your observational drawing skill, design sense, and visual problem solving ability. Suitable subjects include life drawing, portraiture, natural science illustration, landscape and architectural rendering, still life, cartooning and graphic design. Media should reflect aptitude in a number of different techniques, traditional or digital, and could include drawing, painting, sculpture and 3D modeling. It may also include sketchbooks and lab manuals if applicable.

What to Submit

12 to 16 examples of recent work, including the following:

1. Observational Life Drawing

Four examples of observational life drawing, including the human figure (clothed or nude), hands, feet or portraits.

Figures

Yi-Min Chun Life drawing 2005April Brust Male Nudes 2013April Brust Male Nudes Short to Long Poses 2013April Brust Female Nudes 2013Ashley Hui life drawingJean Yi-Chun Lin Male Figure Study 2011Jean Yi-Chun Lin Male Figure Study Two 2011Chi-Chun Liu Life Drawing 2012Dave MazierskiAmanda Montanez Life Drawing 2011Ortiz life drawingAndrew Tran Male Figure Study 2011

Hands and feet

Janice Yau FootAmanda Montanez Feet 2010Derek Ng Hands and Feet 2011Kateryna Procunier Hand Sketches 2012Jerry Won Feet 2012

Portraits

Meriem Benlamri Self 2013Jean Yi-Chun Lin Self Portrait 2010Kateryna Procunier Self Portrait 2012

Click on the thumbnail images above to see sample life drawings from the portfolios of successful past applicants (All images are copyrighted by the respective artist. All rights reserved).

2. Observational Illustration

An illustration of a view through a window, including foreground, such as window frame, items on windowsill, and scene outside.

  • OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate artistic layout, effective use of positive and negative space, cast shadow, reflected light, variety of textures (e.g., glass, metal, fabric, foliage) and atmospheric perspective.

Qingyang Chen Window View 2012Meriem Benlamri Observational Illustration 2014Leanne Chan sereneonionNatalie Cormier Windowsill 2012Naveen Devasagayam Window 2012Diana Grossi Window 2013Jerry Won Windowsill 2012

Click on the thumbnail images above to see sample ‘view-through-a-window’ illustrations from the portfolios of successful past applicants (All images are copyrighted by the respective artist. All rights reserved).

3. Storyboard

A series of sketches to show a process or sequence of events, e.g., throwing a ball, cleaning a fish, hands tying a bow on a shoe or a package, a flower growing into a fruit.

  • OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate a simple task using a sequence of visual images.

Ashley Hui Dumpling 2012Andrew Tran Orange Peel 2012

Click on the thumbnail images above to see sample sequential illustrations from the portfolios of successful past applicants (All images are copyrighted by the respective artist. All rights reserved).

4. Conceptual Illustration

A depiction of one of the following: tension, elasticity, compression, magnification. Include working sketches involved in the development of this piece.

  • OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate working process towards conceptualizing an idea.

Priya Banerjee Compression 2013Natalie Cormier Puppy Tug of War 2013Diana Grossi Balloon Manipulation 2013Robert Lancefield Compression 2012

Click on the thumbnail images above to see sample conceptual illustrations from the portfolios of successful past applicants (All images are copyrighted by the respective artist. All rights reserved).

5. Cross-sectional Illustration

Drawing of an organic object, e.g., fruit, vegetable, or flower, cut in sections.

  • OBJECTIVE: To communicate the internal structure of a complex three-dimensional object.

Ashley Hui Pineapple 2011Brittany Hemphill Artichoke 2013Angelica Ortiz PomegranateJerry Won Pomegranates 2012

Click on the thumbnail images above to see sample cross-sectional illustrations from the portfolios of successful past applicants (All images are copyrighted by the respective artist. All rights reserved).

ALL art should be original and NOT copied from, or based solely on, photographs or photographic reference.

No more than two examples of photography should be included.

Images that are NOT recommended for inclusion include abstract drawing or painting, non-representational drawing or sculpture, or drawings of medical subjects unless created as part of a biological or medical course assignment.

Sample portfolio images

Here are sample images and categories from the portfolios of successful past applicants
(All images are copyrighted by the respective artist. All rights reserved).

Architectural & landscape

Ashley Hui - Montreal 2012April Brust Abandoned House 2013April Brust Lighthouse 2013April Brust Fall & Winter 2013Wendy Gu Wooden Shack 2009
Non-representational

Man-San Ma abstract magazine clippings 2006Alice Zheng Candles 2012

Scientific and biological

Chi Chun Liu Sparrow 2012Man-San Ma Bird 2004Amanda Montanez Chimp Skeleton 2011Amanda Montanez Ficus Carica 2011Brendan Polley Skull 2009Jerry Won Rose 2012
Still life

Qingyang Chen Still Life 2010April Brust Three Fruit and a Pot 2013Geoff Fraser Silver Tea Set 2013Diana Grossi Italian Meal 2013Jean Yi-Chun Lin Still Life 2010Derek Ng Flowers And Wine 2012Kateryna Procunier Wine & Pumpkins 2012Cheryl Heeyeon Song Still Life 2012Alice Zhen Catpot 2012
Technical exercise

Amanda Montanez Paper Bag 2006Derek Ng Hanging Towel 2009

Naming and Submitting Your Files

Files should be saved as RGB .jpg or .png files, no larger than 1200 pixels in any dimension, and less than ~200KB. Images saved to these pixel dimensions as .jpg files (with jpeg compression set at ~50%) should meet this file size criterion.

Obtain clear, sharp scans or digital photographs of traditional media submissions. Blurry, unsharp or muddy images make proper assessment difficult.

Files should be named according to the following format: LastName_FirstName_ImageTitle_Date

For example: Smith_Mary_Still Life_2015.jpg

Illustration List

The portfolio must include a ‘List of Illustrations’ in .txt or MS Word format, including:

  • your name and student or application number
  • title of the piece
  • the medium
  • the date the piece was created, and
  • a brief description of the image objective

How to Submit Your Portfolio

The portfolio is required as part of the formal application process and can be uploaded directly to us via the U of T website. The UTM Dropbox is available at: https://dropbox.utm.utoronto.ca/.

Provide your name and e-mail address; the recipient name and email – name: Maeve Doyle and email address: maeve.doyle@utoronto.ca – and select the files to upload. If the files are successfully uploaded, an email is sent to the recipient indicating that a drop-off has been made.

Uploading multiple files

  • Attach each file individually on the UTM Dropbox page; after you specify one file, a slot to add another will be revealed, allowing you to add multiple files in one go
  • Compress the files into a single archive and attach the compressed file on the UTM Dropbox page. There are many ways to archive and compress files:
    • Mac users can select the files in the Finder and, under the file menu, choose Compress (filename) or Compress x items
    • Windows users can use WinZip
    • Linux/Mac/Unix users, give the tar utility a try

Size Limitations on Uploads

The entire portfolio when uploaded to the dropbox must not exceed 200MB.

Pre-Application Portfolio Review

Pre-admission portfolios will only be reviewed as part of an on-site visit; if you would like to have your portfolio reviewed before applying, please schedule a visit with one of our faculty at the University of Toronto (either St. George or Mississauga campus). Visits would best be planned in Spring or Summer before the Program begins to accept applications in the Fall.

Related Articles

  • News & Announcements

    • Feb

      17

      Biomedical Communications alumna Kerri (8T7) Weller announces a call for entries into the 2018 exhibition...
      More »

    • Jan

      30

      From May to June, and again from October to November, the 103-year-old Royal Ontario Museum...
      More »

    • Jan

      2

      Second year Biomedical Communications graduate student Savanna Jackson was named the 2016 recipient of the...
      More »

Featured Articles

Get in touch.

905-569-4849

U of T Mississauga Campus (Administrative Office)

Room 308, Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON Canada L5L 1C6
Phone: 905-569-4849
Fax: 905-569-4847

U of T St George Campus

OA Building, Room 114
263 McCaul Street
Toronto ON Canada M5T 1W7

Site Map