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

Hands and Feet

Portraits

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.

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, wrapping a package.

  • OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate a complex task requiring manual dexterity using a sequence of visual images.

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.

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).



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.

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, single photographs (such as celebrity portraits) or exclusively 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 sculpture, or drawings of medical or scientific subjects unless created as part of a medical or biological course assignment.


Other 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

imaginative drawing

Scientific and biological

Still life

Technical exercises


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;

  • 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 UTSend dropbox is available at: send.utoronto.ca.

Provide your name and e-mail address; the recipient name and email (Anjeza Rexha at <anjeza.rexha@utoronto.ca>), and select the files to upload. If the files are successfully recieved, an email is sent to the recipient indicating that a drop-off has been made.

How to upload multiple files

  • 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.

  • 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 session.

Size limitations on uploads

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

Pre-Application portfolio review

If you would like to have your portfolio reviewed before applying, please email an unofficial copy of your transcript and 5-6 small (~200 k each) jpeg samples of your artwork to Anjeza Rexha (anjeza.rexha@utoronto.ca). If possible, include samples of the five required illustrations. Your materials will be forwarded to one of our faculty for review and feedback. Pre-admission visits would best be planned in spring or summer, after a portfolio review, and before the program begins to accept applications in the fall.