Portfolio Clinics

OCAD University has created a unique program of day-long workshops designed to give you the opportunity to explore new territory, build confidence in your skills as a visual communicator and get a sense of what it's like to be a student here. 

Start the day in a presentation about how to build a strong portfolio, followed by the workshop of your choice designed to inform and inspire your creativity. You will either complete a piece of work to include in your portfolio or learn a new skill that will enable you to create new work. The workshops provide a great opportunity to study with professionals. 

Workshops run for a full day. The cost of the workshop covers instruction and most materials. Not all workshops are available at every scheduled date.

Please note that the Portfolio Clinics are primarily designed for those who are interested in applying to a post-secondary art or design school. The curriculum of the workshops is not appropriate for students under the age of 15.

Detailed information about the day will be emailed to registrants approximately one week prior to the workshop. Registration closes the Thursday prior to the Portfolio Clinic date at noon.

2017/2018 Portfolio Clinics Schedule

Saturday November 25th 2017
Saturday December 9th 2017
Sunday January 14th 2018
Saturday January 27th 2018
Saturday February 10th 2018


Sample Workshop Descriptions

More to be added soon...

Augmented Reality

Imagine how augmented reality can enhance your art and design practice. Mobile technology plays a large role in our everyday lives, within this section you will use Auramsa, an augmented reality app, as a device for storytelling and wayfinding. You will be encouraged to attach text and images to specific surfaces and geographical locations, in an attempt to create a virtual reality that depends on physical reference point.

Model Making

This workshop is intended for students interested in Industrial and Furniture Design. Students will generate a scale model of an object of their choice using extruded polystyrene foam. Students will be introduced to examples of foam in model making and the various tools required. It is advised that students generate their own design sketches of household items to model, examples: teapot, jug, sofa, chair, screwdriver, spray bottle, etc. Communicate your designs spatially, an important skill every designer will need in their toolkit. 

Figure Drawing

This workshop focuses on observing and representing the human figure. Drawing techniques will be explored through a variety of exercises that focus on the principles of composition, proportion, form, light and shadow, volume through line and tone, as well as contour drawing. The workshop will begin with short gesture poses and work towards longer sustained poses. Learn to observe and translate what’s around you in three dimensions to the page in front of you.  

Encaustic Painting

Encaustic, or wax, is among the earliest known painting mediums currently in use. From its early associations with Greek and Egyptian funerary practices, to the Pop-inspired works of Jasper Johns, to the explosion of contemporary painters exploring and expanding its metaphorical possibilities, encaustic allows for a broad range of interpretations and applications. This workshop introduces you to the medium using a range of materials, tools and equipment. Wax is heated and mixed with oil paint, then applied in layers for a rich translucent finish. Changes can easily be made by reheating, manipulating, and scraping away areas to be revised. Because it dries so quickly you will be able to complete several paintings by the end of the day.

Drawing Shortcuts for the Aspiring Designer: From 2D to 3D

Developments in computer drawing technology are rapidly advancing however the need to communicate through the ability to draw by hand remains constant. This user-friendly approach to drawing shortcuts will develop confidence and skill in a short period of time, with speedy results. Students will be guided through an immersive exploration of design process and drawing techniques that are useful for developing new cityscapes, products or sculptures. We'll use drawing as a tool for thinking while learning to transform two-dimensional contour lines into three-dimensional forms represented through accurate perspective sketches. Practical steps will guide the development of techniques to observe, analyze and invent new three-dimensional realities, while providing you with both sketchbook process drawings and a finished composition that could be included in your portfolio.

Creative Writing

Looking to publish or perform? Personal statement got you stumped? Join one of OCADU’s professional writers and get a taste of OCAU’s unique take on writing in a fun and interactive workshop designed to help you create, critique, and refine your creative and critical writing. Together we’ll engage in a series of generative activities to stretch your writing muscles and expand your notions of what a text can be. We’ll explore proven techniques to transform your writing and bring ease to your writing process.

Zine Workshop

Make your ideas and images public with a zine or artist book. This workshop taps into the political history and current explosion of zines, comics, and artist publications in contemporary life. Participants will develop ideas and book-making skills, use OCAD U's Risograph and printing studios to have their books published and out into the world.

OCAD U reserves the right to make changes to this information. Inquire early as space is limited. Clinics may be cancelled due to low enrollment.


Student Comments

"Great opportunity to try new media, with personal assistance (small classes) and lots of hands on experience, not watching someone else make art half the time. Good value."

"It was such a great experience! I learned so much in such a short period of time. It was really fun, I would go again!"

"OCAD U provides a lot of hands-on experience, which will help you determine whether your chosen program is suitable for you or not."

“I learned what to put into my portfolio and I have a better understanding of what a university is expecting of me.”