Art Portfolio

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is an Art Portfolio Course?

An Art Portfolio course is for any student who wishes to put together an Art Portfolio and would like guidance on developing ideas and artworks that show their best qualities and potential.

Art Portfolio courses aim to include many aspects of art, craft, and design to prepare a high-quality professional portfolio that the student can use to apply for further opportunities within their chosen career field.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Portfolio Preparation – this course is designed to help students develop their skills in drawing, painting, 3D studies, and life drawing using a variety of media and materials to create a balanced portfolio of work.
  • Art with Portfolio Preparation – this course emphasizes the importance of an individual approach to study through a broad range of projects allowing each student to build on personal interests and talents.
  • Portfolio Preparation in Art, Craft & Design – this course combines art practice and portfolio preparation skills that aim to have completed works that are to the standard required for entry to Art & Design courses in Third-Level colleges.

Taking an Art Portfolio Course in college

An Art Portfolio course aims to have both the knowledge and the skills to form a comprehensive professional Art Portfolio that can be used when applying to high-level courses and opportunities.

Courses range from a few weeks to a year or more depending on the course chosen. You will work through a series of projects that are designed to improve and develop your awareness and skills and support you in developing creative works for your portfolio. You will work

Art Portfolio courses are very practical, hands-on courses that focus on practicing your artistic talents and skills in a wide variety of materials. You will do works in painting, drawing, crafts, cultural studies, ceramics, sculpture, combined materials, batik, and mixed media.

You will increase your knowledge of composition, observational drawing, life drawing, painting, and developing a sketchbook. You may also spend time learning about other aspects such as photography, collage, and 3D Design.

Art Portfolio courses focus on enhancing the talents and skills that you already have and bringing out the very best that you have to offer and allowing you to have a balanced portfolio of work that fully shows off your skillsets. You will be guided through the production content and layout of a portfolio in a way that art colleges need.

Career options

Completing an Art Portfolio will allow you to apply for further studies at many art institutes and colleges such as NCAD, DIT, IADT Dun Laoghaire, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Athlone. I.T, and Letterkenny I.T in Ireland and many other colleges the world over.

Career fields available in the arts range from Art and Art teaching, Arts institutions, Graphic design, Costume design, Interior Design, Animation, Architectural Studies, Architectural Technology, Illustration, Advertising and so many more.

The world of Art is dynamic and provides endless opportunities with transferrable skills that will be valued by many industries all over the world.

Related jobs include:

  • Artist
  • Painter
  • Sculptor
  • Printer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Textile Designer
  • Animator
  • Model Maker
  • Art Director
  • Art Educator
  • Production Design
  • Product Designer
  • 3D Designer
  • Website Designer
  • Graphic Designer

Further study

An Art Portfolio Course is often the first step to go on to further postgraduate study and/or undertaking work in new and exciting fields such as Animation, Visual Communications, Design, Fine Art, Product Design, or even Fashion & Textiles.


How do I know if Art and Design College is right for me?

Do you have an interest in the arts and find them fascinating? Do you see the beauty of items in your daily life and wish that you could also create them or learn more about how they are created? Do you want to create and design and make improvements that will last for generations to come?

Students of Art and/or Design tend to be critical thinkers, with a desire to improve the world in some way If you have the ideas, studying Art & Design will give you the knowledge and the skills you need to make these ideas a reality.

Are there any tips or tricks for putting together an Art Portfolio?

Research, research, research! Do your homework and learn about the specific requirements for the institution you are applying to.

Include personal work and create art from life. Keep a sketchbook on hand where ever you go and allow yourself to explore your ideas and originality as the ideas come to you.

Learn about lighting and angles and make sure to always present and photograph your work in its best light. Keep digital copies of everything you do.

Be selective! Don’t include work that doesn’t make you happy.

Where can I take an Art Portfolio course?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· The Mona Lisa has her mailbox in the Louvre because of all the love letters she receives.

· In 2003 street artist Banksy stuck his work to the wall in the Tate Modern Museum.

· Art used to be an Olympic event.

· Vincent van Gogh, the world’s most valued painter, sold only 1 painting in his entire life – to his brother who owned an art gallery. The painting is titled “Red Vineyard at Arles.”

· The Statue of Liberty is the largest hammered copper statue in the world.

Mariza Halliday



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