Portfolio Preparation Online: Drawing for High School and Transfer Students

The portfolio is the single most important component of an art school application, and colleges across the nation are stepping up their requirements for admission. Most require several observational drawings, or drawings made from what we see, rather than from our imagination or a photograph. This online drawing class is designed to help motivated visual arts students develop exemplary observational drawings for their portfolios. Students will work with still life, landscape, interior, and figurative subject matter as they explore the fundamentals of a drawing: composition, line, structure, value, and expression. Instruction in drawing techniques will be supplemented by video demonstration, master and contemporary images, critique information and requirements for art and design school admissions, and regular homework assignments. This class is ideal for students interested in applying to art school who do not live near, or are able to participate in, a face-to-face portfolio preparation class. Students should expect to spend 6-8 hour per week on course work. / Open to students ages 15 and above. / View complete policies.

How does an online course work at MCAD?
Most online courses are asynchronous, meaning that there are no set class meeting times. Instead, courses are project-based, with 2 to 3 deadlines per week, and students can choose a time and place that works best for them to complete the work. Course activities may include readings; video demonstrations and tutorials; online discussions; projects; and critiques. The workload of a 1 credit course is roughly 8-10 hours per week, whether the course is being taken for credit or noncredit.

Prerequisite: Previous drawing and painting experience helpful, but not required. Previous experience with Adobe Photoshop helpful, but not required.

Required supplies: Sketchbook; Graphite pencils (various value F ~ 2B or more); Drawing pads (such as Strathmore, 18" x 24" or larger); Newsprint pad (18" x 24"); Compressed charcoal; Willow or vine charcoal; Kneaded eraser; Art gum eraser; Exacto knife or utility knife; Ruler Cardboard or matte board 4" x 6"; Drawing board or something that can be a support when you draw; Masking tape; Portfolio folder (DIY possible).

Required Textbook:
See for a list of required textbooks.

Required hardware: Digital camera or scanner or scanning app

Register Before: September 23
If the minimum enrollment is not met by the deadline above, the class will be canceled on this date. Registration will remain open after this date if the minimum enrollment has been met.

Class Savings
Register on or before August 17 and save $25.
Register for more than one class at a time and receive $25 off each additional class (same-day registrations only).
Additional savings. Are you eligible?

Contact MCAD Continuing Education at or call 612.874.3765.

Course Details

CST 9570 20 FA20
Date Start: 
Monday, September 28, 2020
Date End: 
Friday, October 30, 2020
Age Group: 
Age Requirement: 
Open to students ages 15 and above.
Days of Week: 
Drawing and Painting
Online Classes
Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Ages 15-18
Pre-College Classes Ages 15-18