Col-erase pencils are great for using on your portfolio! They come in a bunch of different colours and are pretty good at being erased. What's good about them is that you can use them to build up the structure of your drawing (because structure is very important) and you can do a final line over your col-erase line with a regular pencil. Drawing this way allows the under structure to be visible and for your drawing to be more tidy if you use a black final line over it.
For life drawing, my favourite kind of paper to use is super smooth Newsprint paper. Newsprint comes in different textures, from rough to smooth. I like it smooth since it really allows your hand to glide over the surface for quicker drawing, and I feel my line turns out better. A lot of art stores carry Newsprint, it seems to be a standard kind of paper.
Conte is great for doing life drawings with. It's pretty popular for life drawing and it's recommended to use while at Sheridan by the teachers. You can get a wide variety of line widths and tones and it comes in soft and hard sticks like pencils do. For life drawing, I would suggest getting a B or 2B in black. You don't want to go to soft since it'll smudge really easily and you don't want go to hard because you want to be able to draw without ripping your paper :p
These are also alright to use for life drawing, but watch out about using too small of a tip! Artists tend to hold pencils differently than a Conte stick and when you draw with a pencil you end up using your wrist more than your whole arm, which can make the drawing more stiff. Pencils and sticks can be used in an underhand position where you can use your whole arm to get a more loose gesture.
A light box may come in handy when making your portfolio, although there are many ways to make your own light box at home for cheaper than you can buy them in stores. They come in handy for checking your character rotation and expressions when you're trying to keep the shapes in proportion with the other drawings. For your object drawings too, since one needs to be drawn without looking at the original objects and only referencing your first drawing.
For those of you who don't know much about animation yet, pegbars are what keeps your animation paper together when animating. There's 3 pegs that go into the holes of animation paper, you can usually have several pieces of paper together on the pegbar at one time for animating.
The pegbar sits on the animation disc, which is usually a plexiglass circle that sits in an animation desk. You won't need a disc or a peg bar for your portfolio, but it's good to know about it. The disc is translucent enough for light to pass through and help you see multiple pages of drawings where they're stacked on the pegbar.
Here are some links to different sites that might be of some use to you on your Sheridan Animation Portfolio journey!
Sheridan Animation Page - Program info
Sheridan Animation Portfolio Requirements - Portfolio requirements, so far it has stayed the same year to year, but make sure you inquire about it when you apply to the school!
Sheridan Portfolio Review - A few examples of portfolios that were accepted into the Animation program at Sheridan College
Sheridan Animation Alumni - A list of Sheridan Animation grads from the past few years and links to their blogs
Sheridan Animation Faculty - Get to know the people who teach classes in Sheridan's Animation Program
Mississauga Valley School of Art - The studio where I first learned life drawing and where I took my portfolio classes. Call and ask about the animation portfolio classes if you're interested and in the GTA area!
Figure Drawing in Canada (and US) - A good list to look at if you're looking for life drawing in Canada! You can look for US places too through this site!
Pete Emslie's Blog - 2nd year Design teacher at Sheridan, he has a great sense of design!
Disney Animation Archive - A great site that has a bunch if Disney model sheets
Digicel Flipbook - The program that Sheridan uses for shooting pencil tests
Cartoon Brew - Animation news
Rad How To - A great place for drawing and design tips
Drawing Force - A great site and book series explaining how to draw the force in the human body. This site also has some sample tutorial videos.
Marcus Ranum Nude Model gallery - A really nice stock photography collection of nude models if you need to do some studying or practicing when not in a life drawing class.
List of Animation Books - A good list of animation books from Aimee's site
Lightfoot LTD - Animation supplies
Animation on Wikipedia - Read up on some basic animation knowledge
11 Second Club Helpful Hints - Some useful animation hints
Ctrl+Paint - Great resource! Lots of videos on drawing and painting