A.You can work at any size you'd like for the portfolio, assuming that it's not smaller than 8.5" x 11, and not extremely big since you want the paper to fit in a portfolio or if you're sending in a copy, you need to be able to scan the artwork or take a clear photo, so as long as you can do that you should be okay with the size. My portfolio case was on the bigger side, it fit 18" X 24" paper, though my artwork was usually a bit smaller, except the life drawing was that exact size. I would suggest not working bigger than that probably, and work big only for the parts that you would need to draw bigger, still life, life drawing, room drawings because you want to be able to get enough detail in those drawings. Things like the character rotation, I did each pose on an 8.5 X11 sheet, and the expressions were all put on one piece of paper. Hands as well, each hand can be on one 8.5 x11 piece. Whatever you're comfortable working with.
Q. How early should I start my portfolio?
A. You should start as early as possible! I think it's a good idea to give yourself enough time to be able to rework/redo some of the portfolio pieces, since a lot of people who aren't too experienced with drawing will often have a lot of flaws in their work (for example, correct perspective with the rooms and objects, proportion issues with life drawing..etc). It would be good to find another artist or somebody who draws to show your work to, often times other people will be able to see mistakes you miss especially if they have more experience than you. All I can suggest is as soon as you know you want to get into the animation program, it would be a good idea to start doing practice drawings for your portfolio pieces. You don't want to leave everything to the last minute and you want to give yourself extra time when you're done just in case you need to fix or change something. The portfolios are due usually around February sometime, so you have to be your own judge and figure out how long it might take you factoring in your usual schedule + school or work or whatever that might take up more of your time.
Q. Is 3 months enough time to make a portfolio?
A. It depends on your skill level, your schedule and how determined you are to get it done right. You're portfolio can definitely be done in 3 months, but you have to also be careful not to rush the drawings so that they don't look sloppy. A sloppy portfolio is really unappealing to look at, especially since there are going to be a ton of applicants who spent more time on theirs, but I'm also sure there are going to be applicants who spent less time on theirs because they don't have any direction or misjudged how long it takes. I would suggest starting life drawing as soon as possible so you can learn the most before you pick out the drawings for your portfolio. Be your own judge, you know how fast you can work.
Q. I am applying as an International student, do I need to attend the portfolio assessment?
A. No you don't need to attend the portfolio assessment if you're an international applicant. Anybody that lives 80 kilometers outside of Sheridan can send in a copy of their portfolio to be reviewed. Once you've applied to Sheridan, the school will send you the right information letting you know what the next steps in your application are.
Q. If I take Art Fundamentals, does that mean I'll automatically be in the Animation program next year?
A. No, taking Art fundamentals does not guarantee you a spot in animation, it just helps you to build your drawings skills and allows you to work on your portfolio pieces with the aid of your teachers while having access to life drawing, which is usually harder for people not in school to get access to. A lot of the accepted applicants for animation have gone through art fundamentals first. I know people who didn't think they were ready for animation to begin with so they only applied to art fundamentals with the plan of applying to animation afterwards. I also know a few people who have gone through art fundamentals more than once, so it really depends on yourself and how determined you are to get in.
Q. If I take Art Fundamentals, do I need to take any additional drawing classes?
A. This is completely up to you and how much you want to take on, and how much you can actually handle. You'll have regular life drawing classes in Art Fundies as well as all your other drawings classes that will be related to your portfolio requirements. I don't think it's necessary at all to take more drawing classes, but a popular option is getting a life drawing mentor to give additional help. Life Drawing mentors are students in Animation who are doing well with life drawing that are approved to be a mentor. There might also be students tutoring other drawing subjects as well. Ask your teachers where to apply for a mentor.
Q. Can I use a ruler for my room drawings? All the examples I've seen have really straight lines.A. For the room drawings, you have to take your time and make sure all the lines are nice and straight. The portfolio requirements say for the room drawings to be "freehand drawings", meaning drawn by hand without using a ruler for your lines, but I don't see any problem with using a ruler or the edge of a piece of paper to check to see if your lines are straight and are lining up where they should be. I think they are trying to stress the importance of the drawing being an observational piece rather than a completely technical drawing, although having something inbetween is good, making sure that it's technically correct. They want to be able to see your drawing skills from the room drawings (as with all the portfolio pieces) and if you rely solely on using a ruler, the drawing won't give an accurate idea of how you draw layouts and perspective, your line quality will be different as well doing it freehand vs using a ruler (it will suffer if done solely with a ruler). In short, they want to see what you can do, not what a ruler can do.
I think it's ok to use a ruler to help make your drawing better, but don't let it take over your drawing.