Animation Portfolio Workshop

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What is Animation Portfolio Workshop?

Founded in 1999 by two highly skilled and experienced artists, Gerard Sternik and Vince Peets, Animation Portfolio Workshop (APW) is the first school in Canada to specialize solely in animation portfolio preparation. Since its inception, thousands of students have been accepted into the best animation and art programs in the world and have gone on to successful careers in the animation industry.

Our qualified instructors teach the foundational drawing skills and portfolio preparation methods students require to succeed in top-tier animation and visual art programs worldwide.  Designing characters and learning the basics of hand-drawn animation starts with drawing, and we should know – drawing is all we do. The curriculum is made up of two core components of an animation school portfolio: Life Drawing for Animation and Drawing for Animation.  Perhaps the most unique aspect of APW is that many APW graduates have returned to the workshop to become teachers and tutors—mentors to students who are about to set their goals and meet the challenges of animation school.

New! APW's International Portfolio Day goes online!

APW launches new online Animation Portfolio Preparation program

APW is launching a new online version of their highly successful animation portfolio preparation program. 


  • APW maintains a ratio of 10-12 students per instructor/teaching assistant.  The end of our 2 main sessions coincides with the due dates for portfolio submissions to top animation schools.  Classes are suitable for students 16 years or older. 

Animation Portfolio Preparation - Regular Sessions

Session One: Online - May 2021 to February 2022

Session Two: September 11, 2021–February 6, 2022

  • This eight-month program, offered twice yearly, focuses on animation portfolio preparation using the APW Drawing Method. It is made up of 38 days of intensive classes for a total of 228 hours of instruction. Students will learn life drawing, character design, perspective, storyboarding and much more. By the end of the workshop, students will be ready to submit their completed portfolios to prospective animation schools. The end of the course coincides with the due dates for portfolio submissions to top animation schools.  Classes take place on weekends.

Art School Portfolio Preparation: September 2021 – April 2022

  • This 38-week drawing course utilizes the APW Drawing Method, the foundation of our successful Animation Portfolio Workshop curriculum. The two courses comprising this course have been carefully designed to complement each other and to offer a variety of drawing exercises that develop both illustrative drawing systems and observational life drawing skills. Students wishing to create portfolio pieces suitable for inclusion in a variety of post-secondary art and illustration application portfolios will find this course to be of great value. The instructor will conduct individual critiques of potential portfolio pieces as the course develops. Classes take place Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Boot Camps

March Break Boot Camp Online: March 15 – March 19, 2021

Summer Boot Camp 1: July 5 – July 9, 2021

Summer Boot Camp 2: July 12 – July 16, 2021

Summer Boot Camp 3: July 19 – July 23, 2021

Summer Boot Camp 4: July 26 – July 30, 2021

Summer Boot Camp 5: August 9 – August 13, 2021

Summer Boot Camp 6: August 16 – August 20, 2021

  • The Boot Camp offers a solid introduction to characters and animation. Students will design and draw characters and get a workout in the basics of hand-drawn animation. The course borrows focused lessons from our regular program and rolls them into an intensive 5-day workout. Classes take place Monday to Friday.

Animation Portfolio Preparation Intensive Courses

2021 Summer Intensive: June 28 – August 20, 2021

  • The summer intensive program is designed for Canadian and international students who are unable to attend our regular 38-week program. 38 days in length over a period of eight weeks, the APW Summer Intensive is a complete version of our highly successful eight month Animation Portfolio Workshop program.  Classes take place from Monday to Friday for 6 hours a day.

2021 Winter Intensive: Oct. 20 – Dec. 10, 2021

  • The winter intensive program is designed for Canadian and international students who are unable to attend our regular 38-week program. It runs for 38 days over eight weeks and is a complete version of our eight-month program. This program is best suited to students who thrive on fast-paced delivery of new material. Classes take place Monday to Friday.  

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Scholarships and Contests

O’Keefe Scholarship Info

APW 2021 Character Design Contest

  • Design your own animation character and enter the APW Character Design contest. Submissions are open from January 1 to April 24th 2021.  You could win free tuition, Toon Boom software, $300.00 worth of free art supplies or other great stuff!
  • Simply design your own animation character and submit 4 views of a standing pose, 3 active poses and 4 facial expressions. Fill out an entry form and include a PDF of your drawings and submit the package online. It’s that easy!


Patrick O'Keefe - APW was a major catalyst in forming my passion and skills as a young artist. More....



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