Architecture & Design Summer Camp

2019 Aug 7 to 17

Karen Concept Sketch Toulouse.jpg

What is Architecture & Design Camp?

Are you dreaming of becoming an architect or interior designer? The best programs that prepare you for a successful career require a design portfolio to gain acceptance into their programs. The most sought after universities for architecture are Ryerson, Waterloo, Carleton, McGill, Dalhousie and Laurentian. For interior design students seek acceptance into Ryerson, OCADU, Humber, Sheridan or University of Manitoba. All of these programs and very competitive! While having a high average helps, your art portfolio is the most important factor in your acceptance.

Architecture and design students who don’t seek out portfolio coaching are often surprised about just how difficult it is to make a strong art portfolio while keeping their average high enough and often wind up receiving the dreaded rejection letter after their first application. We designed our Architecture and Design Summer Camp to help you learn how to make a successful design portfolio with the power to get you accepted into architecture and interior design programs on your first try!

PortPrep students get acceptance offers top ranked architecture and design programs including schools like Ryerson, Waterloo, Carleton, RISD, Humber, OCADU, and Laurentian.

What You Will Learn

One Point Perspective Drawing on The Street

One Point Perspective Drawing on The Street

In PortPrep’s Architecture and Design Summer Camp you will learn what types of art works and designs to include in your art portfolio. In this camp, we discuss the fundamental design principles you need to create strong designs and how to draw and present your ideas via concept sketches, perspective drawings, and scale models You will learn how to move through the design process and how to come up with intriguing ideas and artworks that will make your art portfolio stand out!

Our goal with this camp is to give students a taste of what is required from them to make their portfolios, and to teach them how to think like an artist that is capable of being in competitive architecture and design professions.

To ensure you will be in good hands, scroll down to see examples of our teacher’s artwork! We have a variety of teachers that are professors and graduates of SheridanSeneca, and Humber Colleges.

Want to see the selection of workshops available? Follow this link!

We’ve got a great selection of workshops planned for you to help you learn how to make an architecture portfolio or how to prepare an interior design portfolio. While it is recommended to take all of the workshops in order for the best sequential learning outcome, you can also just sign up for individual workshops to suit your schedule and budget. Click on the link in the title above to see the workshops available and then email our Summer Camp Director Karen Kesteloot at to get assistance signing up for individual workshops.

Integrated Creative Environment!

You’ll be immersed in a creative environment that will inspire new ideas! You will be learning alongside our Animation and Illustration students for some of the workshops in a co-op arts studio for some, drawing outside for other workshops and learning within a design studio for many of the design workshops. You’ll have the chance to learn how to create strongly designed scenes as digital paintings whilst learning how to design and draw imaginative spaces.

If you love drawing and want to add some more creative and artistic content to your architecture portfolio you are free to sign up for some of the figure drawing courses that are part of the Animation Summer Camp. Ask our Summer Camp Director for more information or go to our Animation Summer Camp page to find out more or consult the workshop schedule for the 2019 Animation Summer Camp by clicking this link.

Necessary Arts Co Classroom

Necessary Arts Co Classroom

Location PortPrep Classroom at Necessary Arts Co, Guelph, ON

84 Wyndham St N in “The Walkway” between St Georges Square between Quebec St and Baker St Parking Lot beside Canada Post.

It’s Both a Day Camp and a Residential Camp!

If you live close to Guelph Ontario area you just have to register for the day camp! Easy! For students who live too far away we provide student housing and meal plans. Our students stay in a cozy AirBnB home with a wonderful den mom Deb Lamb who provides support and delicious home cooked meals. If you need accommodations, ask us for more an information package or contact our Summer Camp Director Karen for details at or 519-803-2539


Format: All in-person classes, living accommodations while in Guelph will be arranged. Class size usually between 4 and 15

Feedback: Plenty of professional feedback throughout duration of camp.

Materials: Drawing materials, sketchbook, and if taking digital painting, a laptop and tablet, or any device that allows drawing.

Duration: 2 weeks

Homework: Very little if any but the more time you put into the work, the better results you will get. Work is done in-class with other students and can be completed at home after the camp concludes if you run out of time to complete the exercises.

Skill level/pre-req: Beginner. You just need to be interested in drawing and design.

Meet Our Teachers

Karen Kesteloot

Drawing Foundations and Portfolio Instructor

Karen Kesteloot graduated from Humber College Interior Design in 1986, and University of Guelph Fine Arts in 1996. Her love of art and design grew while studying art in Florence and working in design in Paris .

She has certificates in adult education from Sheridan and Conestoga Colleges. Karen has designed interiors and shopping centers around the world in her design career but discovered her true creative passion of teaching starting in 1998 when she started teaching n a variety of art, design, and illustration programs at Sheridan, Humber and Conestoga colleges and University of Guelph.

Karen founded PortPrep to support students applying to visual arts programs in 2012 and has brought together a exciting group of dedicated art instructors to join the PortPrep team. Karen has become known as the admissions insider because she has helped countless design students get accepted into top ranked interior design and architecture programs.

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John Anthony Digiovanni

Composition and Digital Painting Instructor

Anthony’s education was included training with some of the most accomplished artists in entertainment art and illustration, in particular, mentorships with Craig Mullins and Gregory Manchess. Since 2013, Anthony’s been creating freelance illustrations and concept art for a variety of clients in publishing, advertising, theme park development, games, and film.

Most of Anthony’s favourite work includes working with publishers and authors to create book cover illustrations.

He has taught with PortPrep for several years, especially with helping students become comfortable with digital painting tools, and how to use those tools for their maximum benefit. Anthony uses classical drawing and painting methods but applies them to the new digital tools available.

Most recently, he’s been exploring digital sculpting and 3D modelling in virtual reality to develop thumbnail and illustration compositions, an entirely new, and exciting, frontier. Anthony is constantly researching new art tools, and is on the cutting edge of the film and gaming industries’ methods.

Most recently, Anthony has had his artwork public in one of the most prestigious concept and imaginative art books, Spectrum 25.

Garth photo - June 2019 -3-nofilter.jpg

Garth Laidlaw

Character Design, Storyboarding, and Animation Instructor

Garth Laidlaw graduated from Sheridan College in 2012, and has been busy working as freelance animator, illustrator, and instructor ever since. Most recently, he’s also been painting landscapes and selling them at art markets in Southern Ontario.

He has taught with PortPrep since it began, specializing in animation and illustration portfolios. He has also taught figure drawing and gouache painting at the Guelph School of Art.

Garth runs a weekly figure drawing in Guelph, has self-published a children’s book, and illustrated many more, and also helped launch a board game called Stratos.

He also gave a public talk on animation in Guelph in 2014, view-able here.

He’s just received an Ontario Arts Council grant in 2019 to animate a personal film with a friend named Michelle Peek from Art Not Shame.