Aug 6 to 18, 2019 2 Week Day Camp $1995

Sign up for full 2 week camp or just week 1, week 2 or by individual workshops! Click this link to see the workshop schedule!

What is the Animation Summer Camp?

If you need to know how to make an art portfolio so that you can get accepted into the top animation and illustration programs in North America then you’ll love our summer art portfolio camp! We specialize in helping students gain the necessary skills to get into the dream animation colleges like Sheridan Animation, CalArts Character Animation, Ringling Computer Animation or Seneca Animation. PortPrep students get acceptance offers top ranked illustration programs including Canadian schools like Sheridan Illustration, OCADU Illustration, or Emily Carr BFA Illustration and the American greats like Pratt, Parsons, RISD, or SVA among many other fine schools.

In this camp, we discuss the fundamental drawing principles, such as perspective, form, and proportion, and then use our creativity to create an amazing story together. We’ll start with figure drawing and anatomy studies to give you a solid understanding of drawing humans. As the camp progresses, we’ll also be working as a team to build a story together. So really, this summer camp duplicates the process that an actual animation studio would go through to develop the “pre-production” of a movie, so we’ll be designing characters, locations, and making storyboards. For those continuing into an animation program, these components are a big part of the portfolio!

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 a competitive art field.

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.


Format: All in-person classes, living accommodations while in Guelph will be arranged. Class size usually between 8-12

Feedback: Plenty of professional feedback throughout duration of camp.

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

Duration: 2 weeks

Homework: Very little if any. Work is done in-class with other students.

Skill level/pre-req: Beginner. Just needs to be interested in drawing and telling stories.

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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

Painting a scene layout from the students’ story

Painting a scene layout from the students’ story

What You’ll Learn

You’ll learn how to create, draw and animate great stories and characters while learning how to draw all the items required for the portfolios of Sheridan, Seneca, or OCAD. You will also be learning crucial drawing skills such as perspective and figure drawing, which are applicable to a wide array of different fields within art (especially for the portfolios required to get into them!). Do you want to know the more about how to get a scholarship to art colleges like Pratt, Parsons, or RISD? We have the track record to help you get accepted into the top ranked art schools in Canada or the USA with your art portfolio.

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Mark Thurman

Figure Drawing Guest Instructor from Sheridan Animation

Mark Thurman graduated from the Central Technical School Art Program in 1966, and has been a working artist since that time. He has worked as an illustrator, a designer, and shown as a gallery artist.

He has taught life drawing anatomy and illustration/design at the Toronto School of Art, anatomy figure drawing at OCAD, and picture book illustration at Central Technical School.

Currently, he teaches Anatomy/ Figure Drawing in the Classical Animation department at Sheridan College.

He has written and illustrated 20 books and designed and illustrated more than 25 books for other authors.

He was the co-creator and illustrator of the “Mighty Mites” a scientific comic in Owl Magazine.

From 1976 to 1991, he co-authored  ( with Emily Hearn ) and illustrated 153 episodes.

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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.

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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.

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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 skill as a painter grew while studying art in Paris and Florence.

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.


Mike L. Murphy

“Studio Skills for Success” Mentor

Murphy grew up in Los Gatos, California and left high school a year early after getting a tour of Walt Disney Feature Animation studios while they were making Aladdin. He subsequently attended California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

Murphy's first film as director was his 2004 Night of the Brocolli, about a man whose dinner vegetables exact a revenge. This was followed by his 2005 film Get Lost, and then by his 2006 film Rose, which premiered at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, and won 1st place for cinematography.

His works include the films Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Iron Man.  In 2010 he directed the animated sequences for 20th Century Fox's Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

In 2011 he was the director and producer of the Young Storytellers Foundation "Bohemian Dream Party", a charity event to benefit arts education for Los Angeles-based youth. He also redesigned Mrs. Butterworth and directed her animation.


H Werner Zimmermann

Anatomical Drawing Guest Instructor from Seneca Animation

Werner studied fine art at the University of Guelph and exhibited widely across Canada. H Werner Zimmermann is an award-winning and bestselling Canadian children's author and illustrator. His illustrations appear in the books Porcupine in a Pine Tree and Dashing Through the Snow by Helaine Becker, Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little and the Farmer Joe series by Nancy Wilcox Richards. Zimmermann is the author and illustrator of books like Snow Day, the story of children enjoying a day off school in the wintertime, and most recently At the Pond, a book about the natural wonders of a tranquil pond. The picture book is on the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award shortlist for young people's literature — illustrated books.

Werner has been high regarded as an expert anatomy professor and life drawing instructor to animation students since 1986 at Sheridan, Humber and most recently Seneca College. Werner offers short term courses and workshops with PortPrep and master classes in figure drawing via

Instructor Gallery

Full 2-Week Summer Day Camp

  • Day Camp Program without meals including HST. Camp base price $1995 + $259,35 = $2254.35

  • Intensive 2-weeks full of art training to prepare you for College / University

  • New friends interested in animation and drawing!

  • Art teachers who will provide plenty of feedback on your work

  • Group and individual assignments to challenge you

  • A ton of fun!

Add To Cart
Residential Full 2-Week Summer Camp with Accommodations & Meals
  • Aug 6 to 18 Get the full 2 week camp with meals and cozy shared student accommodations

  • Includes taxes, camp, breakfast, dinner, transportation to and from residence to studios, & overnight supervision of den mom Check in on Aug 5, check out Aug 18

  • Intensive 2-weeks full of art training to prepare you for College / University

  • New friends interested in animation and drawing!

  • Art teachers who will provide plenty of feedback on your work

  • Group and individual assignments to challenge you

  • A ton of fun!

Add To Cart

Week 1 Summer Day Camp
  • Week 1 Day Camp w/o meals $920 + HST $119.60 = $1039

  • The first week full of art training to prepare you for College / University

  • New friends interested in animation and drawing!

  • Art teachers who will provide plenty of feedback on your work

  • Group and individual assignments to challenge you

  • A ton of fun!

Add To Cart

Week 2 Summer Camp
  • The first week full of art training to prepare you for College / University

  • New friends interested in animation and drawing!

  • Art teachers who will provide plenty of feedback on your work

  • Group and individual assignments to challenge you

  • A ton of fun!

Add To Cart