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Pre-Foundation Portfolio Preparation for 16-18 Year Olds

Pre-Foundation Portfolio Preparation for 16-18 Year Olds

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Harriet Hedden, Val Mcbride, Sean Myers


Pre-Foundation Portfolio Preparation for 16 - 18 year olds will help you prepare a portfolio for full-time study; as well as receiving invaluable tips on applying for full and part-time foundation courses.

Your starting point will be objective drawing. You'll then explore expressive possibilities across a range of media, including charcoal, paint, collage, graphic tools and 3D. You'll aim to create a body of work for your portfolio and every day will cover new activities that explore different approaches to drawing.

You will receive guidance on interview preparation coupled with your hands-on experience working in an environment similar to that of a Foundation course.

Topics Covered

  • Preparing surfaces, Textural and Line drawing
  • Self-portrait / study in sketch book of architecture
  • Visit to Wallace Collection
  • Drawing in Sketchbooks from Museum and local area
  • Collecting visual source material 
  • Transposing, transforming, drawing
  • Mood boards and mixed media work
  • 3D spatial interpretation project
  • 3D/sculptural work based on urban drawing

Course Outcomes
You'll have an understanding of the foundation course environment and appreciate the approaches and methodology needed for this type of study. You'll add to your portfolio with a body of work that reflects your experience of answering project briefs.

Who Should Attend

Any 16 – 18 year old student wanting to build up experience, portfolio work or their range of techniques. You may well be thinking of applying for further Art and Design study.

Course Level

Courses are typically taught by one or more of the tutors listed below.

Student Reviews

'The tutor was absolutely inspiring, by far the outstanding factor that made the course so enjoyable. The tutor is why I think my work progressed so much as they gave me huge confidence in my capabilities which is evident through the work I did that week. I enjoyed the inspiring tutoring, the location and the opportunity given to work out of the classroom. There was also gallery visits during the week. Confidence in my artistic capabilities has really grown. I am more free and loose with my art, which effectively turns out bolder and more dramatic pieces. I will also not hesitate to go on a similar course offered as I now know how beneficial a short course can be. Definitely push yourself to do it, even if you feel you may be out of your depth or are not brave enough, because the friendly atmosphere and level of tutoring given is well worth it!' - Anon

Tutor Description

Harriet Hedden was born and raised in Devon and Sussex. She studied painting at Norwich School of Art, and following a year as an Artist in residence in Bedford, went for two years to Freiburg, Germany as a guest of Prof. Peter Dreher, at the Staatliche Akademie für Bildenen Kunst (Karlsruhe). She was appointed a part time tutor at the Albert Ludwig Üniversitat in Freiburg during this period where she taught classes in Fine Art.

On her return to London she won an AHRB scholarship to study at the Slade School of Fine Art where she completed her MA in Fine Art (Printmaking) in 1997. She was invited to participate in leading masterclasses with Prof. Bartolemeu dos Santos at the Fundaçao Calouste Gubelkian Tavira Printmaking workshop twice in the following years, as well as a residency in Florence at Studio Art Centres International teaching BA and MA students.

She has continued to teach, raising her family as well as continuing her practice as an artist. She currently teaches at Chelsea College of Arts in London and has exhibited widely in the UK and in Europe.

Valerie McBride is a book illustrator who has worked for several publishers including Oxford University Press, Heinemann and BBC Books.

She is currently an Associate Lecturer on the CCW Foundation course at Camberwell. For the past twenty years she taught at Wimbledon College of Arts, where she contributed to the Foundation course and was course leader of the Pre-Foundation course. She also teaches illustration on Professional Development programmes within adult education for those making a career from their art practice.

She contributes regularly to gallery education programmes, delivering workshops and master classes related to current exhibitions.

Sean Myers works with Foundation, BA and MA students at Central Saint Martins. He is an artist and lecturer and also runs a silkscreen printing studio in North London. 

To see images of previous student work, view the galleries on Sean's website:

To learn more about Sean, read his interview on the CSM Short Courses blog here.


Please bring the following materials with you on the first day:

  • A3 Sketch book

  • Basic drawing equipment; B Grade pencil, pencil sharpener

  • Fine black felt tip

  • Coloured pencils

  • Primary colours and black/white acylic paints

  • Selection of paint brushes (synthetic and hog hair)

  • Erasers soft and hard

  • Household painting brush, 2cm minimum size

  • Charcoal

  • Apron/old shirt

  • If you have one, a camera. Please note that this is not an essential item

  • Something to transport your work home in e.g. A3 plastic portfolio

There is a canteen onsite, alternatively you may wish to bring a packed lunch with you.

Please note that most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates