Course Description

Offered in Fall only.

CalArts' Portfolio Development Workshop in Visual Storytelling is an eight-week online intensive designed to equip you with the tools necessary to achieve clear and engaging storytelling in your work. Some topics covered will include: character and specificity, composition, layout, staging, gesture, clarity, and fundamentals of storyboarding. Through various assignments, you will observe from life as well as film, work within the parameters of a "script," utilize your own original stories, and create strong story-driven work for your portfolio.

Assignments will vary from literal to abstract and will push you to break down stories into their simplest parts. Quality of drawing is not the focus of this course, but rather efficiency and clarity in drawing. Use of real media for assignments is not required by highly encouraged. Lectures include demos, film clips and examples from art and media. You will work on your assignments on your own time and upload them to the class module on Access, a CalArts online learning platform, by a set deadline. At the end of the week, the instructor will give you direct feedback on submitted assignments with a video critique.

Application Instructions

Enrollment in this workshop is based on the instructors' review of:

  • 5 images of original artwork, consisting of drawings or paintings. At least 2 of the images must be life or figure drawing examples. These examples should be from observation—not from a photograph, memory or imagination.

Applications must be accompanied by a $10 fee.


  • You must be 14 years old or older to take part in this workshop.


Application for PDW in Visual Storytelling (course)

Application Deadline: September 16, 2019

Enrollment and Payment Deadline: September 18, 2019

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in

Section Title
Portfolio Development Workshop in Visual Storytelling
Sep 23, 2019 to Nov 22, 2019
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $1,000.00 Click here to get more information
Section Notes
Specific art/drawing supplies (You may work digitally but traditional media is HIGHLY encouraged.)
  • Paper of sketchbook
  • Black pen or markers (permanent or waterproof) - no pencils. Sharpies are great
  • Grey set of markers (such as Prismacolor or Copic) - just 3 will be fine (dark, medium, light)
  • Color markers (such as Prismacolor or Copic)
  • White ink pen (optional)
  • Post-it notes (optional)

Technical capabilities

  • Computer w/ internet connection
  • Scanner or decent digital camera; images will be emailed size 72DPI around 12" x 14";
  • Photoshop is allowed but not essential


  • It will help if you've seen Raiders of the Lost Ark!