IRONBBRATZ Portfolio-building Workshops open for registration


Portfolio-building workshops offer students studying Art & Design at either Higher or Advanced Higher level the opportunity to undertake specialist education into the development of a creative portfolio for application to art or design studies at college, university or art school.

Participation in a portfolio-building workshop will develop students’ practical and critical thinking skills, improve their ability to work collaboratively and enhance confidence in their work.  Students who complete a portfolio-building workshop often have an increased chance of success in their applications to creative courses.  Such courses are often highly competitive; for example, the applicant/place ratio at the Glasgow School of Art is now higher than for medicine at the University of Glasgow.


Unlike other portfolio-building workshops, IRONBBRATZ Workshops are hosted in a community-based studio facility full of diverse creative practioners.  This will give students insight into the working life of professional artists and designers.  Students will also have an opportunity to meet our tenants and speak to them about their experiences of post-secondary education and their individual practices.  Students will learn techiniques to help them to develop a sustainable and individually-tailored practice beyond building a portfolio

In addition to the eight sessions we will also act as a support network throughout the application process and be available virtually to advise on personal statement writing.  IRONBBRATZ have an extensive knowledge and network of artists and designers in Glasgow and will use this to make relevant connections for students in their research.  The last session will also be an exhibition of students’ work from the workshops.


IRONBBRATZ have developed an 8-week workshop which will help students fine-tune (or de-tune, or un-tune!) their drawing skills, explore ideas of objectivity and subjectivity, develop sketchbook work, colour, texture, mounting & presentation and practice interview skills.

Introduction to Objectivity – 5th Oct.
Drawing gym – quick fire round of experimental drawing excercises.

Introduction to Subjectivity12th Oct.
Collaborative work, personal maps and application of personality to objects.

Sketchbook making & filling – 19th Oct.
Intro to basic binding techniques, relevant research skillss

Colour & Texture studies – 26th Oct
Working in a variety of media to explore how colour and texture affects a 2-D object.

Developing Independent practice – 2nd + 9th Nov.
One-on-one crit session to indentify area of interest for theme of portfolio.

Portfolio presentation – 16th Nov.
Techniques for display and mounting of work.  Professional documentation skills.

Interview skills and exhibition – 23rd Nov.
Confidence building and stress-reduction techniques, mock interview with member of staff.  Students can invite people to the end of this session to view their work in exhibition.

Sessions will run from 6pm until 9pm and can accommodate up to 15 students.


We will supply a small range of specialist supplies for specific projects.

– Students should bring at least the following materials to   each session (including the first):
– Paper of differing sizes, colours and textures
– Paint brushes of different sizes and types
– Erasers
– Masking Tape (1 inch thick)
– Preferred paint (water colour, acrylic, oil, guache, etc)
– Preferred drawing media (coloured felt tip pens/pencils/pastels etc.)
– A sketchbook (any size/format)

Note: Unfortunately we are not able to provide storage facilities for portfolios or materials.  Students should be prepared to bring and take away their belongings for each session.


The workshop will be delivered by Amanda Dobbratz and Leeanne McKenna.  Amanda and Leeanne have both studied and taught at The Glasgow School of Art to applicants, school children and incoming undergraduate students.   Both are fully Disclosure-checked.

Amanda graduated from the GSA with distinction in 2008 with a Masters in Research (Creative Practice) and in 2006 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art.  Her work is primarily concerned with pattern, colour and rules using non-traditional material such as glitter, floor varnish and self-adhesive vinyl.

Leeanne has passion for widening participation issues, experience dealing with students with behavioural issues and learning difficulties.  Leeanne’s work explores the absurd nature of humanity through drawing, text and a keen use of colour.


The portfolio-building workshop costs £200.

Payment can be made by cash, cheque or direct debit and should be made before the session to guarantee place.

To apply for our portfolio building workshops, please e-mail:


About adobbratz

Maker & schemer in MPLS
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