Frequently Asked Questions


These are some common questions we have received from students interested in taking a class with answers, if you can't find the answers you are looking for please email :

Click on the question and the answer will appear below

What makes Portfolio Art School different from other Art Schools?

There is a very strong movement in art education that says, “we have the best equipment therefore we are better than everyone else,” or “we offer the best digital environments available,” or “come study with us because our teachers worked on a big name movie”. Basically there is a lot of fluff when it comes to looking for an art school and rarely do they talk about the Core Fundamentals because they either don’t have the teachers to teach them correctly, or they want to use a gimmick to make you believe you too can become a special artist in a year.

At Portfolio Art School we are different. We concentrate on the Beginning Foundations first and program specific applications second, giving students a much clearer path to become the artist they desire. Portfolio Art School is being guided by two of the top professional educators in the Animation Industry: Sheldon Borenstein and Dave Master. Our instructors at Portfolio Art School are vetted through the instructional teachings of these two men who overlook the school and other instructors we hire at Portfolio Art School.

It is Portfolio Art School's goal to bring every student the best chance of success for entering into the college or the studio of their choice, with artist foundation principles that can grow and adapt to their college or career choices.

What Class Should I Take First?

Portfolio Art School makes learning easy.  We have designed our classes/courses to be taken in a specific order.
Each course has a series of classes. These classes/courses are in the order and in an arrangement that are meant to be progressively taught.

I Finished A Class But Didn’t Receive A Grade

Truth be told, we at Portfolio Art School believe our current educational system is a bit misguided. Our students are not graded and are encouraged to make mistakes, no matter what level of an artist you are at some point you will struggle whether it be with a concept or a technique. The safest place to do this is with an instructor who can guide you back on the right track. The true test of any art student isn’t the grade he or she receives in the class, it is in fact whether or not a student's portfolio is able to get them into a college or land a job. A grade essentially does not matter, you can not improve or be hired in a career of your choice based on a grade.

How Come I See Nothing Listed For Badges or Certificates?

Portfolio Art School will have this feature up and running at a later date, and your courses previously taken will apply towards this we are very new right now. January 7th 2013 we will be launching our core curriculum. Once our subject related courses are instituted then our certificate program will be launched.

Can I Avoid/Skip Classes?

However, Portfolio Art School has set up an amazing Core Curriculum with courses/classes that will have foundations that differ from most university level art schools. Our core is based around Sheldon Borenstein’s unique experience working in the Animation field and 30+ years of Instructing current professionals and university level students.Other Instructors who are teaching more advanced art topics will assume you have a strong understanding of the foundations Sheldon has laid out.

Can I Take More Than 1 Class At A Time?

However, it is not advised. If you have questions please email

What is Self-Taught vs Critique Classroom?

Portfolio Art School is an online teaching experience, which is unique to most art students. If you have a tight budget you can take a self-taught class.However, you will not get feed back from the instructor. The Critique Classroom is designed for students to submit work and receive feedback from the instructor on a weekly basis or a semi weekly basis.

*As of 5/4/13 there will be no more Classes with Cirtiques, Instead there is a seperate Critiuqe section that is seperate from the classes

Are The Classes Live (Do I need to be available at a certain time)?

Unless otherwise stated: All classes are recorded and then streamed so that any student in any timezone can have the ability to learn at their own pace, at their own leisure at home, work, or on there freetime. Students have the ability to review and re-watch all class material while they have access to the class.

What Time Zone Is The School Run From?

Pacific Standard Time

How Do I Pay?

PayPal is the method of payment.  As we expand we may add additional methods of payment. We have opted for this option for several security reasons. At no point does Portfolio Art School see or record your credit card information. All check-outs start at the bottom of every class page. If you have any concerns or questions please email

Why Am Asked To Log-In Before Payment?

Most of our orders require a Username to be able to access your digital products

l’m Confused About Something.

No worries email with your question.

Can I Watch the Classes On My Tablet?

We make no guarantees that our website and streaming video will work on any tablet. Tablets have their own set of rules for the internet that are continually changing. If you find it does work on your tablet, please do not assume it will work after your devices next update.
Tablets are not and will not be supported at this time.

Are The Instructional Videos You Sell The Same As The Classes?

No, while the foundations and drawing principles are the same they are not set up in a class structure that build upon themselves.

What is Sheldon’s Art Academy?

Sheldon’s Art Academy is a physical art school in California. Sheldon's Art Academy is the official company name that Portfolio Art School runs under. Portfolio Art School is an online extension to Sheldon's physical art school located in Oak Park, California. While Sheldon is the primary core art instructor at Portfolio Art School, the site was created for other professional Art Instructors to add their expertise. These Instructors will be guided by Portfolio Art School to make sure delivery of content is congruent with the topic they are teaching.

What does “Guest” Mean for Classroom Critiques?

Each course/class has one instructor, but the instructor may invite other artists who are qualified to make comments and correct critiques of homework. We at Portfolio Art School will and do make sure that all instructors or professionals have material that participants will enjoy and grow from as an artist.

How Old Do I Have to Be?

Anyone under the age of 18 should ask their parents before taking any art classes online. While all classes are conducted in a professional manner, there are discussion forums for students to critique and post work to each other without instructor supervision. Therefore an adult of 18 years or older must sign you up if you are younger.

At no point do we believe our content to be sexual in nature. However, figure drawing is used as a base for all drawing principles taught at Portfolio Art School. Because of this there is nudity as it pertains to the understanding and importance of anatomical structures.

All classes are taught by professional artist who believe figure drawing is considered the highest form of study for drawing since history brought us the Florentine era.

If you have any concerns about your child taking our classes or your parents are unsure how artists apply figure drawing to everything they draw:
Please email:  with your questions.