(Original post by Wozzie)
The golden rule is only show your best stuff, and I know some people in particular the UAL crowd may disagree with that but they're just flat out wrong. Given the choice between a portfolio of 10 well done finished pieces of work and a scrap book full of half finished doodles and random bits of crap you picked up from the street it's always the best portfolio that wins, and the best portfolio will typically be the one which demonstrated quality over quantity.
The messed up thing is that universities won't tell you this is what they want to see they give you a load of **** about thought process and talk about how they want to get a good idea of who you as a person are from the perspective of a walrus or some ****.
I can't tell you how a walrus would view your portfolio, but a human? That I can do.
First things first it's one thing saying you have a portfolio full of awesome life drawings, but it doesn't mean **** to us unless we can see them. If your academic portfolio can make up for the short comings in your own portfolio it's in your own best interests to include them.
On any arts course you want to demonstrate an understanding of perspective, form, anatomy and colour.
You're demonstrating none of these.
The one drawing you have which should demonstrate an understanding of perspective is off or is so abstract that is doesn't show any understanding of anything.
The one drawing where you show bodies you clutter and hide so much of your work that it looks like you're scared to even attempt drawing most of the elements you hide or are at the very least very uncomfortable drawing anything but the face. This is further highlighted when we see that the one hand in your entire portfolio you've taken the time to draw is on the wrong arm.
You have a right hand on the left arm.
In terms of colour you're kind of handicapping yourself by relying on the burn and dodge tools in Photoshop. These tools can be okay for establishing a palette or tweaking what you already have but they shouldn't be depended on to do your shading for you.
Other things to consider is the use of photography in your work. I really do not advise this as you will be asked about it.
Take for instance your photo with the stars and stuff what is the benefit of adding that for them to ask you "Did you paint this?" if your response is going to be "no it's a photo I doodled over the top of"?
That's the worst thing you can do. Don't have anything in your portfolio that will lead to disappointment.
That also goes for using photographs in your work. Using photographic elements is fine in fact a whole artistic practice called matte painting is built on using photographic elements to aid realism but there's a difference between using photographs of rocks to texture a mountain and simply getting a photo of a mountain and slapping it into whatever you're creating.
One use is enabling you to take your work beyond what would be possible using conventional methods and the other is just being lazy.
So going by the site I'd cut images 1, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11.
Replace them with life drawing or something. The Josephine Backer portrait could be worth adding if you fixed the nose, teeth and mouth.
The teeth you messed up by defining them with 4 simply lines. What usually sells the teeth isn't simply whacking lines through them focus on what you cant see, you'll see teeth in any open mouth but what defines those teeth isn't the detail of the teeth or gums it's the shape which is usually defined in the corners of the mouth.
If there's nothing but black there put nothing but black there; paint what you see not what you think you see.
The nose and mouth are just a little misshaped, both need to be wider which is an easy fix with the liquify tool. You've also defined to much of the nose you really didn't need to draw that much of the top of the nose.
Anyway this is getting a bit long so I'll cut it there.
I just want to mention really quick that it's hard to give advice and "critique" without coming across like an ******* and if I do I want to apologise in advance, but it's important to be honest in art because often you're blind to your own mistakes and having people unwilling to say anything other than you're awesome isn't productive.