Program Overview

Before you can truly showcase your talents as an artist, you need a solid, technical foundation. The one-year Fine Art Foundation certificate will help you to develop the necessary skills in painting, drawing, video, sculpture, and photography so that you can reach your creative potential.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Certificate
30 weeks
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2023 September
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2023 September

Your Learning Experience

As a student pursuing your fine art foundation certificate, you’ll participate in studio-based projects and develop a portfolio of work in your chosen media. You’ll also be given essential instruction in art history from Ancient times through the French Revolution, all the way to the First World War. In addition to strong theoretical training, you’ll also develop valuable written and verbal communication skills as part of your fine arts training. With its emphasis on professionalism in a design workplace, the fine art certificate course will help you prepare to meet the needs of arts employers and the communities they serve.


If you decide to progress with your studies, the fine art certificate courses will be excellent training for entering year two of Fanshawe’s in-depth three-year Fine Art advanced diploma program. If you choose to move directly into the working world, the certificate will prepare you to seek entry-level positions such as gallery attendant or artistic assistant.


Fine Art Foundation is a one-year certificate program designed to give a broad base of experience and knowledge in the visual arts.  This foundation year introduces students to the fundamentals of art and design: practical skills, critical thinking and visual vocabulary.  Studies in this program include painting, drawing, video, sculpture, photography and art history.  Through studio based projects students will develop a portfolio of work in a range of media.  

This program prepares students for the Advanced Diploma program in Fine Art at Fanshawe College, or advanced arts programs at other institutions, as well as prepares students who are seeking entry-level employment opportunities requiring fundamental visual arts skills.


Career Information

Fanshawe’s Fine Art Foundation program will prepare students for entering more advanced art programs or seek entry-level employment opportunities such as:

  • Gallery attendant
  • Art supply store assistant
  • Artist assistant
  • Web designer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Animation
  • Advertising
  • Graphic designer

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Fine Art Foundation program:

  • Museum Assistant
    Provide museum tours, work with collections, sell merchandise and help plan events.
  • Packaging Designer
    Design posters, signage, web/magazine ads, display units in various retail settings.
  • Gallery Attendant
    Help curators in moving objects and changing gallery displays.


artist at their workstation
Learning Outcomes


The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

1. Create two and three-dimensional projects using a wide range of materials, processes and techniques.

2. Use an artistic process to develop and solve visual problems using various strategies for idea generation.

3. Apply the formal elements and principals of visual language.

4. Utilize a variety of presentation skills appropriate to critiques, public and private venues.

5. Develop skills in presenting a personal portfolio using a variety of media through studio based projects.

6. Articulate art concepts, history and the role of art in society to the general public.


Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Marla Botterill


Admission Requirements

OSSD (with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream), or equivalent, or mature applicant.

Students who do not have a high school diploma may wish to consider taking the Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) grade 12 Equivalency Certificate.

Graduates of Fine Art Foundation may choose to transfer into the second year of the Fine Art Ontario College Advanced Diploma program.
International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Test Score
IELTS Academic Overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands
CAEL Overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands. score of 80 in listening
PTE Academic 53
Cambridge English Overall score of 169 with no language skill less than 162
ESL4/GAP5 Minimum grade of 80% in Level 8, 75% in Level 9, or 70% in Level 10
Duolingo Overall score of 105, with no score lower than 95


Learn More about English Language Requirements

Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Any Grade 12 English (C), (U), or (O)
  • Grade 11 Visual Arts (M) or (O) or Grade 12 Visual Arts (M)
  • Grade 11 Music (M) or (O) or Grade 12 Music (M) AND/OR Grade 11 Drama (M) or (O) or Grade 12 Drama (M)
  • Grade 12 Media Arts (M)
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Develop an interest and appreciation for art by visiting galleries, attending theatre and reading about the arts
  • Attempt to explore as many facets of art as possible
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

See Post-Admission Requirements


Year 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1036Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design3
This course introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
ARTS-1110Perceptual Studies 14.5
Using the figure, still life, objects, materials, the environment and the studio space, the student will learn to see and evaluate the visual world and, through analysis, interpret visual impressions into basic two-dimensional form. This will be done through the use of a variety of drawing media including; pencil, ink, conte, crayon, chalk and collage.
ARTS-1111Painting 14.5
This is an introductory painting course designed to introduce students to the basic principles and properties of fine art painting. Students will explore basic colour theory and a variety of introductory painting techniques. Knowledge of the tools of painting and their proper handling, as well as the language of painting will be introduced. Students will execute compositions in paint in differing scales and from a variety of sources. Lectures, demonstrations and field trips will provide students with an introductory overview of the history of painting. Acrylic paints will be the painting medium used in this course.
ARTS-1112Sculpture 14.5
This studio course explores traditional as well as contemporary sculpture materials and processes. Emphasis is on both additive and subtractive methods of working. Goals include acquiring technical skills, understanding the physical and expressive possibilities of diverse materials, and learning safe, appropriate use of tools and materials.
This one semester course is designed to introduce students to an appreciation of the inter-disciplinary aspects of contemporary art. The course will provide students with an introduction to work in digital time-based media, including video and sound. Class projects will be structured around various techniques and methods of working and shooting and editing of video including the spoken word and performance.
ARTS-1116Introduction to Photography3.5
This introductory level course is structured to provide a balance between technical instruction and demonstrations, out-of-class shooting assignments, photographic lab practices, discussion of ideas and concepts related to the history of Fine Art photographic images and processes. A critical analysis of student's work and its connection to the subject of art will be ongoing.
ARTS-1071Methods & Media in Drawing3
In this introductory course students will investigate methods and materials in two dimensional artworks such as; watercolour, pencil crayon, ink, pastel, relief printing and collage. Emphasis will be placed on constructing composition, design principles and implementing basic colour theory in drawing. Subject matter and visual resources may consist of studies from the object, figure, the constructed/natural landscape and pattern. Students will work in a variety of scales and use a variety of paper supports. Students will select, from a list provided (see course plan), and explore a single theme throughout the term applied within the use of multiple drawing media. Compositions must be created from a variety of sources e.g. found and personal photographs, still life, direct observation, dioramas, imagination etc.
ARTS-1115Perceptual Studies 25
This course builds on the techniques and materials explored in Perceptual Studies 1. Students will further explore and evaluate the visual world with an emphasis placed on concept development, analysis and interpretation of the visual world. Students are encouraged to experiment with drawing media. Students will work in a variety of scales and in a variety of drawing media.
ARTS-1113Painting 25
This course is designed to advance the basic understanding of colour theory and painting techniques acquired in Painting 1. Expanded colour theory, increasingly complex techniques and compositional strategies are emphasized. Students will be introduced to the uses of various acrylic mediums and will explore a variety of supports/grounds and scales in their work. The language of painting will continue to develop as well as an introductory understanding of the concept-development, inspirations and processes of painting throughout history.
ARTS-1114Sculpture 25
A continuation of Sculpture 1, this course encourages the further development of understanding sculpture through studio practice. Problem solving in three dimensions and issues including perception, metaphor, communication and composition will be discussed and explored through projects, discussions and presentations. Fundamental development of technical skills and manipulation of media are explored while maintaining safe and appropriate use of tools and materials.
COMM-3074Communications for Design3
This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of art and design, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing - organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone - are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.
HIST-1046Ancient Origins to High Renaissance3
This course introduces students to the history of Western art and architecture by examining key works within the intellectual and social context that they were created. Because art does not develop in a vacuum, the philosophical, religious, scientific, etc., background of each period will be examined in order to gain a fuller understanding of important artistic trends. The overall goal of this course is to provide a working knowledge of the history of Western art and architecture as well as a foundation for critical thinking about art's history.
HIST-3028European Art: Mannerism to Contemporary3
This course continues students' education of the history of Western art and architecture by examining key works within the intellectual and social context that they were created. Beginning with Mannerism which wind downs the Renaissance period and points to heralding the birth of the Modern era, students will learn about the technological and intellectual advances that will shape and inform some of the most radical changes in Art History, including the foundation of abstraction, the birth of photography and the move into the post-modern era. The background of each period will be examined in order to gain a fuller understanding of important artistic trends. The overall goal of this course is to provide a working knowledge of the history of Western art and architecture as well as a foundation for critical thinking about art's history.
ARTS-1118Introduction to Print Making3
In this foundation course students will be introduced to various traditional and contemporary approaches to printmaking. Relief processes, monoprints, hand printing and mechanical printing methods will be demonstrated and explored through studio projects examining both unique and multiple production processes. Critique will further develop conceptual, technical, and expressive concerns related to printmaking.
View all courses

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.