Self-educated, award-winning artist; illustrator; art educator;
curriculum designer; forensic artist (retired); co-owner of
Drawspace.com (an art education website); owner of Drawspace.com
Publishing (a Canadian publishing company); and author of several
art-instruction books and publications.
Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Brenda grew up in the small town of
Corner Brook. With the help of illustrations in books, she developed
good drawing skills by the age of 16.
In 1982, Brenda left her well established career as a portraitist,
graphic designer, and forensic artist, to move to Nova Scotia with her
In 1988, Brenda began exhibiting her paintings and drawings in
provincial, regional, and international art exhibitions and
competitions, and was honored with numerous awards.
Brenda and her husband John, live in the suburbs of Halifax, Nova
Scotia with their two SPCA rescue dogs: Timber (Huskador) and Katie
(Rottbeagle). Their blended (human) family includes five adult
children and two grandchildren.
Background as an Art Educator
Brenda has developed art curricula (mostly illustrated in the style of
Illustrative Realism) and taught drawing classes since 1980.
Diverse teaching positions have provided opportunities for her to
enhance the skills of students from all age groups.
In 1998, Brenda chose to end her eighteen-year career as an art
teacher, to write drawing and painting curricula for her art education
In 2002, Brenda retired from her twenty-five year career as a forensic
artist, to pursue a new career as an author of educational drawing
books and electronic art-related curriculum.
Thanks to the expertise of a wonderful team of website developers,
Drawspace.com, an internationally renowned art education website, is
highly respected as a resource for fine art educators, home schooling
programs, and educational facilities throughout the world.
Brenda's most recent business venture is a Canadian publishing
company, Drawspace.com Publishing (registered in 2009), which
publishes art-related electronic books (ebooks).
Forensic Art Experience
From 1976 to 1982, Brenda worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Newfoundland.
Beginning in 1982, criminal investigation
departments throughout Nova Scotia utilized Brenda's forensic art
skills including all provincial detachments of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, municipal police departments, Department of National
Defense, and private investigative agencies.
She was first qualified and recognized as an expert in her field by
the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989, and has provided testimony as an
expert witness in all levels of Canadian courts as a result of her
many successful drawings.
She became a member of The Association of Forensic Artists, based in
Scottsdale, Arizona in 1992. In September 1993, an article on her work
as a forensic artist was featured in their official publication, The
State of the Art.
In 1993, Brenda began the application process to become a full member
of Forensic Artists International. She met all the requirements and standards of their by-laws;
demonstrated satisfactory evidence of educational and artistic
competence; and was awarded a Certificate of Membership in 1994.
Other female members of this organization included internationally
renowned forensic artists and authors, Jeanne Boylan and Karen T.
During Brenda's twenty-five year career as a civilian forensic artist,
she interviewed over one thousand victims of and witnesses to crimes.
She completed more than twelve hundred composite drawings resulting in
hundreds of successful identification matches, and has been honored
with two commendations for her contributions to criminal
In 1998, Drawspace.com was launched by Brenda Hoddinott and Jeff Baur,
and has since become the fastest growing art education website on the
Internet. In 2009, Drawspace reached its initial goal of having over
200 free art lessons (by Brenda Hoddinott) published on the site.
As of March, 2011, students have an opportunity to earn a certificate
in drawing within innovative virtual classrooms in the Drawspace
School of Art. The Drawspace Beginner Certification Program is open to
all adult learners, and teaches the diverse skills and techniques
needed to support whatever personal and (or) academic aspirations
students may have. In addition to writing the curriculum for all
required courses within this program, Brenda is also enjoying teaching
these courses to students all over the world.
In addition, Drawspace continues to bring the world's very best
art-related authors and art educators together as teachers within
Drawspace's virtual classrooms and authors within Drawspace’s
"My philosophy on teaching art is to focus primarily on the enjoyment
aspects while gently introducing the technical and academic. Hence, in creating a passion for the subject matter, the quest for
knowledge also becomes enjoyable." ~ Brenda Hoddinott
Recent Publications by Brenda Hoddinott
B02 Drawing on Your Brain
(May, 2011): Drawspace.com Publishing, Halifax, NS, Canada.
B01 Introduction to Drawing
(January, 2011): Drawspace.com Publishing, Halifax, NS, Canada.
Drawspace Illustrated Dictionary of Art-Related Terms
(August, 2010): Drawspace.com Publishing, Halifax, NS, Canada.
Drawspace Guide to Getting Started with Drawing
(August, 2009): Drawspace.com Publishing, Halifax, NS, Canada.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing People Illustrated
(August, 2004): Alpha - Pearson Education – Macmillan, Indianapolis,
IN, USA. On February 1st, 2005 Brenda was notified that her book had
been awarded their Book of the Year Award for 2004.
Drawing for Dummies
(March, 2003): Wiley Publishing Inc., New, York, NY, USA.
Read Brenda's full bio (PDF format)