Brenda Hoddinott

Brenda Hoddinott

Brenda Hoddinott

Self-educated, award-winning artist; illustrator; art educator; curriculum designer; forensic artist (retired); co-owner of (an art education website); owner of Publishing (a Canadian publishing company); and author of several art-instruction books and publications.

Brief Bio

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 family.

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 website.

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,, 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, 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. Taylor.

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 identification departments.

In 1998, 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 bookshop.

"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): Publishing, Halifax, NS, Canada.

B01 Introduction to Drawing
(January, 2011): Publishing, Halifax, NS, Canada.

Drawspace Illustrated Dictionary of Art-Related Terms
(August, 2010): Publishing, Halifax, NS, Canada.

Drawspace Guide to Getting Started with Drawing
(August, 2009): 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)