Marlowe the Adorable Sphinx

Part 2

Supplies: Drawing paper, tracing paper, 6B graphite pencil, ruler

Step 3: Place a sheet of tracing paper over your outline of half of Marlowe’s head. Tape the tracing paper in place. Trace over both the line of symmetry and your outline drawing with a 6B pencil.

Step 4: Flip the tracing paper over to the other side with the graphite side down and tape in place. Line up this half of the drawing along the line of symmetry. Trace over the outline again to transfer the other half of the cat onto your drawing paper.

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Step 5: Remove the tracing paper and you have a symmetrical drawing of Marlowe. Touch up any sections that didn’t transfer accurately.

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Part 1

Meet Marlowe – the adorable Sphinx! Marlowe is the granddaughter of my dear friend Carole in Ontario. This drawing is on stretched canvas and is destined to become a cat caricature. I’ll be using my artistic license to create an original painting.

Step 1: Outline a 9 by 12 in drawing space (the size of the canvas I plan to use) on tracing paper. Draw a line of symmetry down the center of the drawing space.

Step 2: Outline half of Marlowe’s head on one side of the line of symmetry (Steps 1 and 2).

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Drawing for Dummies

My very first book!

In early 2002, an email dropped into my inbox from a complete stranger named Jessica Faust, asking me if I would be interested in writing a book on drawing. After the initial euphoria died down, I began to suspect that this was a hoax. I wrote her back and said “yes” anyway.

The rest is history! I later found out that Jessica was an acquisitions editor for Wiley. Drawing for Dummies, was published internationally in March, 2003 by Wiley Publishing Inc., New, York, NY, USA. In February, 2011, the 2nd Edition, co-authored with Jamie Combs, was released with updates to drawing technologies.

1 2019

Obituary Pamela Hoddinott (1926- 2019)

Pamela (Sparkes) Hoddinott, age 92, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 21, 2019 at the Cedarstone Enhanced Care Nursing Home in Truro, Nova Scotia.

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Mom holding her newborn grandson Adam (Karen’s son)

Pamela was born Dec 5, 1926 in the historical city of St. John’s (Newfoundland), and grew up in the picturesque, quaint fishing village of Lower Island Cove, Conception Bay. As a child, she learned to play the piano and continued her love of music throughout her life.

On Aug 19, 1948 she married Lloyd Granville Hoddinott in St. Johns and they later moved to Corner Brook where their family resided for twenty-five years.

From 1977 to 1984, she expanded her life-long interest in art by taking oil-painting courses at Memorial University in Corner Brook and privately with well-established artists. During this time, she exhibited at art galleries in St. John’s and Corner Brook.

After her husband’s retirement, Pamela and Granville moved to Nova Scotia to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Pamela was delighted to discover lively art communities near their home in the Annapolis Valley. In addition to taking art courses at Acadia University, she attended workshops and classes in Halifax taught by well-known Canadian artists. From 1988 to 1990, she had eight artworks accepted in Contemporary Art Society juried shows. As a member of the Association of Atlantic Amateur Artists, her work was honored with two awards (1990), including first place for a colored pencil drawing.

Pamela and Granville later moved to Truro. As a member of the Truro Art Society, she exhibited and sold paintings at the Colchester Regional Hospital Corridor Gallery.

Left to honor her life are three children (Brenda Hoddinott, Peter Hoddinott, and Karen Unicomb), five grandchildren (Heidi and Benjamin Thomson, Colin, Adam, and Amy Unicomb, and Claire Hoddinott), two great-grandchildren (Brandon Porter and Kaiden Purdy), and several nieces and nephews. Pamela was preceded in death by her parents (Louis and Amy Sparkes), husband (Granville Hoddinott), and siblings, Gladys, Daphne, John, and Peter Sparkes.

Pamela’s family extends their gratitude to the staff at Cedarstone Enhanced Care Nursing Home in Truro for their attentiveness and loving care. As per Pamela’s wishes, no funeral service will be held.

Discover Your Artistic Talent

Ignorance really is bliss! I had been drawing for several years before I found out “talent” even existed. Had I assumed artistic abilities were the result of talent, I may have simply sat on my butt and waited for strong skills to magically appear.  :)

Talent is universally misunderstood. My most recent eBook provides insights into misconceptions that might discourage you from learning to draw and/or paint.

I’ll be publishing this book soon…

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Happy Holidays to Family and Friends!

People all over the world are celebrating and enjoying holidays over the next couple of months. Regardless of religious or cultural differences, we all share our love of family and/or friends.

This oil painting of my daughter’s Dalmatian (named Shadow) represents the fun aspects of this holiday season. In reality, Shadow didn’t have reindeer antlers, but she did have a brown eye and a blue eye!

Wishing you peace, joy, and laughter! Brenda

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Happy 92nd Birthday to my Mom!

Today, I am thinking about and celebrating my Mom (Pamela Hoddinott).1 Mom trying to get her pet goat to look at the camera.jpg

She was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1926 and grew up in the beautiful fishing community of Lower Island Cove.

She loved school, playing piano, and tending her pet goat.

When this first photo was taken, she was trying to convince her goat to look toward the camera.

Her older sister, Daphne (on the right in the second photo) was also her best friend.

Whenever they were together, the sound of their laughter seemed to travel for miles.



A few years after marrying my dad, their first child (me) arrived.


This picture of Mom and grumpy-looking-me was taken in Lower Island Cove in 1952.






My brother (Peter) and sister (Karen) were later born in Corner Brook.

My Mom and I have always shared a love of creating art, especially drawing and painting.

Throughout the past 50 years, we enjoyed travelling together in Canada and the USA taking photographs as painting references.

I love you Mom – have a wonderful birthday tomorrow!

Can You Find Hidden Images?

The goal of  most realists is to accurately paint their subjects – a child looks like a child and a twig looks like a twig….BUT…

Look closer – much closer! Twigs can also be the homes of imaginary beings. How many can you find in this close-up view of a painting?

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How many beings (including me) are hiding in this close-up view of the same painting?

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Answer: 6! One is in the upper right, lower left, and center section of each close-up view.

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This baby dragon was fun to create.


The  little boy in the painting (below) is my long-time friend Benny.

I was drawn to (pun intended) his capacity to always find the good in everyone and view our wondrous world through the eyes of child.

My idea became reality the day he showed me a photo of himself as a small child.


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