Award-winning artist, illustrator, art educator, curriculum designer, forensic artist (retired), owner of Drawspace.com and Drawspace Publishing, and author of numerous art instruction books.
Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1952, Brenda grew up in the small town of Corner Brook. By using illustrations in books as reference material, Brenda taught herself how to draw. At age 17, after graduating from high school and a one-year commercial art course, she was employed as a layout artist and copywriter in the advertising department of a business in St. John’s.
After the birth of her daughter, Heidi in 1975, Brenda started a home-based business as a portraitist, graphic designer, and forensic artist. Her son, Benjamin was born in 1978.
In 1982, Brenda left her well established career as a portraitist, graphic designer, and forensic artist, to move to Nova Scotia with her family.
Once there, she re-established her home-based art businesses, and also began painting in oils and exhibiting her work in local art shows. Over the next few years, Brenda’s paintings and drawings were honored with numerous awards in provincial, regional, and international art exhibitions and competitions.
As an Art Educator
Brenda has developed art curricula and taught graphite and colored pencil drawing classes since 1980. Numerous teaching positions provided her with opportunities to teach drawing techniques to students of all age groups. Her students studied realism, surrealism, and fantasy in graphite, technical pen, colored pencil, chalk pastel, and charcoal.
As supervisor of her community’s recreational art department, Brenda taught drawing classes from beginner to advanced, hired and trained art educators, and designed core curriculum for several children’s art programs. By 1989, she had expanded her teaching portfolio to include painting classes. In 1998, she chose to channel her 18 years of teaching experience into writing lessons for her art education website.
In 2002, Brenda retired from her twenty-five year career as a forensic artist to expand her writing career into authoring educational drawing books.
Drawspace.com and Drawspace Publishing
Drawspace.com was first launched on February 2, 2005 by Jeff Baur and Brenda Hoddinott, and has been growing steadily ever since. Today, drawspace.com is internationally respected as one of the largest art education websites in the world.
Drawspace.com has earned the loyalty of millions of artists, educators, and students all over the world. Search engines love us – drawspace.com is usually the top result in a search for the term drawing lessons. Jeff is the mastermind who has made all this happen without ever spending a penny on advertising.
To celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2015, Drawspace launched a brand-new website. The website is constantly updated with new lessons and books and modernized to incorporate the latest multi-media technology.
Drawspace Publishing is a Canadian company created by Brenda Hoddinott in 2009 to manage Drawspace art-related publications. To date, Drawspace Publishing has published and legally registered over 500 titles with Library and Archives Canada and The Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS).
Career as a Forensic Artist
Brenda’s skillful rendering of facial anatomy was first recognized by municipal and federal police departments in her home province of Newfoundland in 1976, and she was invited to become their forensic artist.
From 1976 to 1982, Brenda worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. She was presented with a commendation for her contribution to criminal identification departments.
In 1982 Brenda re-established her forensic art career in Nova Scotia. She has contributed her forensic art skills to several criminal investigation departments across Nova Scotia, including all provincial detachments of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, municipal police departments, Department of National Defense, and other federal 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.
In 1992, Brenda was honored with a commendation from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. That same year, she became a member of The Association of Forensic Artists, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. In September 1993, an article on her work as a forensic artist was featured in their official publication, “The State of the Art”.
Through this organization, Brenda accessed many articles and educational resources to further enhance her forensic art skills. She also learned cognitive interview techniques and adapted them to her specific needs in working with victims of, and witnesses to crimes.
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 forensic artists, Jeanne Boylan and Karen T. Taylor.
During Brenda’s twenty-five year career as a civilian forensic artist, she has interviewed over one thousand victims of and witnesses to crimes. She completed more than 1200 composite drawings resulting in hundreds of successful identification matches.
Brenda and her partner, John live in the suburbs of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their blended family includes five adult children and two grandchildren.