Improve Your Memory and Visual Intelligence!

As an internationally certified forensic composite artist for 25 years, my primary area of expertise was creating drawings based on the memories of other people (witnesses to and victims of major crimes). My most valuable tool was an interviewing technique known as a cognitive interview. Many of my publications reflect the knowledge I gained throughout this aspect of my career.

You, too can learn and practice techniques for remembering what you see and translating your memories into artworks.

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2.2.R15: Drawing on Your Memory (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Advanced: Techniques for seeing and remembering potential subjects so you can translate your memories into drawings


2.2.R3: Enhancing Your Visual Intelligence (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Advanced: Insights into how your vision and brain work together and suggestions for strengthening your visual intelligence


2.2.A18: Draw Still Life from Memory (by Brenda Hoddinott)

Beginner to Intermediate: Sketch a familiar object without looking at it, then use a memory-enhancement technique to recall its details, and re-draw it from memory


Good Posture First!

Choose a high-quality, ergonomic chair to prevent your muscles from becoming strained and sore.

Draw on a slanted surface! When you draw on a flat surface, the top of your paper is farther away from you than the bottom and this can distort your proportions.

Place your feet flat on the floor or on a footstool when drawing in a seated position.

This lesson is free until June 28!


FREE Lessons on Drawing Animals!

Enjoyable Step-by-step Lessons for Beginners (free until Friday, May 13, 2016)! These lessons are suitable for artists from age 10 to 101!

Kevin Bacon

From a story book called The Three Little Pigs to television and movie stars such as Porky Pig, Babe, and Miss Piggy, pigs have been charming the hearts and minds of artists for centuries.

Outline a caricature of a piglet and then add shading to capture his three-dimensional forms and spotted fur (10 Pages and 12 Illustrations).

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Tuttle the Turtle

When living in a natural habitat, a box turtle’s cuisine includes such delicacies as spiders, flies, worms, crickets, grasshoppers, slugs, and snails. Yummy!

Sketch a turtle’s proportions within a simple grid, outline her with neat lines, and add shading with hatching graduations (10 Pages and 26 Illustrations).

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Rocky the Rodent

Draw a sweet little mouse and add shading lines to make his forms look furry and three-dimensional. The light source in this drawing originates from the upper left, which means that the shading is slightly darker on the right and lower-right sections of his body (8 Pages and 15 Illustrations).

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Free Lessons: The Great Masters!

Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are long gone but their drawings live on and serve as teachers of classical techniques developed during the Renaissance. As a child (during the early 60’s), I studied the Great Masters while spending Saturdays at my local public library in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. These books were the beginning of my journey as a self-taught artist.

Fast forward to the 1990’s and the dawn of the Internet! This exciting new venue enabled me to share my skills with other aspiring artists through simple, step-by step illustrated lessons. These lessons now enable you to draw in the styles and techniques of great masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. You can recreate their masterpieces and/or create your own original drawings based on their techniques.


Study for the Head of a Girl

Employ the drawing techniques of Leonardo da Vinci to create a soft, delicate portrait of a beautiful girl. Leonardo was a master of hatching; his shading is mostly made up of lines that are drawn at an angle of around 45 degrees.

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Study of a Rosebud

Draw a gorgeous rosebud with basic hatching lines in the style of Leonardo da Vinci. As a left-handed artist, his diagonal hatching lines were drawn downward (from the upper left to lower right) and/or upward (from the lower right to the upper left).

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Sketch of a Youth

Use basic hatching techniques to sketch a portrait of a youth in the style of Michelangelo ‒ the ultimate perfectionist. During his lifetime, he destroyed several of his own drawings and even scrapped his original painting on which the Sistine Chapel version was based.

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Secrets for Drawing Caricatures

You have no doubt seen caricatures of politicians, celebrities, and other famous people in the media and online. These artworks are obviously cartoons ‒ yet they still look like the person on which they are based. How is this accomplished (you may ask)?

The facial characteristics of most people wander outside generic guidelines. These deviations from what is considered “average” are used by artists to create caricatures. For example, if the eyes are far apart, draw them even farther apart. If his or her eyebrows are heavy, thick and dark, draw them heavier, thicker, and darker! If he or she has a big chin or nose, draw it larger! If the hair is thin, make it thinner and if it’s thick, draw it thicker!

But, that’s not all! Professional caricaturists also exaggerate the following facial spaces:

  1. The vertical distance from the hairline down to the eyebrows.
  2. The horizontal distance between the eyes, from one inside corner to the other.
  3. The width of the face from the outside edge of one cheekbone to the outside edge of the other.
  4. The vertical distance from the bottom of the nose to the top of the upper lip (as an aside, this distance is considered the most important distance on the face).
  5. The length from the edge of the bottom lip to the bottom of the chin.


Draw a caricature of someone you know, such as a family member or a friend, either from life or a photo! Choose a good photo or find a patient model. If you work from life, be prepared for a few giggles! A brief overview of the process is as follows:

  1. Observe the overall shape of the head and face, and exaggerate it as you draw.
  2. Lightly sketch the location of each individual feature. Constantly refer to your model for unique or unusual aspects of their features that you can exaggerate in your drawing. (Remember, this person may draw your caricature someday, so be nice!)
  3. Continue adjusting and changing until you are happy with your drawing.


Free Lessons: Create Art in Color!

Draw with colored pencils and markers, and paint with acrylics and watercolors. Until Thursday, April 28, 2016, you can download three free lessons authored by Drawspace authors/artists.

Use Impasto to Paint with Texture (Beginner to Advanced) by Cailin Green

Create a richly textured painting with tissue paper and a painting knife. This project is fun, easy to do and requires only a few supplies. The dazzling three-dimensional forms catch light and create shadows in the peaks and valleys of the paint.

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The Ancient Art of Creating Mandalas (Beginner to Advanced) by art therapist, Judith Campanaro

Explore the history, art, and science of the sacred Mandala as inspiration to design your own symbol for inner harmony. Suggested media include colored pencils, markers, and/or watercolors.

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Draw a Vibrant Red Poppy (Beginner to Intermediate) by Tannis Trydal

Use layering, juxtaposing, erasing, impressing, and the grid method to render a colored pencil drawing of a red poppy.

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Download three for FREE! (February)

Click on the green “Free” signs beside each of these drawing lessons:

– 1.1.R1 Glossary Of Art Terms

– 2.1.A5 Blind Contour Drawing

– 2.2.A16 Frontal View of a Horse’s Head

In 2.2.A16, you learn how to draw this horse by sketching accurate proportions, creating a contour drawing, and adding shading with hatching.


Learn 24 Skills for Free in 2014!

Naturally, I think everyone should feel very comfortable using a sketchbook and pencil!

However, did you know that drawing is one of the 24 skills that can supplement your current career, make your resume more impressive, and /or enhance your life.

Checkout all 24 skills that you can learn online for free in 2014!

Browse almost 200 free drawing lessons on!


FREE! Drawspace Pro Lesson 10!

Free until Jan 6, 2014!

Dewdrops on a Tulip: Employ contour hatching graduations and blending to render a realistic drawing of dewdrops glistening on the textured surface of a tulip.

Download your free lesson now!


Learn to draw in 2014! Upgrade to Pro to download 215 pro lessons and three recent e-books by Brenda Hoddinott for only $49.

FREE Pro Drawing Lesson 7!

Shade a Symmetrical Bowl: Use contour hatching, blending, burnishing, and erasing to capture the shiny, patterned surface of a simple bowl.

Free until Nov 26!


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