Using Art to Solve Crime: The Top 10 Techniques Used By Forensic Artists

Since 1981, I’ve been a forensic artist—an amazing feat since I’m only . . .um. . . well, younger than that. In those years, I’ve seen some shifts and trends, but some things have never changed. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of computers in almost every other field, they have never been able to replace a trained forensic artist. Artists have an amazing toolbox of techniques we use to gather the information we need to help solve crime.

Before we look at a selection of these techniques, let’s define forensic art. Forensic art is any art pertaining to law enforcement or legal proceedings. This can cover everything from the courtroom artist to facial reconstruction of a skull; from demonstrative evidence—courtroom exhibits—to composite sketches.

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