A forensic artist, also commonly referred to as a sketch artist, is a graphic artist that renders free-hand or computerized drawings, enhancements, and reconstructions.

Forensic art is defined as an artistic technique used for identification, apprehension or conviction purposes.

Forensic artists work closely with law enforcement officers to identify criminal suspects and victims through facial composite sketches. They are also often called to the scene f a crime to create drawings, scale diagrams and models of crime scenes. Forensic artists may use their skills in a crime scene investigation to: o

  • Sketch composites of criminal suspects of unidentifiable persons
  • Recreate skeletal, decomposed, or mutilated images using 2-D and 3-D computer imagery
  • Sketch composites from decomposed or partially decomposed remains
  • Create age progression sketches of suspects and missing persons
  • Prepare diagrams, chart evidence boards and 3-D reconstructions of crime scenes for court hearings and other judicial proceedings
  • Prepare reports, exhibits and displays for court proceedings
  • Artistically enhance or alter surveillance photographs

The work of forensic artists, however, may go beyond artistic endeavors, as they are often required to conduct interviews with both witnesses and victims as to gain valuable information when creating sketches and computerized images of criminal suspects.

They also need to maintain accurate case records, ensure that their artwork is properly handled and stored, and they may need to testify in court at times.