A brief explanation of composite sketching


A composite session includes drawing and interviewing. The artist must have the ability to create a quality facial drawing with assured confidence. Drawing is an important part of composite session. However, the most important skill is the ability to interview and relate to a victim or witness. The interview is the most significant part of the composite session and is on going throughout the process.

The composite sketch is done in three stages.
Proportions: the artist will first block-out the facial proportions. Characteristics: the artist will fill in the shapes of the facial characteristics in the areas determined by the proportions. Rendering: the artist will render facial form, value and texture through shading.

The artist must allow the witness/victim the opportunity to comment on the sketch throughout the drawing process. Not until the witness/victim is satisfied with the sketch or the artist feels all the information the witness/victim recalls has been retrieved, should the sketch be considered finished. No matter how well the artist draws, he is always limited to the information stored in a witnessís or victimís memory.


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Forensic Art

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