Forensic Art Classes and Training

There are any number of classes out there, but these are my personal recommendations for valuable, effective training in forensic art.

I can’t make any guarantees, of course. It is up to you to email the instructor with any questions you may have prior to taking the class.

Just a reminder: forensic art is a very small, very niche field, so it is extremely competitive as well. The people who will have a massive advantage over you, no matter how well you draw, are already in law enforcement. If you aren’t, you need to be willing to join.  Why? That’s where the work is. I advise reading the previous link, and Ten Steps to Become a Forensic Artist.


Forensic Artist Skills Enhancement Network (FASELinks)

Las Vegas, NV
April 28 – May 2, 2014
Coordinator: Duncan Way
Instructors: Collaborative
AAFA: Here is probably the best idea I’ve seen in a long time: a conference dedicated solely to forensic art, where you and your fellow artists “share, teach and learn” from each other! I honestly think I’ve gotten as much, or more, from my peers than any class, so here is a great opportunity to immerse yourself with everything that current, working forensic artists know and are more than happy to pass along.

FBI Forensic Facial Imaging
FBI Academy, Quantico, VA
Instructors: FBI Forensic Artists
AAFA: Arguably the best and most sought-after class for over 25 years. Unfortunately, all FBI Laboratory Specialized Training has been suspended until further notice, including Forensic Facial Imaging. The above link will take you to forensic art services the FBI offers, and will be updated if training becomes available.

Mystery Solved: Facial Reconstruction
Alexandria, VA
Instructor: Joe Mullins
AAFA: I’ve known Joe for over 10 years. He’s a talented and highly experienced artist in 3D forensic facial sculpting. You’ll learn a lot, for sure, and have fun too!

Creating Dynamic Composites: Make Your Sketches “Pop”
Check site for upcoming locations
Instructor: Wes Neville
AAFA: Wes’ bio and reputation as an extremely experienced and accomplished forensic artist speaks for itself. This is the class to take if you want to take your drawings to the next level.

Introduction to Composite Art, Getting Started, &
Advanced Composite Imaging
Westmont, NJ
Instructor: Charles T. Jackson
NOTE: This coursework is only open to Law Enforcement employees, regardless of capacity (Police Officer, Court Clerk, Dispatcher, Parking Enforcement, etc)
AAFA: I’ve known Det. Jackson since the first IAI conference I attended 10 years ago. He’s not only an accomplished composite artist, but also one of the most enthusiastic, hard-working, and generous instructors you’re going to find. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a composite artist, this is the class the start with.

Forensic Art Techniques
Houston, Texas
Instructor: Lois Gibson
AAFA: I’m proud to know Lois Gibson; she’s a pioneer in the field and takes artists under her wing to encourage them and help them improve their skills. To reserve a seat, contact manager Brian Schroeder at 713-291-8653 or

Compositure Methodology Course
Online Training
Instructor: Gil Zamora
AAFA: I took Gil’s workshop at an IAI conference, and came away with my head spinning. He is immensely talented, very generous with his knowledge, and humble to boot. To watch how effortlessly he draws will amaze you.

Forensic Imaging Techniques
University of South Florida
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Instructors: NCMEC Forensic Artists
AAFA: I took this class years ago. Outstanding! You need to know Photoshop, though, or you’re going to be be lost! Please note, this class is open to law enforcement employees or contractors only.