Forensic Art Classes and Training

There are lots of classes out there, but these are my personal recommendations for valuable, effective training, based on the most current scientific and forensic art guidelines.

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.



Marla’s Way 101
Composite Drawing
Fairburn, GA
February 9-13, 2015
Instructors: Marla Lawson and Kelly Lawson
AAFA: There aren’t enough words to describe how terrific Marla and Kelly are as forensic artists. Just click on the class flyer link…you’ll see. I know a bunch of artists that have already declared they are going, so hurry before the class is full!

Modern Techniques in Forensic Art
Composite Drawing & Post-mortem Techniques
Baltimore, MD
March 23-27, 2015
Instructor: Michael Streed
AAFA: Mike Streed’s credentials in forensic art are unmatched: 31 years in the field, including the Los Angeles Police Department, and Baltimore City PD’s first full time forensic artist. Click here to get all the details and download the class flyer!

FASElinks – Forensic Artist Skills Enhancement Network
Composite Drawing
Las Vegas, NV
March 30- April 3, 2015
Instructor(s): Duncan Way; Guest Lecturers (TBD)
AAFA: Duncan Way is bringing something new to the field of forensic art training: collaborative instruction. Students not only learn from their instructor, but share and network with each other. A great idea whose time has come!

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 Sketches
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.