Doesn’t it seem that the jawlines in facial approximations come out too wide and square? You know something isn’t quite right because it doesn’t look like it belongs to the skull that’s sitting right in front of you. But you think, “the tissue depths are there for a reason” so you keep on drawing or sculpting what you think you should, connecting those markers.
Then, when you see the ID photo…there it is. The life photo shows a jaw that is much less wide and square. You’ll also notice this in textbook and other images…nine times out of ten, the jawline of the person isn’t actually as square as the approximation shows. I’ve talked to enough forensic artists to know that it was a common problem we were all facing.
You’ll be happy to know it’s not you.
You’ve just been using the wrong tissue depth markers.
Most artists still use the Rhine-Moore markers, and have been connecting the gonion marker with the menton marker, like this:
And that’s the problem.
The Rhine-Moore markers don’t include the mid-mandibular border (MMB) measurement, and makes the artist assume that’s it’s the same thickness as gonion.
It most definitely isn’t. It’s thinner…..much thinner.
The new FBI markers, as well as the Stephan markers show that the gonial area is almost twice as thick as the mid-mandibular. That makes anatomical sense, given there there are heavier (chewing) muscles in the back of the jaw.
So, here’s how it works if you include the all-important MMB marker:
TADA! Heavy, iron jawline problem solved! Here’s a comparison image:
Please keep this in mind next time you’re tempted to grab those older markers…factor in that the MMB is going to be thinner, or better yet, use contemporary markers to create the best approximation you can!