2D Reconstructions

Reconstructions from unidentified skeletal remains are done at the behest of, and in conjunction with, a medical examiner’s office. The artist works with a forensic anthropologist to attempt to determine the victim’s appearance from clues on the bones.

The skull is measured and photographed, and the artist typically completes the drawing on tracing vellum directly over the photo of the skull. In this way, the artist can see the subtle variations of the bone that give each face its individual appearance. I follow a similar process, but it is all completed digitally.

Studies over the years have taught us that the bone indicates the size and placement of specific facial features. The forensic anthropologist will provide information about the sex, age, and derivation of the bones (African-derived, Asian-derived, European-derived, or a mixture of two or more of these).


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