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Forensic Art: Master Facial Reconstruction Sculpture

Instructor: Karen T. Taylor

DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED; Tuition: $950/person

Sculpture by Karen T. Taylor

Most forensic art techniques are refined through repeated case experience. This master sculpture workshop offers practitioners a unique simulation of actual field work and encourages application and development of skills.

Attendees study relevant aspects of bony and muscular anatomy and review the step-by-step facial reconstruction process. Current research regarding tissue depth data sets and individual feature development will be discussed. Utilizing oil-based plastiline clay, you will learn more about predicting and sculpting each facial feature based on skull morphology. Finishing techniques, sculpting hair, and practical options for dealing with incomplete skulls will be demonstrated.

Skulls of various ages and ancestries will be used during class and participants will have the opportunity to see the life photos of the deceased person upon completion of their forensic sculpture.


  • Current research data on tissue depths and features
  • Review of the step-by-step reconstruction process
  • Advanced sculpting techniques for features and hair
  • Morphological features of various ages and ancestries

Instructor - Karen T. Taylor

Karen Taylor
Karen T. Taylor, Instructor

Karen T. Taylor is a portrait artist who worked as a forensic artist for 18 years at the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin, Texas. She attended the School of Fine Arts at the University of Texas and the Chelsea School of Fine Art in London, where she was also a freelance portrait sculptor for Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Her crime-fighting artwork for law enforcement agencies and FOX television's America's Most Wanted has involved a variety of art services to aid in the apprehension and conviction of criminal offenders or promote the identification of unknown deceased persons. Her work has been featured on FOX, ABC, CBS, CNN, Court TV, the Discovery Channel, The History Channel, Telemundo and the BBC. Popular CBS drama CSI: created a forensic artist character based on Karen and her artwork and hands have appeared on both the Las Vegas and New York shows. Due to the success of her forensic art, Taylor was named one of the "Texas Women of the Century." She was the first woman to receive the Dondero Award from the International Association for Identification for her "outstanding contribution in the field of scientific identification". A forensic art instructor for over twenty years at the FBI Academy and other law enforcement academies, universities, art and medical schools around the US and Canada, she now also devotes her in-depth knowledge of the human face to training fine artists. Her specialty is highly accurate and expressive portraits in bronze. After decades of depicting bad guys or their victims, Taylor particularly enjoys commemorating in bronze those she calls "The Good Guys". She accepts both forensic art and fine art commissions through her studio, Facial Images in Austin. She is author of Forensic Art and Illustration and the upcoming The Artist's Guide to Understanding the Human Face.


sculpture details
Details of sculpture by Karen T. Taylor

Audience: This workshop benefits both technical and fine artists who depict the human face in their work. Practical applications include law enforcement, museum, medical, and other environments, including traditional portraiture.

Level: Must be at an intermediate to advanced level in forensic art and/or sculpting

Pre-requisite: Karen T. Taylor's Forensic Facial Reconstruction Sculpture workshop is a pre-requisite for this workshop. Training with Betty Pat. Gatliff may also be substituted.

Dates: TBA (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily)

Location: Freeman Ranch Multipurpose Educational Facility, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

Textbook: The textbook Forensic Art and Illustration is highly recommended but not required. The book can be purchased at

Registration Information:

Contact: Sophia Mavroudas at 512-245-1900 or for course information and local arrangements.

Tuition: $950/person (tuition includes supplies and use of equipment, but not travel or accommodations)

Payment: Space is limited. You can save a spot with a $100 deposit. Full payment of tuition (cash, check, credit card) is required one month prior to course start date. 

Pay by Cash: Please bring cash to 1727 Old Ranch Road 12, San Marcos by August 22, 2016

Pay by Check: Send check payable to "FACTS" to Sophia Mavroudas, FACTS, Department of Anthropology, Texas State University, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666.

Pay by Credit Card: You may pay the tuition or deposit by credit card by clicking on the PAY BY CREDIT CARD link below and following the instructions. Please contact Sophia Mavroudas at 512-245-1900 or and provide your name, address, agency, phone number and email.


Cancellations: A 10% administrative fee per registrant will be deducted for cancellation. Refund requests must be received in writing two weeks prior to workshop. No refunds will be made thereafter.