Skip to Content

Forensic Art: Forensic Facial Reconstruction Sculpture

with Karen T. Taylor

Karen T. Taylor teaches several identification-related forensic art workshops at FACTS, both drawing and sculpture. Courses offered vary year to year. See “Workshops” for specific classes and times scheduled.

TBA; Tuition: $950.00

KTT Workshop Icon
Karen T. Taylor

This hands-on workshop presents the forensic techniques of sculpting a face based on the bony architecture of the skull. Attendees will learn step-by-step procedures for creating an accurate skull-to-face likeness along with the placement and function of head and neck muscles. Participants will build muscular facial features using oil-based pastiline clay. Anatomical skull models are provide for in-class use only. Participants will work on identical castings to incorporate elements of the Anatomical and the Tissue Depth Facial Reconstruction approaches using a Combination Method. Upon completion of the sculptures, attendees will see and compare an actual life photo of the deceased person whose skull they have reconstructed.


  • Skeletal and muscular anatomy of the head and neck
  • Sculpturing of facial features
  • Principles of expression and aging
  • Finishing and refinement techniques

Instructor - Karen T. Taylor

Karen T. 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.

Karen T. Taylor teaches several identification-related forensic art workshops at FACTS, both drawing and sculpture. Courses offered vary year to year. See “Workshops” for specific classes and times scheduled.


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

Level: Sculpture experience is beneficial, but not required. Master level are welcome in this course.

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

Location: Freeman Ranch Multipurpose Educational Facility, 2101 Freeman Ranch Rd, 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: $950.00/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, PayPal) is required by one month prior to course start date.

Pay by Check: Send check payable to "FACTS" to Sophia Mavroudas, FACTS, Department of Anthropology, Texas State University, 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 if you need assistance.


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


A block of rooms has been reserved at the brand new Fairfield Inn and Suites in San Marcos, TX.  Rooms are $109/night. Participants may contact Fairfield Inn and Suites and mention Forensic Anthropology at Texas State for the group rate. Breakfast and WiFi are included in the cost of your room.

FACTS is not responsible for your stay.

2013 Class