Composite Sketches

Composite sketches are drawn from witness descriptions.

The sketch is composed of facial components, (i.e., eyes nose, mouth etc.), chosen from a facial identification catalogue and recognized by the witness as being features similar to those of the unnamed person. 

These drawings will assist the public and law enforcement in locating a wanted person for the purpose of identification, thus shortening the time from offence to apprehension.

When called upon early in the investigation, the forensic artist may have the most immediate access to visual memory.

Research has shown that the viewing of facial images (such as mug shots) can corrupt a person's memory.  This is often done in an investigation, whereas the procedure of creating a composite lessens possible contamination of that visual memory.

The interview technique used within the creation of composites will also quite often provide additional descriptive information for an investigator.

It has been noted by many forensic artists, that development of a composite sketch frequently has a cathartic effect on a vulnerable witness.  Facing the offender on paper is often the witness/victim's first attempt to deal with and begin to overcome the traumatic event.


Steinberg’s Facial Identification Catalogs are an excellent source for aspiring composite artists
 as well as Police Artists wishing to improve their facial features reference material.  For more information on the Steinberg Catalogs follow the page links through this site to the Contact or Links page.

August 2011 Launch!!
The much awaited Steinberg Ethnicities Catalog is now available for purchase!!!/pages/Steinbergs-Facial-Identification-Catalogs/237691659588996