Courtroom Sketch Artist

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Courtroom Sketch Artist

Courtroom Sketch Artist Training

A Courtroom Sketch Artist draws pictures of a trial when cameras are barred from the courtroom. Judges may decide to ban cameras for many different reasons. For example, cameras are sometime banned from high profile cases (like ones involving celebrities). And if filming isn’t allowed in the courtroom, a Courtroom Sketch Artist is called in to sketch representations of the leading characters.

By Art Lien Feb 28, 2021 Arguments, Supreme Court Fencing surrounds SCOTUS following mob attack on capitol. January was a little crazy here in DC so maybe I’ll be forgiven for forgetting to post these sketches in a timely manner. A courtroom sketch artist was interviewed by a reporter across the street from the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles, California. As the courtroom sketch artist was being interviewed, she was smiling and friendly, and holding her drawing pad under her arm. The reporter addresses the sketch artist by name. Here is a portion of their conversation.

Courtroom Sketch Artist 6 years ago The New York Times PRO This short documentary captures the rise and fall of a courtroom sketch artist in Texas. By Artist Dana Verkouteren in the Washington DC. Dana Verkouteren has been gracing the courts, pen and sketch pad in hand since 1984. Her work has been seen on national news through The Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX News, CBS, and many more. She also takes commission work for individuals, web site promotion, and editorial clients. In June of this year, when the White House began shutting down camera access into press briefings (customary for the past 25 years) the work of courtroom artists again found renewed urgency. CNN commissioned Washington-based sketch artist Bill Hennessy to depict a briefing by then-press secretary Sean Spicer. Without camera, video, or live.

Courtroom Sketch Artist Pay

Courtroom sketch artist nyc paintings

First requirement to be a Courtroom Sketch Artist: you can draw. Second requirement: you can stomach true stories of (possibly) serious crimes.

What’s an average day like?

You must arrive a few minutes before a trial starts in order to get a seat where you can have a good view of the trial. Once the trial begins, your sketch your pictures quickly, focusing on facial expressions, gestures, and the general mood. Your illustration should vividly capture the court proceedings.

Courtroom Sketch Artist Jobs

As a Courtroom Sketch Artist, you should be prepared to attend every part of the trial to record as much of the proceedings as possible. That means you might work for one day or for several months on a single trial.


You usually work freelance and are typically hired by a media outlet. Most courtroom sketches are published in newspapers, posted online, or shown during live news coverage. In very high profile cases, your work might also wind up in books about the trial.

Why does this job matter?

Courtroom Sketch Artist

Without your life-life images, the public would never be able to get a glimpse into some of the most important criminal trials. You do important work at the intersection of art and law.