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More literary police sketches


Earlier this year, we featured the rather brilliant work of Brian Joseph Davis who took character descriptions from classic novels and created police sketch-like drawings from his findings.

Since then he's been working on a bumper crop of new pictures and we have some of the very finest below.

Each image is accompanied by the physical description he worked from.

You can see more of his work here.

Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James

Holy cow – he’s so young… He’s tall, dressed in a fine gray suit, white shirt, and black tie with unruly dark copper colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes that regard me shrewdly… His gray eyes hooded and speculative, his mouth a hard impassive line… His brow furrows… “Were you a Girl Scout?” he asks, sculptured, sensual lips curled in amusement. Don’t look at his mouth!Don’t look at his mouth!…I drink in his features from beneath my lashes…Straight nose, square jawed – I’d like to run my tongue along his jaw. He hasn’t shaved, and his stubble makes the prospect doubly tempting.


Professor Moriarty, “The Final Problem,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

My nerves are fairly proof, Watson, but I must confess to a start when I saw the very man who had been so much in my thoughts standing there on my threshold. His appearance was quite familiar to me. He is extremely tall and thin, his forehead domes out in a white curve, and his two eyes are deeply sunken in his head. He is clean-shaven, pale, and ascetic-looking, retaining something of the professor in his features. His shoulders are rounded from much study, and his face protrudes forward and is forever slowly oscillating from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion. He peered at me with great curiosity in his puckered eyes.


Count Dracula, Dracula, Bram Stoker

A tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache…His face was a strong, a very strong, aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils, with lofty domed forehead…His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking…For the rest, his ears were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed. The chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm though thin…The blue eyes transformed with fury.


Popeye, Sanctuary, William Faulkner

He had that vicious depthless quality of stamped tin… His skin had a dead, dark pallor. His nose was faintly aquiline, and he had no chin at all. His face just went away, like the face of a wax doll set too near a hot fire and forgotten…Popeye’s eyes looked like rubber knobs, like they’d give to the touch and then recover with the whorled smudge of the thumb on them… She began to smell something: the Brilliantine which Popeye used on his hair.


Oyster/I-84 Messiah, Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk

The man was young, blond, with his long blond hair whipping in the wind from cars blasting past them. He had a red goatee and scars cut sideways across both cheeks, just under his eyes. The scars were dark red, and the young man reached into the garbage bag with the dead dog and told the crew—it wasn’t dead…In the snapshots people take, in the videos, it’s always the flying blond hair, the red goatee, the scars. It’s always the same man…The details about Oyster are his hair, it looks shattered, the way a pine tree looks struck by lightning, splintered blond and standing up in every direction…His eyes are white. It’s not the white of white flags, surrender. It’s the white of hardboiled eggs, crippled chickens in battery cages, factory farm misery and suffering and death.


Annie Wilkes, Misery, Stephen King

Her body was big but not generous…Her hair like some battered helmet…Her hair fungus-frowzy around her face…Grinning rictus…He thought Misery was a wonderful name for a pig. He remembered how she had imitated it, the way her upper lip had wrinkled toward her nose, how her cheeks had seemed to flatten…The impervious prow of her face…If he had been a farmer observing a sky which looked the way Annie’s face looked right now, he would have at once gone to collect his family and herd them into the storm cellar. Her brow was too white. Her nostrils flared regularly, like the nostrils of an animal scenting fire…That stony, obdurate look covered her face like a mask…Only her eyes, those tarnished dimes, were fully alive under the shelf of her brow.


Captain Ahab, Moby Dick, Herman Melville

He looked like a man cut away from the stake, when the fire has overrunningly wasted all the limbs without consuming them…His whole high, broad form, seemed made of solid bronze, and shaped in an unalterable mould, like Cellini’s cast Perseus…Threading its way out from among his grey hairs, and continuing right down one side of his tawny scorched face and neck, till it disappeared in his clothing, you saw a slender rod-like mark… branded… What business have I with this pipe? This thing that is meant for sereneness, to send up mild white vapors among mild white hairs, not among torn iron-grey locks like mine. I’ll smoke no more…His eyes like powder-pans… It almost seemed that while he himself was marking out lines and courses on the wrinkled charts, some invisible pencil was also tracing lines and courses upon the deeply marked chart of his forehead…His firm lips met like the lips of a vice; the delta of his forehead’s veins swelled like overladen brooks…Supper he never touched; nor reaped his beard; which darkly grew all gnarled, as unearthed roots of trees blown over, which still grow idly on at naked base.


Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

A pale, skinny young woman who had hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows. She had a wasp tattoo about an inch long on her neck…On those occasions when she had been wearing a tank top, a dragon tattoo can be seen on her left shoulder blade. Her natural hair colour was red, but she had dyed it ivory black…Crooked smile.


Buck Mulligan, Ulysses, James Joyce

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak….The plump shadowed face and sullen oval jowl recalled a prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages. A pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips.


Javert, Les Misérables, Victor Hugo

Certain police officers have a peculiar physiognomy, which is complicated with an air of baseness mingled with an air of authority…The human face of Javert consisted of a flat nose, with two deep nostrils, towards which enormous whiskers ascended on his cheeks. One felt ill at ease when he saw these two forests and these two caverns for the first time. When Javert laughed,—and his laugh was rare and terrible,—his thin lips parted and revealed to view not only his teeth, but his gums, and around his nose there formed a flattened and savage fold, as on the muzzle of a wild beast. Javert, serious, was a watchdog; when he laughed, he was a tiger. As for the rest, he had very little skull and a great deal of jaw…Between his eyes there was a permanent, central frown, like an imprint of wrath; his gaze was obscure; his mouth pursed up and terrible; his air that of ferocious command…This singular composite of the Roman, the Spartan, the monk, and the corporal.


Norman Bates, Psycho, Robert Bloch

The light shone down on his plump face, reflected from his rimless glasses, bathed the pinkness of his scalp beneath the thinning sandy hair as he bent his head to resume reading…”Looking for a room?” Mary made up her mind very quickly, once she saw the fat, bespectacled face and heard the soft, hesitant voice. There wouldn’t be any trouble…The puckered lips were beginning to tremble…The eyes behind the fat man’s glasses seemed vacant.


Randall Flagg, The Stand and The Dark Tower, Stephen King

Randy Flagg’s hair was dark, tousled. His face was handsome and ruddy, as if he spent much time out in the desert wind…Narrow expression…”He looks like anybody you see on the street. But when he grins, birds fall dead off telephone lines”…Flagg’s lazy smiling face…Flagg’s black weasel eyes…A thin and stern faced man of about fifty…


Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote

She was still on the stairs, now she reached the landing, and the ragbag colors of her boy’s hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino-blond and yellow, caught the hall light…For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast cereal air of health, a soap and lemon cleanness, a rough pink darkening in the cheeks…Her mouth was large, her nose upturned…I thought her anywhere between sixteen and thirty; as it turned out, she was shy two months of her nineteenth birthday…Her varicolored hair was somewhat self-induced…They were large eyes, a little blue, a little green.


Hermann Karlovich, Despair, Vladimir Nabokov

Look, this is my nose; a big one of the northern type, with a hard bone somewhat arched and the fleshy part tipped up and almost rectangular… Here are the two sharply drawn furrows on both sides of my mouth with lips so thin as to seem licked away… Here are the cheekbones—but this is a passport list of features meaning nothing; an absurd convention. Somebody told me once I looked like Amundsen, the Polar explorer.



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