In this paper, we propose an illumination-robust face recognition system via local directional pattern images. Usually, local pattern descriptors including local binary pattern and local directional pattern have been used in the field of the face recognition and facial expression recognition, since local pattern descriptors have important properties to be robust against the illumination changes and computational simplicity. Thus, this paper represents the face recognition approach that employs the local directional pattern descriptor and two-dimensional principal analysis algorithms to achieve enhanced recognition accuracy. In particular, we propose a novel methodology that utilizes the transformed image obtained from local directional pattern descriptor as the direct input image of two-dimensional principal analysis algorithms, unlike that most of previous works employed the local pattern descriptors to acquire the histogram features. The performance evaluation of proposed system was performed using well-known approaches such as principal component analysis and Gabor-wavelets based on local binary pattern, and publicly available databases including the Yale B database and the CMU-PIE database were employed. Through experimental results, the proposed system showed the best recognition accuracy compared to different approaches, and we confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed method under varying lighting conditions.