Character Sketches 2019

Character Sketches 2018 was so popular, we've extended the program into 2019 and expanded the months the program is available, January 9, through October.

Character Sketches is intended for adults who wish to develop or hone their drawing / sketching skills. High school aged students may attend with parental permission. College students are welcome.

Unless unforeseen circumstances arise, Character Sketches will feature live models from which to draw. It will not feature undraped images or models. However, models will be appropriately costumed (i.e., Tarzan in a loin cloth or the Little Mermaid’s character appropriate costume).

Character Sketches format:
3 Five-minute sketches
1 Ten-minute sketch
1 Thirty-minute sketch

Artists attending Character Sketches are responsible for damage to floor coverings or furnishings. Use drop cloths as necessary.
Character Sketches is not a “class,” it is a “session.” Participants may work together or separately, as they choose.

Finally, we ask (not require) that you share your 30-minutes Character Sketches with us so we can display it as advertising for the following week. Works displayed need not be signed or attributed.

Participants must bring their own materials.

Tentative Calendar

January 9: Scout / To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout is an intelligent and courageous young girl living in the middle of the Great Depression.

January 16: Santiago is a Cuban fisherman who has had an extended run of bad luck. Despite his expertise, he has been unable to catch a fish for eighty-four days. He is humble, yet exhibits a justified pride in his abilities.

January 23: Arwen Evenstar / Lord of the Rings Series. Arwen loves Aragorn. When Aragorn settles in to become king of Gondor, she arrives at Minas Tirith ready to live a mortal life, something that only one other elf woman,  Luthíen Tinúviel, has ever done.

January 30: Bob Cratchit / A Christmas Carol. Cratchit works for 15 shillings a week at a rate of three pence ("thruppence") an hour for 60 hours per week. In terms of 2015 purchasing power, this would be approximately £63.00 or about $94 US per week.

February 6: Coraline Jones / Coraline. Her neighbors always call the poor girl "Caroline." Her parents, who obviously know her name, often just ignore her. Coraline is actually quite witty and smart, but no one seems to notice it.

February 13: Westley and Buttercup / The Princess Bride. Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Westley is Buttercup’s beloved “farm boy” who, after leaving to seek his fortune returns to save Buttercup from all that threatens her. Feisty, tomboyish Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in the world, loves Westley and her horse.

February 20: Alice / Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The seven-year-old protagonist of the story. Alice believes that the world is orderly and stable, and she has an insatiable curiosity about her surroundings. Wonderland challenges and frustrates her perceptions of the world.

February 27: Quasimodo / The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Born deaf, with a hunched back and a wart covering one of his eyes, as a child he was abandoned but eventually the Archdeacon Claude Frollo adopted him on Quasimodo Sunday (the first Sunday after Easter). Frollo names him after the day he was found. As he grows up he becomes hated for his deformities but it is revealed that he has a kind heart.

March 6: Pippi Longstocking / Pippi Longstocking. Pippi Longstocking is a nine-year-old girl living on her own because her mother died when she was just a baby and her father, a ship's captain, fell overboard on their most recent sea journey. One might expect her to have a tragic existence—to be poor, destitute, and malnourished, taken advantage of by society's less honorable members. But Pippi's existence is precisely the opposite.

March 13: Puck / A Midsummer Night's Dream. Puck is a powerful supernatural creature, capable of circling the globe in 40 minutes or of enshrouding unsuspecting mortals in a deep fog. Also known as Robin Goodfellow, Puck would have been familiar to a sixteenth-century English audience, who would have recognized him as a common household spirit also often associated with travelers. 

March 20: Eponine / Les Miserables. Éponine is the eldest daughter in the Thénardier family. But just because she's not exactly high-falutin' doesn't mean she's an unregenerate reprobate like dear old dad. In fact, she protects Cosette and Jean Valjean's house from her father and his goons because she has such deep feelings for Marius.

March 27: Hercule Poirot / developed by Agatha Christie. A retired Belgian police officer. Poirot is Christie's most famous detective and is known for his short stature and long, curly moustache. Poirot is very intelligent, extremely aware and instinctual and is a brilliant detective.

April 3: Harley Quinn / Batman comics. Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, PhD,  is a frequent accomplice and lover of the Joker, whom she met while working as a psychiatrist at Gotham City's Arkham Asylum, where the Joker was a patient. The character has teamed up with fellow villains Catwoman and Poison Ivy several times, the trio being known as the Gotham City Sirens.

April 10: Mr. Tumnus / The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Mr. Tumnus is a Faun—a creature that is human from the waist up and a goat from the waist down. He is the first person Lucy meets in Narnia and they quickly become besties. Although Mr. Tumnus had previously agreed to hand over any human being he met to the White Witch, as soon as he meets Lucy and gets to know her, he realizes that he can do no such thing.

April 17: Laura Ingalls / Little House of the Prairie series. The second daughter of Charles and Caroline Ingalls. Laura, the author’s autobiographical self, is high-spirited and inquisitive, and she has inherited her father’s storytelling ability. She describes the pioneering experience and her own thoughts and feelings in detail.

April 24: Don Quixote / The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Don Quixote of La Mancha. The novel’s tragicomic hero. Don Quixote’s main quest in life is to revive knight-errantry in a world devoid of chivalric virtues and values. He believes only what he chooses to believe and sees the world very differently from most people. Honest, dignified, proud, and idealistic, he wants to save the world.

May 1: Bellatrix Lestrange / Harry Potter series. One crazy witch. Her years in Azkaban Prison seem to have only strengthened her love for Voldemort and his mission, and she's his most fervent, loyal follower. All she ever thinks about is Voldemort's success. She's unafraid to be cruel – in fact, she loves it. To make things worse, not only is Bellatrix criminally insane, she's also arrogant as all get-out; her mockery is almost as bad as her malice.

May 8:  King Mongkut of Siam / Anna and the King of Siam. Temperamental and sometimes cruel, at other times childlike, generous, and kind. Intelligent, in spite of his capriciousness, he is willing to try advanced ideas. 

May 15: Siren / The Odyssey. The Sirens are mythical creatures. They lure men to their island with their music and voices, never to return to their families and homes. In the Odyssey, the Sirens were briefly encountered by Odysseus and his men. When they were drawing near, Odysseus used Circe's advice of how to avoid being drawn in by them and plugged his men's ears with wax; he was also tied to his ship in order to stay with them. To the fortune of Odysseus and his crew, all passed with complete survival.

May 22: Merlin / Arthurian Legends. A sorcerer who arranges for Arthur to be brought up outside the royal court, in exchange for providing Uther with the means of attaining Igraine as his wife. Merlin’s powers include foretelling the future and enchanting mortals to follow his command. But his powers are also partial and limited, and ultimately he succumbs to the very mortal weakness of desire, which leads to his death.

May 29: Ophelia / Hamlet. To her father and brother, Ophelia is the eternal virgin, the vessel of morality whose purpose is to be a dutiful wife and steadfast mother. To Hamlet, she is a sexual object, a corrupt and deceitful lover. With no mother to guide her, she has no way of deciphering the contradictory expectations.

June 5: Jeeves / developed by P. G. Woodhouse. Jeeves is the highly competent valet of a wealthy and idle young Londoner named Bertie Wooster. First appearing in print in 1915, Jeeves continued to feature in Wodehouse's work until his last completed novel Aunts Aren't Gentlemen in 1974, a span of 60 years.  Both the name "Jeeves" and the character of Jeeves have come to be thought of as the quintessential name and nature of a valet or butler. A "Jeeves" is now a generic term as validated by its entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.

June 12: Agatha Trunchbull / Matilda. Agatha Trunchbull is the headmistress of Crunchem Hall, a primary school for students five through twelve years old in Roald Dahl's Matilda. Trunchbull is a force to be reckoned with. She's unattractive to look at and built like a tank; her thick, stocky, muscular body is usually clothed in a uniform similar to a soldier’s. Ms. Trunchbull was an athlete when she was younger, and she still has a powerful body. When she moves around the school, she doesn't walk, she marches, and when she marches everyone gets out of her way!

June 19: Peter Pan / Peter Pan. Peter is the clever, adventurous, and confident leader of the Lost Boys. While at times he is boastful and self-centered, there is a side of Peter that is caring and joyous. His desire to stay a child forever allows him to continue his adventures unburdened by the realities of growing up. He is the embodiment of youthful naivete. 

June 26: Lisabeth Salander / The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She is fiercely independent, stubborn, and intelligent, and is able to use both her smarts and violence to get herself out of sticky situations. She's motivated by a desire to expose people's secrets as well as exact revenge for crimes, particularly violent crimes against women.

July 3: Paul Bunyan / folklore, tall tales. The gigantic hero of exaggerated yarns first told along the Canadian border about 1837. Bunyan first saw Babe, the Blue Ox, the winter the blue snow fell. Bunyan invents the multiplication table, the cube root system, and algebra so that he can keep accurate records. When ordinary logging methods fail, he shoots the trees off the slopes of the Mountain That Stood On Its Head. He sweats so hard cutting the stonewood trees in Utah that he creates Salt Lake. With the coming of machinery, however, there is no place for him, and he and Babe disappear forever over the hills.

July 10: Lucille "Lucy" Van Pelt / from Charles Schulz's "Peanuts." The older sister of Linus and Rerun. Lucy is characterized as a "fussbudget", crabby, bossy and opinionated girl who bullies most other characters in the strip, particularly Linus and Charlie Brown.

July 17: Christopher Robin / Winnie the Pooh. A young boy and one of Winnie-the-Pooh's best friends. In the second book, there are hints that Christopher Robin is growing up. In the final chapter, the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood throw him a farewell party after learning he must leave them soon. It is implied that he will attend boarding school; Christopher Robin Milne, for whom the stories were originally developed, left home to attend Stowe School at age 9.

July 31: Holly Golightly / Breakfast at Tiffany's. Holly was orphaned at a young age and we learn that her childhood was pretty rough since she was forced to move in with some pretty terrible relatives after her parents' deaths. She and her brother Fred eventually run away and they end up living at Doc Golightly’s after one of his daughters finds them trying to steal milk. The two look so pitiful that Doc takes them in, and Holly eventually marries him because he's been so good to her and because, as she tells us, she loves him.

August 7: Jason / Jason and the Argonauts. It seems like Jason's real strength lies in his leadership skills. Nobody ever says he's a bad warrior, but his quest is truly achieved through his skills at delegation. Instead of sailing off to get the Golden Fleece all by himself, he assembles the most intimidating team of heroes the world has ever seen. The Argonauts have loads of different skills that will all prove useful on the quest. Jason knows with this super team of awesomeness surrounding him there's no way he can fail.

August 14: Eliza Doolittle / Pygmalion. She's the poor girl from the streets who turns out to be equal parts brilliant and beautiful. She's smart, independent, and feisty. She's a chocoholic who throws slippers when angry.

August 21: Robin Hood / English folklore. According to legend, he was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. In some versions of the legend he is depicted as being of noble birth, and having fought in the Crusades before returning to England he find his lands taken by the Sheriff. In other versions this is not the case and he is instead born into the yeoman class (an attendant at a noble household). He is said to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor.

August 28: Nurse Ratched / One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The cold, implacable head nurse of the psychiatric ward. Chief Bromden describes her arrival for morning shift: “She slides through the door with a gust of cold . . .” As a former Army nurse, prides herself on order and efficiency. She quickly extinguishes any behavior on the ward that deviates from her mechanized regime.

September 4: Tom Sawyer / The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Tom is a mischievous boy with an active imagination who spends most of the novel getting himself, and often his friends, into and out of trouble. Despite his mischief, Tom has a good heart and a strong moral conscience. As the novel progresses, he begins to take more seriously the responsibilities of his role as a leader among his schoolfellows.

September 11: Dorothy Gale / L. Frank Baum's "Oz" series. Dorothy is an orphan raised by her aunt and uncle in the bleak landscape of a Kansas farm. Dorothy is swept away by a tornado to the Land of Oz. She has a forthright and take-charge personality. 

September 18: Holden Caulfield / Catcher in the Rye. Holden is a sixteen-year-old junior who has just been expelled for academic failure from a school called Pencey Prep. Although he is intelligent and sensitive, Holden narrates in a cynical and jaded voice. He finds the hypocrisy and ugliness of the world around him almost unbearable, and through his cynicism he tries to protect himself from the pain and disappointment of the adult world. 

September 25: Nancy Drew / written by several ghostwriters under then name of Carolyn Keene. A fictional amateur sleuth. In the original versions of the series, she is a 16-year-old high school graduate, and in later versions, is rewritten and aged to be an 18-year-old high school graduate and detective. As a teenager, she spends her time solving mysteries, some of which she stumbles upon and some of which begin as cases of her father’s (a lawyer). Nancy is often assisted in solving mysteries by her two closest friends: cousins Bess Marvin and George Fayne. Bess is delicate and feminine, while George is a tomboy. Nancy is also occasionally joined by her boyfriend Ned Nickerson, a student at Emerson College.

October 2: Arthur Dent / The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. He is an ordinary human being living a quiet life in a house on the outskirts of an English village. He enjoys an ordered life and a fresh cup of tea. None of this prepares him for being plucked from Earth and launched into a series of bewildering adventures while being shuttled around the galaxy. Even so, he tries to rise to the occasion and cope.

October 9: Milady De Winter / The Three Musketeers. A capable and beautiful spy, Milady is an unusual example of a strong, independent woman with a tragic and checkered past, filled with the seduction and willful destruction of men who will provide her with monetary support. Milady is remorseless and unrepentant for her countless "misdeeds."

October 16: Roland Deschain of Gilead / Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Coming from a long line of gunslingers, Roland becomes a gunslinger at the unheard-of age of 14 after being manipulated into taking the "trial of manhood“ by Marten Broadcloak. Marten has an affair with Roland's mother and makes sure Roland finds out about it, prompting Roland to request his trial in order to gain his guns and exact revenge on Marten. In the trial, Roland must defeat his teacher, Cort, using a weapon of his choosing. He chooses a hawk named David and defeats Cort. Roland sacrifices David to win the fight, setting the tone for Roland's future choices in life. 

October 23: Witch / Shakespeare's Macbeth. Three “black and midnight hags” who plot mischief against Macbeth using charms, spells, and prophecies. Their predictions prompt him to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to blindly believe in his own immortality. 

October 30: Edward Hyde / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A deformed, disgusting man somewhat younger than Dr. Jekyll who is apparently devoid of a profession. Some describe witnessing something indefinably evil and horrific in Edward Hyde's face. He is often compared to animals, implying that he is not a fully evolved human being. Despite these descriptions, Hyde is generally civilized in his interactions with others. Dr. Jekyll describes Hyde as "pure evil," who menaces society at night, trampling a girl in the street and murdering Sir Danvers Carew.