Character Portraits: Group Project (Tasks 5 & 6)

Brave New World

TODAY, your group needs to split up to work on the final two tasks of the group project.  The artist and one other person (not the designer or wordsmith) should work together on Task 5.  Everyone else (particularly the wordsmith and designer) should work on Task 6.


Task Five, due in class by FRIDAY, 2/25

Using the key passages you’ve found that best convey the portrayal of your main character, start sketching a portrait of this character.  Please follow the guidelines below:

  • First and foremost, start with a sketch, not a final drawing/painting.  Literally sketch out your ideas and jot other ideas you have down in the margins of your paper.  DO NOT spend hours trying to get your sketch perfect…. You won’t be turning it in as a final product.
  • Your sketch must be a “portrait,” meaning that the person you’re sketching should be the most important part of the drawing.  You can accomplish this either by drawing your person to fill 70% or so of your paper, focusing in on their upper body and particularly their face (like most of the Frida Kahlo portraits).  OR  You can accomplish this by centering the person within your sketch and having all the items around him/her be related to him/her (like “The Voluptuary” picture).
  • Your portrait should not be focused on any other people in it besides your main character.  You should consider where you are placing your character; the setting can help you to achieve more depth in communicating who your character is.
  • Your sketch must include and go beyond the literal.  This means that if you’re drawing Bernard and we know he is short and skinny, then your sketched Bernard should also appear short and skinny.  (This is the literal.)  However, the whole point of this portrait is to portray your character in a way that shows your deep understanding of him/her.  Therefore, you must make other choices in your drawing to show the personality of your character.  For example, would Bernard look straight out at his audience?  Off to the side?  Lower his eyes as if he were looking down?  If a character changes drastically from when we first meet him/her until the end of the book, how will you “draw” that change?  What other items will you include in your portrait to communicate something about your character?  How will you use shading?
  • No later than Thursday, get a piece of paper from Ms. Spachman to create your FINAL portrait on.  This will be the polished, finished product of your artistic work on your main character.  Again, this picture should communicate both a literal and a more figurative understanding of your group’s main character in Brave New World.  You may paint it, draw it with colored pencils, use charcoal, whatever medium you’d like as long as it is appropriate to the portrayal you’re trying to convey.  Be prepared to justify all your choices in layout, depiction, and medium.


Task Six, due in class by FRIDAY, 2/25

Now that you’ve compiled two lists of key passages and two lists of words, one set for your major character and one set for your minor character, you need to use these lists to create a word portrait of each character.  Your “word portrait” should attempt to portray your character in all his/her complexities AND it should be a “progressive” portrait—a portrait of how the character changes from the beginning to the end of the novel.  Follow the steps below:   (Yes, you’re making 2 word portraits, one for each character.)

  1. Review and refine your lists for each character.  Eliminate passages or words that aren’t really necessary or find better passages/words to communicate how this character is portrayed.
  2. Pull brief quotes (1-2 sentences) said by characters out of your key passages that exemplify some of the words you picked.  For example, if you have Bernard or John, you might want to pull a quote from p. 137 to illustrate their outsider status.  Write these quotes with the page number you found them on next to the appropriate word.  Pick out only really good, significant quotes.  Don’t force a quote to fit an adjective.
  3. Graphically arrange your word portraits on a piece of paper.  However you choose to arrange your words and quotes, you should pick a format that will show the “progression”/way the character changed from beginning to end.  Some graphic organizer ideas appear on back.  (Make sure to include the quotes’ page numbers.)