Note: This is a character observation exercise we did for my Creative Fiction Writing class. We needed to develop to describe a character through the setting. Can you guess what the character is?

He never used brushes. Without successful income, Robert couldn't afford to keep up with the expenses for replacing supplies. It was enough trying to stay on top of the rent for his studio – a box no bigger than a closet – where failure was all but a rarity.

His assortment of useless brushes lay strewn haphazardly in all corners of the room, the camel hair torn out from one too many a wash. An open, half used tube of black acrylic rested on a palette, dancing with other globs of color, forming a sickly mass of misery. The clutter of easels and canvases, splashed with reds and blues, smiled on him in what could only be schadenfreude.

Despite all these vivid touches of dahlia purple, sea green, and periwinkle brightening his chamber, they had a rotten air about them. Yes, they were all laughing at him; he swore he could hear them; the creaking of their wooden frames with each cackle was all too distinct. A growing cloud of pessimism hung heavily over Robert's latest piece, a bleak downward smear of hopelessness over a once pure white canvas. Staring at him with blue-brown smudges, it alone laughed the loudest.

Answer: an unsuccessful painter.

Did you get the answer? If not, that means my writing is flawed! Let me know why you couldn't guess the character, if you can. It will help me develop my writing, as well as help clear things up for you in the future. Thanks.