Try this: shine a light on the character next to the one you're trying to portray.
From Thomas Cobb's Crazy Heart:
Bonnie Turock is a large, horse-faced woman in a floor-length print dress. She is from Macon, Georgia, and has never made the switch required of a record company executive's wife. At cocktail parties, she serves home-baked pie. Maybe Arthur has hung on to her because she has the homey touch he doesn't. Around Bonnie, Arthur Turock could pass for a real human being.