Confessions of a researchaholic

September 23, 2018

Drawing faces from photos

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:28 am
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With enhanced perceptual sensitivity through human evolution, faces are not usually suitable for beginner sketching. Nevertheless, I seldom follow learning rules, so I just went ahead without knowing proper manual shading.

For plausible deniability, just omit the identities of the drawing subjects.
🙂

In general, the more features a face has, the easier it is to sketch with contours. Eventually I will need shading (which implies shapes and volumes) to convey smooth surfaces.

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Practice drawing a pair of faces

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Practice drawing a grandpa's face

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Practice drawing a child

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Practice drawing a child's face

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September 20, 2018

Brimstone

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:47 am
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While trying to draw a child, I realized that it would require shape and shading, which I have yet to master, in addition to contours, which I have been focusing on so far.
So I switched to a movie still that I liked a lot and is easier to draw from – a half covered face with plenty contours.


Brimstone

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Brimstone

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September 18, 2018

If you are willing to fail interestingly, you tend to succeed interestingly. – Edward Albee

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:27 am
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This quote describes me quite well, at least the first part. 🙂

September 16, 2018

Stanford men’s toilet building

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:25 pm
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Adjacent to the Stanford memorial church sits a single floor building, a grand hall of men’s restroom.
At late Saturday afternoon nobody was inside; I can stand right at the entrance to draw the entire scene. But that might be weird even by Stanford standard, so I took a photo and drew from it later.

My focus is the glow at the ceiling light, applying (high dynamic) range compression, or tone mapping, so that I can keep both the glow and the walls in the same blank color.

I started with global guidelines, but after finishing the drawing noticed a glaring omission.
See if you can spot from the drawing and comparing it with the photo, before my answer below.

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Men's toilet building

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I did not place the horizontal guidelines connecting the left and right stall rows, and thus the left row appears shorter than the right row.

Mischiefs with paper author names

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:42 pm
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Be a sole author, multiple times.

Add native author names.

Sneak behind other more senior/established collaborators to become the last author.

MSR Asia single-author challenge

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:32 pm
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It has been 10 years since I posted up the single-author SIGGRAPH paper challenge to MSR Asia, and nobody has managed to claim the prize as far as I know.

Looking back at my writing, I was wondering who this blunt prick is.
🙂
If I could, I would tell my past self to be more graceful without compromising the strength.
Otherwise, I still stick with, and have faithfully followed by own edicts, after switching into these other roles.

September 14, 2018

The girl and the dog

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:44 pm
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Quick lunch hour drawing; I took a photo just for backup but sketched the scene entirely on spot for slightly less than one hour.
I picked this sculpture which I have noticed some time ago.

Daichi: volumes, not just contours.
I plan to place rough shapes (e.g. ellipses) in addition to (even before?) rough outlines.

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The girl and the dog

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This is the first drawing that I kind of entered the zone or flow. The exact reasons are not clear due to several confounding possibilities: sculptures/statues, or at least this particular one, are already abstracted/stylized with reduced visual complexity; I had difficulty falling asleep the night before, loosening my mental control; I am better at organic than regular structures (see e.g. my previous 3 airplane drawings).

Looking back at the photo (without actual trying to draw from it), I found it much harder to extract the relevant visual structures, compared to on spot drawing.
I guess there are tradeoffs between drawing from photos and on spots: photos facilitate framing, composition, and spatial-temporal flexibility, but are not as flexible and adjustable as human visual systems.

Father recommended NEVER using erasers and always keeping all the strokes.
I know this is a common debate point, but I am going to experiment next time.
Hierarchical, light/thin to heavy/thick strokes should help.

September 13, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:38 pm
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I drew this one across 3 evenings, starting from the middle and moving to the left and right sides. I had some trouble with the curved perspective building facade and eventually lost patience.

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Airplane, drawing from a photo

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September 9, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:38 pm
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I focused more on the frontal building facade to improve the perspective issue in my previous drawing, using another photograph that has no foliage to divert my attention.

I marked the two vanishing points to begin with, both in the wrong locations.
The one on the sky should be more on the left but I adjusted it rightward a bit to have more converging window rows.
The left horizon vanishing point is outside the photo frame, so I fitted it back into the drawing canvas.

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Airplane, drawing from a photo

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September 8, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:05 am
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Looking upward towards buildings is a classical exercise to practice perspective. It took me a while to plan the vanishing point at the sky and the corresponding vanishing lines of the building contours.
I did not do so for the horizontal vanishing points/lines because I was bored after spending over one hour and I would like to work on the foliage on the left side.
As a result, the windows are incorrectly structured and gave the impression that the building facades were made of crumpling papers.

Spot drawing was infeasible for this one; the airplane flew by in seconds and the weather was hot and bright at noon.

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Airplane, drawing from a photo

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I have another airplane fly-by photograph to practice.
My goal is to correctly structure the windows without getting bogged down by details. For example, outline contours instead of detailing individual windows.

Culture throwback: an overhanging warplane is a popular motif in Japanese manga like Akira and ghost in the shell. I plan to draw one as well.



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