Confessions of a researchaholic

August 11, 2018

Drawing a fireplace

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:47 pm

I found the perspective and framing very challenging.

Drawing a fireplace

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Drawing a playground

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:27 am

I was thinking about targeting the abstract sculptures on Park Ave, but Daichi said such structures are not suitable for practice as they can be drawn in anyway and still look reasonable.

So we went to the park and drew the small playground inside.

My high level perspective was incorrect from the beginning, so Daichi asked me to restart from scratch.
He was worried about the homeless people roaming around. After he came back to work, I continued to finish the drawing to a reasonable degree. Two homeless (looking) people passed by and friendly asked me if they can see what I was drawing.

Drawing a playground

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I promised Daichi to draw in Vancouver next week.

August 3, 2018

Tree drawing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:30 pm

The proportion is not right as I did not plan enough.

To draw tree leaves, I can squint my eyes to low pass filter and use hatches to convey both the values/tones and textures.

I should draw only the tree, not the background, to reduce visual clutter.

Tree drawing

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July 24, 2018

Morning ride and noon class

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:18 pm

The guy sitting across on the train was dozing. He woke up and walked away when I just started outlining his glasses. Then I switched to the train background but could not manage to finish before the train arrival.
I plan to sit in the same position next time to continue the sketch.

Daichi took me to the park near the office for the first lesson. He noticed the crawling style in my previous drawings and commented that it was how people drew before perspective was discovered.
Drawing a live scene is more difficult than drawing from an image, as we need to establish the global structure first, including framing, composition, and perspective. I struggled with this, even with the beams over the two toilet houses on the left. I plan to continue practice at the same spot.

First class

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July 22, 2018

Coupa cafe

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:34 pm

The crowd was moving around and obstructing my view, so to maintain a thread of spatial coherence I sprawled the strokes from the bottom of the viewing frustum outward. The resulting lack of hierarchy caused a lack of clarity.

I can start drawing without painter’s block, just like I can write papers without writer’s block. I will need my dad’s speed drawing to handle dynamic scenes.

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July 18, 2018

First drawing lesson meeting

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:34 pm

Had my first drawing lesson meeting today. The master said that if I really want to learn how to draw, I need more practices. Thus, we will have weekly outdoor sessions to draw landscapes. I have focused on individual static objects so far to reduce information overload, but the master said I can choose individual objects from outdoors.

I hope this will (finally) exert enough external forces to drive me practice drawing. If this goes well maybe we will try to invite more people to start a drawing club.

What I learned today: start with physical instead of digital drawings, buy and carry sufficiently small physical sketch pads (my previous one was gigantic whose mobility issue triggered me to draw digitally), use clay-like deformable erasers for more flexibility.

Drawing tools

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July 15, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:27 pm

I drew this one in about 10 minutes, and the result was bad, as expected.
It appears that for maximum drawing performance, I need to be in a situation when I have nothing else to do for a lengthy period, e.g. stuck in an airport or Wi-Fi-less cafe.

Download (DOCX, 222KB)

July 12, 2018

Art mentor

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:42 pm

Sketching has been my personal interest, and now also part of my job as stepping into artists’ shoes can help me build better authoring tools. But I simply have not spent enough time practicing.

Thus, I have asked Daichi Ito, who kindly agreed to be my art mentor.
(My dad is also an artist, but he is too far away to drive my practice.)

I will focus on sketching for now as that is the fundamental art form (analogous to piano for music). I plan to take the well-advised steps: draw what I see, draw what I remember, and draw what I imagine.

August 3, 2017


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:45 pm

My flight was delayed in the airport, which was too noisy and disturbing for me to focus on reading or coding. So I figured the best thing to do is to draw what I saw around me. This is my first attempt to capture either people or moving objects.

I am comfortable with digital pen sketching on a Microsoft surface pro, even though MS Word started to crash once I added enough strokes.

I drew the left/right side of the canvas with my left/right hand to minimize occlusion.

Download (DOCX, 1.08MB)

July 29, 2017


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:54 pm

After realizing that there was no wifi in a cafe I went to this afternoon, I decided to spend time drawing some stuff around instead of just leaving.

Download (DOCX, 411KB)

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