Confessions of a researchaholic

December 8, 2018

Drawing a sculpture-like human portrait

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:11 pm
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Like sculptures, this classically beautiful face has all the features spelled out for drawing. Following suggestions from Daichi and tutorials I saw online, I started drawing coarse shapes very loosely (in a base layer) to help proportions. The more detailed contours are then much easier to pin down. I drew coarse shading in a third layer.

I am not sure yet how and if I should shade the face.



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The base layer

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December 6, 2018

Picasso continues to roll in his grave

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:35 pm
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From the same source I experimented with artist pencils in a digital drawing to compare with graphite sticks.
Interestingly, I made similar proportional mistakes to my previous physical drawing, notably the over-long nose.

The 4+B digital pencils were too dark, so I switched to 2B which would be too light for physical pencils.

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After Picasso

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December 3, 2018

Picasso is rolling in his grave

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:49 pm
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I drew this one loose and quick to feel the graphite sticks, so I did not realize the incorrect proportions until the end, such as overlong nose, shifted gaze, and over-large left ear.

I plan to experiment with digital drawing to see if it can achieve similar rough senses and effects.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq9LFY9gG6Y/

December 2, 2018

Portrait practice from a movie still

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:35 pm
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I decided it is about time to go back to the instruction book to follow planned exercises. (As a student, I seldom followed guidance before sufficient self-exploration.)
The next practice is proportioning a frontal face, so I picked a movie still of an actress whose quarter profile I had difficulty with earlier. (I will come back to that exercise later.)

I hope to capture the feeling better with subtler shading (e.g. smiling with the cheeks), but I ran out of patience and had to go out for dinner.

PS: it is better to practice portraits starting from subjects outside personal social circles.

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Portrait practice from a movie still

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December 1, 2018

Practice drawing a half-shadowed face

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:16 pm
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This is a face with fascinating contrasts: light and shadow, young and mature, beauty and menace.

My original goal is to practice depicting the shadowed side with minimal amount of details.
Then, during the drawing, I encountered great difficulty capturing the unique identify of the face after 3 nights and 1 morning. It has a fascinating combination of a juvenile face laced with mature features such as plump lips, wearing a delicate and yet sorrowful, vengeful expression.

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Practice drawing a half-shadowed face

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November 26, 2018

Portrait practice from a magazine ad photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:12 pm
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Art works, including 3D sculptures and 2D advertisements, are already abstracted and serving as excellent sources to practice drawing.

Unique faces, beautiful or ugly, are easier to draw, because they already have distinctive features. It is the mundane and ordinary that take will more efforts to read, see, extract, and depict.

I ensured correct proportion of the base layer/structure before proceeding to the details. This saved time, taking me about one hour to finish this one. Previously, I sometimes noticed mistakes on the base layer which thought I could fix or hide with upper detailed layers, but that just took me a lot of time with little benefits.

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Portrait practice from a magazine ad photo

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Layers of a previous drawing

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November 25, 2018

Portrait practice from a magazine advertisement

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:20 pm
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Both the face and the water surface are challenging to draw.

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Portrait practice from a magazine advertisement

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November 24, 2018

Objective perception of subjective reality

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:24 am
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A core skill, in art, science, or even life, is the ability and willingness to objectively perceive subjective reality.

Notice the swap of the two adjectives. Supposedly, perception is subjective and reality is objective. However, that is a fixed given condition. Our bodies and brains act like filters, so reality is always subjective. What we can strive for is objective perception and depiction of the (given) subjective reality.

For example, in drawing, one has to perceive what is really out there, which can vary depending on the individual subjectivity, in the physical world, in the memory, or in the imagination.

In deriving a math proof or following a scientific argument, one has to rely on what is assumed to be true (axioms, theorems, conjectures) which are subjective by nature.

November 23, 2018

Portrait practice in front of a mirror

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:49 pm
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Spatial-temporal trade-off for live portrait: the longer the session, the more precise and detailed the drawing can be, but the subject will also wear a more neutral expression.

Solution: practice drawing from memory.

More (layer-based) experiments are planned to come.
🙂

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Portrait practice

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November 22, 2018

Portrait exercise from a magazine photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:20 pm
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The face can be shortened a bit to better depict his intelligence.

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Portrait practice from a magazine photo

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