Confessions of a researchaholic

July 25, 2018

Wild boar

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:19 am

Important message from Executive Vice-President [of HKU]

Dear colleagues and students,

The University was informed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) that there had been an incident of a wild boar attacking pedestrians at Lyttleton Road Exit this morning (July 24, 2018).

For safety sake, please stay at a distance from any wild animal, and if possible, please avoid walking close to the hill side. The AFCD will visit the campus tomorrow and provide professional advice and appropriate actions.

Any sighting of or encounter with wild boars on or near the campus should be reported to the University’s security team immediately.

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.

July 23, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:39 pm

A rising star in HCI pinged me about my physical whereabouts. I asked if he would like to drop by for a visit, and he told me that he was here last Friday for the fellowship award ceremony, which I skipped to get some work done despite the UR manager knocking on the door.

Like many wise people have cautioned, we never regret not doing enough work.

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.

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.

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.

July 9, 2018

The most senior TA in history?

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:54 pm

Today I volunteered to be a TA for a c++ coding workshop hosted for Adobe interns.

Some fun facts to put things into context and perspective:

The last time I was a TA is year 1996.

I have taught an introductory c++ class in HKU for 5 semesters, which also contains lab workshops for hands-on experience. The class has 100+ students per semester, and I usually have 3 PhD students for TA.
This workshop has around 30+ students and we have 5 full-time employees for TA.

What remains the same is my basic observation that personality and attitude are more important than technical skill. The most important thing is never giving up. How fast you can finish the assignments is less important than whether you continue to tackle the problems until they are all resolved.

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