Confessions of a researchaholic

September 30, 2018

After van Goth

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:51 am
Tags:

I bought these sketch books before 2006, did not start to practice until 2015, stopped around 2016 to pursue my own path, and resumed reading today.

Copying from a master can be quite fun and help me appreciate their greatness.

View this post on Instagram

After van Goth

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 29, 2018

Practice drawing a smiling child

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:29 pm
Tags:

Slight deviations of proportions can dramatically change the facial identity. In this case, I drew the eyes slightly too large and too high above the nose. The kid looks even more exciting than I could capture. I can denser the hairs further but decided not to bother with extra manual labor.

View this post on Instagram

Practice drawing a smiling child

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 28, 2018

Loose drawing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:39 am
Tags:

Some people draw better when their brains are in a looser state; for me, it still requires great focus, no less than coding or writing research papers.

I was quite sleepy so I did this one freestyle without much structuring; the effect is completely unrealistic but yet kind of fun.

View this post on Instagram

Drawing experiment

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 27, 2018

How filter recruiters

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:01 am
Tags: ,

It is usually much more effective to talk directly with the hiring managers for job opportunities. Recruiters, either internally to the companies or externally in agencies, are usually less effective, even though I have encountered a few very good ones and enjoyed the processes.

If you are receiving more recruiter contacts than your bandwidth can handle, one strategy is as follows. Tell the recruiter that you are very happy with your current job (true for me, but pretend to be so even if you are not) and are not thinking about switching now. However, you are interested to know more about the opportunity, and might be able to recommend other suitable candidates.

A run-of-the-mill recruiter, looking for a quick score, will usually pass by after reading this message.
A smart recruiter, on the other hand, knows the importance of building relationships and expanding networks, and top candidates usually have good jobs; they will be more likely to get back to you.

September 25, 2018

Uncanny valley

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:24 pm
Tags:

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

If you are drawing through the uncanny valley, keep practicing.

View this post on Instagram

Portrait practice

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

View this post on Instagram

Portrait practice

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

View this post on Instagram

Portrait practice

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 23, 2018

Drawing faces from photos

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:28 am
Tags:

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.

View this post on Instagram

Practice drawing a pair of faces

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

View this post on Instagram

Practice drawing a grandpa's face

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

View this post on Instagram

Practice drawing a child

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

View this post on Instagram

Practice drawing a child's face

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 20, 2018

Brimstone

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:47 am
Tags: ,

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

View this post on Instagram

Brimstone

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 18, 2018

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

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:27 am
Tags:

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
Tags: ,

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.

View this post on Instagram

Men's toilet building

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

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
Tags:

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
Tags: , ,

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
Tags:

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.

View this post on Instagram

The girl and the dog

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

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
Tags: ,

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.

View this post on Instagram

Airplane, drawing from a photo

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 9, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:38 pm
Tags: ,

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.

View this post on Instagram

Airplane, drawing from a photo

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

September 8, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:05 am
Tags: ,

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.

View this post on Instagram

Airplane, drawing from a photo

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

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.



September 7, 2018

Photographic drawing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:57 pm
Tags: ,

Daichi and I spent the entire noon hour taking photos around.
There are similarities between drawing and photography in both goal and process: observation, selection, framing, and composition.
Photography by itself is a faster and less flexible means to record and convey visual impression.
However, it can serve as visual memory for later drawing, relaxing space and time constraints.
For example, I am not fast enough to catch a fly-by airplane via spot drawing, so a photograph can help.

I have enough footage for at least a month’s worth of drawing, even if I draw every day.
I will gradually post up my progress.

September 3, 2018

Writing style for revision control Latex source

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:27 pm
Tags:

Put one, or at most a few, complete sentence(s) into one line.
Latex treats line breaks as spaces, so the compiled document will still have the correct formation.

Since popular revision control tools like git/svn are based on line diff, putting too many sentences in one line will cause excessive revision differences and obscure the actual changes.

Avoid artificial line breaks in the middle of the sentences, which tend to confuse the spell-checkers and the git/svn line diff.

September 2, 2018

Drawing a dried insect on a window sill

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:51 pm
Tags:

Life is full of hidden, fleeting beauty that one feels lucky to witness.

I was supposed to be writing a paper, the room was too dark, so I opened the window, saw the dried insect on the sill, and could not resist drawing it.

Drawing a dried insect on a window sill

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

This one took me only a few minutes to complete; I look forward to accompany my dad during his speed drawing sessions.

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at WordPress.com