Confessions of a researchaholic

October 31, 2018

Practice shading an egg in a small plate

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:11 pm
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The drawing process feels gratifying.

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Practice shading an egg in a small plate

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October 30, 2018

Chucky

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:56 pm
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I plan to post this on my front door for the trick-or-treats.

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Chucky

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October 29, 2018

Orthodox comrade – portrait practice on a moving train

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:43 pm
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I would like to correct the mistake I made earlier about an accidental caricature. I started drawing on the morning train, finished the face and body outlines, and completed the rest on my evening train.
The train movement made it harder to place stable strokes, but overall I enjoy the experience.

Unlike the previous one which I drew from a printed magazine, I drew this one from the digital version which has a more complete photo.



2:46 am dream

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:28 am
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I woke up at 2:46 am to record this dream, from which I plan to draw later before my visual memory fades.

We were attending an eye-brow party but somehow waiting at two adjacent bus stops.
One coming to my stop at 8:10 pm. The next one is 5:10 am the next day, so I hopped on.
You were still sitting at your bus stop bench.
I did not know which station to take off, so I loudly asked you, through the bus window.
You did not respond, so I yelled why you did not answer me.
The person lifted her face and turned to another person who replied that I did not ask a question.

October 28, 2018

Practice drawing a politician

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:17 pm
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I got several inspirations from the October 20 2018 Economist issue.
Again, I underestimated the ear size.

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Portrait practice

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Portrait exercise

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:50 pm
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I did not draw the eye in the right shape, so I tried to correct it. Unfortunately, after too many alterations, I can no longer erase the iris, which is too wide and looks like a cyclop eye.

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Portrait practice

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Slight change of a previous drawing

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Accidental caricature

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:29 pm
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I have placed the eyes too close in the beginning, and plan to do another one with correct composition in the future.

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Accidental caricature

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October 27, 2018

Portrait exercise

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:42 pm
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The upper arms are clearly too short because the subject changed posture and I was focusing mainly on the head.

Quick figure sketches

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:32 pm
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I was not sure if these informal practices are worth documenting and sharing but realized that everything I do is work in progress.

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Quick sketches of a person sleeping on a sofa

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Quick sketch of a posture sequence

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Academic lineage

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:57 am
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My academic lineage traces to Jung and Freud instead of Gauss, Laplace, Newton, or Leibniz.
I guess this partially explains my research interest and mentoring style.
🙂

October 26, 2018

Quick sketch of a piano player

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:03 pm
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Second drawing I sketched at the same night with much faster and looser style to capture dynamic movements.

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Quick sketch of a piano player

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Practice shading a color pencil cylinder

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:29 pm
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Hatching is a core technique to convey shading and texture in sketching.
I have hatched algorithmically so it is only fitting for me to practice manually as well.
This exercise also gave me research ideas which I would not be able to conceive without the artist perspective.

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Practice shading with a color pencil cylinder

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October 25, 2018

Quick sketch practice

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:35 pm
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It is challenging to speed sketch dynamic objects, but fun to catch the gist of a sequential activity of a person.
For learning, I plan to focus more on volume sighting static objects.

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

October 24, 2018

Practice drawing a politician

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:37 pm
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Slight deviations of feature relationships can significantly change a facial identity.
For this one, I should tug in the mouth and chin a bit (for more cunningness and less kindness), widen the head a bit (I distrusted my initial sighting and narrowed the lower head near the neck), and shrink the outside eye side a bit (I could not believe how thin it was, and made the same mistake as my earlier copy of the Matisse flute girl).

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Portrait drawing practice

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Photo of an earlier drawing

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October 22, 2018

Accidental van Gogh

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:33 pm
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I copied the self-portrait of Gustave Courbet, up-side-down to focus on shading instead of shape. The outcome was hilarious, kind of a blend between Courbet and van Gogh.

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After Gustave Courbet, self-portrait

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Gustave Courbet, self portrait with a pipevan Gogh, self portrait with a pipe but without one year

October 21, 2018

Life drawing a sleeping head

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:12 pm
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The subject was stationary enough during sleep, but still changed postures a few times during the session, so that it was even more difficult for me to have the right proportions.

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Life sketching a sleeping head

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Still life with American flag

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:36 pm
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This is a pen-holder on my desk. I have not learned how to shade the cylindrical shafts of the (Mickey Mouse) pencils.

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Still life with American flag

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October 19, 2018

Drawing a head resting on a sofa arm in profile view

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:43 pm
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I told the subject to behave as usual to avoid unnatural facial expressions or uncomfortable body postures.
Nonstationary objects are much harder to capture for someone who has yet to learn drawing in speed or from memory, but also provide the opportunity to grasp a rare moment of interest.

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Photo of an earlier drawing

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Drawing meeting note

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:24 pm
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Avoid the trap of converting weak perspectives into orthographic projection.

Now I can believe what I see instead of only see what I believe, I move on to practice volumes, concurrently with shading, beyond contours, spaces, and relationships.



Practice drawing objects from memory, such as a cup or teapot from different (imaginary) angles.

It is OK for beginners to take time; like all crafts, practices help efficiency.
Later, I can impose time limits to practice prioritization.

October 18, 2018

My first life portrait drawing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:37 pm
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The model was not satisfied with the virtual resemblance and physical stiffness, both I plan to address by improving my sighting skills.

This is the first time I asked someone to pose for me, and probably also the last time; it should be easier for my brain to register moving parts than for other bodies to remain relatively stationary.

October 16, 2018

After John Singer Sargent – Madame X

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:10 pm
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This exercise looked simple but turned out to be quite challenging due to the delicate proportions and relationships.
In my first attempt I tried direct sighting but the result was not good. In my second attempt, I placed some background guide structures (visible on both the original and my copy) for help.

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After John Singer Sargent – Madame X.

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October 15, 2018

Practice sighting facial proportion

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:03 pm
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This is a simple exercise is profile head proportion, but I found that by slightly varying the relative sizes and positions of facial components, I can create different faces, and they appear plausible as long as the underlying proportions remain so.

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Simple exercise in profile head proportion

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October 14, 2018

After Henri Matisse: two sketches of a nude girl playing a flute

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:54 pm
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Copying from a master’s work helps me appreciate their greatness.
For example, this one by Matisse has loose and yet precise circular contours depicting the girl’s body.

After finishing the first draft, I noticed from the photo that the right foot was too forward for balance, so I shifted it back a bit in a revision. See if you can spot the difference (my eraser mark should be visible).

As usual, subtle differences in the face can make huge perceptual differences. My version looks older and sourer than the original one by Matisse.

Sighting relationships in a figure drawing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:26 am
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I noticed the face bears more resemblance to Wolverine than Allan Poe during sketching but I have yet to learn shading to figure out how to properly deal with it.

The proportions seemed about right during drawing only for me to find out, afterwards, that the lower left leg was too upward and thus looked too short.

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Sighting relationships in a figure drawing

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October 10, 2018

Practice drawing a kitchen counter

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:05 pm
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I sat across the counter and panned + tiled my head around for sighting.
The fruits, with irregular shapes, tolerate more mistakes than the more regular cooking coils.
I was not sure how to draw the mesh bag containing several beets, so I lightly touched the grid structures first followed by heavier contours.

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Practice drawing ellipses with a kitchen counter

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(October 19, 2018)
Daichi commented that this one is orthographic but not perspective projection.
I have had difficulty with weak perspectives like this one, so it can help to place vanishing points far outside the canvas.
Tools like Adobe Sketch can help with placing vanishing points and lines, but I can also practice this without assisting tools, either digital or analog like rulers.

October 8, 2018

Commonalities between research and drawing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:44 pm
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Both require sighting novel and interesting ideas or scenes. Without this important first step, the rest will fail even with perfect execution.

The author needs to be patient and persevering to complete a sufficiently challenging work without ever giving up.

Strong objectivity is required to help us see the reality without being blinded or obscured by our biases and wishes.

Drawing is one of the few activities, aside from SIGGAPH deadline, which can enter me into the zone.

October 7, 2018

Practice sighting scattered books and other objects on a low table

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:48 pm
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I drew this low table top as it was without any clean up or modification; the inherent disorder and complexity took me more than an hour to complete this exercise.

I did not notice the streaks caused by the texts on the back page slipping through until photographing the canvas.

October 6, 2018

Drawing feet on a low table

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:19 pm
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The feet are the main focus of this drawing, looking better while taking me much less time to draw (at most 3 to 5 minutes among the roughly 1 hour session) than the cluttered desktop.

Clear sighting brings out clarity and reduces unnecessary manual works.

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Drawing feet on a low table

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Seeing the trees but not the forest

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:15 am

I remember a homework assignment during my first grade asking to fill in the blank among sentences, such as: blah a piece of —- blah. For reasons I could no longer recall, I only looked at the local context but not the whole sentences, and put in answers like: a piece of mouth.
The next day, the teacher summoned me during the lunch break and asked me how come I have a piece of mouth inside my desk.

In my latest sketching, I also focused on only the local details without paying attention to the global structures to begin with.

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Practice drawing an unoccupied office floor

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October 5, 2018

Practice drawing an unoccupied office floor

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:18 pm
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I picked this sharp corner, which looks fascinating, from the office floor that we just moved away from to practice extreme perspective. I panned my head around, so my drawing is more of a cylindrical perspective projection. This panning probably also caused my mistake of not putting the two vanishing points at the same horizontal line.

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Practice drawing an unoccupied office floor

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(October 23, 2018)
This sign came up after a few more visits to the empty office floor:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BpSsjfBAuGW/

October 4, 2018

Practice sighting a room corner

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:45 am
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I did not find mechanical sighting measurements very helpful or enjoyable, so instead I just place rough outlines on the canvas, see if they look right, and adjust.

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Sighting a room corner

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October 1, 2018

Practice sighting a doorway

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:27 am
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Drawing from a real scene is more challenging than drawing from a photograph, due to the need to carefully sight the relationships on a virtual 2D plane without wandering around in 3D.

The instruction book says 30 minutes but this one took me almost 2 hours because I had difficulty measuring the perspectives and proportions entirely by sight and eventually had to place down the horizontal vanishing point first.

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Practice sighting a doorway

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