Confessions of a researchaholic

April 30, 2019

Vector draw a cat over a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:52 pm
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I drew over a previous cat photo to experiment with abstraction. The reflection seems to work well based on only the natural shape distortion (over a car hood).

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Cold weather Sitting on a warm hood

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April 29, 2019

Sketching a dead fly

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:37 pm
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Without a magnifying glass I might have missed some important details.

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Sketching a dead fly

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Quick sketch on a morning train

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:38 am
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This guy took off at Palo Alto station so I drew him mostly from visual memory.

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Quick sketch and draw a morning train passenger

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April 27, 2019

Vector draw over a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:35 pm
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I went home vector drawing over a photo.

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Vector draw over a photo https://adobe.ly/2GVRoaB

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Quick sketch in a cafe

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:34 pm
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I did not feel particularly inspired on this day.

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Quick sketch and draw of a girl

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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April 24, 2019

Quick draw + sketch of a homeless evening train passenger from memory

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:50 am
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My brain was preoccupied by a research issue and had limited bandwidth to spot drawing subjects on the evening train, until a homeless guy boarded at the California Avenue station. Like many other homeless folks, this guy also has very unique characteristics. He moved around a lot inside the train and disembarked in the next stop (Palo Alto station) so I could only quickly sketch him from memory, followed by vector draw at home later in the night.

April 23, 2019

Experiment with vector draw over raster sketch

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:49 pm
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Drawing vector graphics from scratch can be difficult, so I was recommended to first sketch and import as a reference for vector drawing.
The two posts below show the process in Adobe (raster) Sketch and (vector) Draw.

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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April 21, 2019

Drawing vector graphics over a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:20 pm
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Vector drawing is quite a different experience from raster sketching: precise and concise versus loose and exploratory (based on my personal experience so far).
I wonder if tracing vector contours over a photo can be an alternative beginner exercise, to focus on sourcing and abstraction before contour, space, proportion, and perspective.

April 19, 2019

Quick sketch of a bag of plant remains

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:52 am
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I saw this funky bag of plant remains (looks like tree leaves and branches) on my way to work and quickly drew it before being moved away by the park cleaner.

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Quick sketch of a bag of plant remains

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After looking at the photos later, I realized that ground shadow is an important visual cue to add.

Quick sketches on a morning train

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:52 am
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Both passengers left when I just started drawing so I had to finish from memory.

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Quick sketch of a morning train passenger

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Quick sketch of a morning train sleeper

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 am
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The guy has a pair of tired eyes.

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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April 18, 2019

Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:51 am
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In an attempt to correcting the nostril shape, I made it too dark.

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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April 17, 2019

Quick sketch of an occluded face on an evening train

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:50 pm
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I couldn’t really see this face, so I drew based on reconstructing multiple partial views.

Vector abstraction

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:17 pm
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I am practicing abstraction with Adobe Illustrator (Draw): given a photo, how to represent it simplest (but not simpler).

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Vector draw over a photo https://adobe.ly/2Irxztx

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Quick sketches of evening train sleepers

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:15 pm
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The first one took off the train when I barely started drawing his face.
I took off the train after briefly outlined the second sleeper, and completed the rest the day after.

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Quick sketch of a sleeping face on an evening train

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Quick sketch of a sleeping face on an evening train

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Quick sketch of a sleeper on an evening train

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Quick sketch of a sleeper on an evening train

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April 16, 2019

Vector drawing experiment

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:10 pm
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I simply draw over a photo in Illustrator Draw, export the .ai file to Illustrator CC Desktop, and export as an .svg file.

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Vector drawing experiment

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April 13, 2019

塞翁失馬焉知非福

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:50 am
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A few years back I was having a hard time deciding between two job offers from institutions X and Y. After joining Y, I found out that the hiring manager in X left, which, if I had joined, might have succeeded the position. I kept on thinking this is the first (and only) career mistake I have made, until I heard recently that the positions in X are funded temporarily and are being slashed.

Quick sketches in a museum and concert

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:21 am
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The Rodin collection in the Stanford Cantor arts center is an excellent source for portrait drawing. The sculptures remain stationary (as far as I can see) with fascinating anatomical structures. The darker colored materials are more challenging to shade, so I started with the lighter ones.
I didn’t have time to double check the source (looks like this one); the museum guards were in a rush to kick me out after discovering me staying beyond closure.

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Quick sketch of Mrs Russell by Rodin

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Quick sketch of Mrs Russell by Rodin

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I arrived early enough for a pre-concert talk. The lights were still on to greenlight my quick sketch of the conductor.

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Quick sketch in a concert

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Quick sketch in a concert

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April 12, 2019

Digital artist

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 am
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A guy boarded at the Palo Alto Caltrain station and sat in the line of sight between me and my drawing subject a few rows away. After being assured that I was not drawing him and excited about our common profession in digital art, he enthused his experience about being one of the first artists using Photoshop and other tools, nearby art gallery sponsorship, etc.

After disembarking the train, I finished the original drawing from memory (notice the inconsistent perspectives and such).

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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April 11, 2019

Quick sketch of a partial face

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:16 pm
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I could not identify a good drawing subject on the evening train, so I picked a largely occluded face and called it a day.

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Quick sketch of a partial face

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Quick sketch of a partial face

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April 10, 2019

Quick sketches on a Uber ride

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:35 pm
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The evening Caltrain schedule was delayed again due to yet another trespasser incident, so I took advantage of the company commuter program for a shared Uber ride.
This is the first time I drew portraits in a moving car. Compared to trains, I can more discreetly sight fellow subjects sitting in front of me. I focused so much that I barely noticed the traffic.
I had difficulty drawing the ears when the heads were moving, and the lighting was changing.

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Quick sketch of a Uber passenger

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Quick sketch of a Uber passenger

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Quick sketch of a Uber driver

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Quick sketch of a Uber driver

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The easiness and frequency of Caltrain suicides are alarming; if one crosses an intersection with a bullet train (no pun intended) passing at peak speed, the death is almost guaranteed.

April 9, 2019

Quick sketches during a meeting and a train ride

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:10 am
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Quick sketch of a facial hair

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Quick sketch of a facial hair

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Quick sketch of a boy on an evening train

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Quick sketch of a boy on an evening train

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April 8, 2019

Global and local drawings

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:47 pm
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I quickly drew a train passenger and a cafe customer.
I then tried to draw a full face before realizing that I didn’t have enough time or patience to finish it well with my current skill level, so I simplified the scope of the project (just like doing research or coding projects), a nose in this particular example.

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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Drawing a nose

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Drawing a nose

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April 5, 2019

Seeing the world like a kid

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 pm
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When we grow up, our brains gradually develop short-cuts that can sometimes overlook interesting phenomena. The world is full of wonders if we perceive it directly, like a child, even if just for a brief moment.

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Quick sketch of a kid

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Quick sketch of a kid

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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The subject moved around under tricky lighting so I am not sure if I hatched the correct shading.

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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April 4, 2019

Less is more

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 pm
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I put too many strokes in the hair; should just sketch the boundaries among different oriented patches.

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Quick sketch of a train passenger from memory

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Quick sketch of a train passenger from memory

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April 3, 2019

Draw with eyes before hands

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:35 pm
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Messy strokes are usual a reflection of uncertainty or exploration, such as moving subjects or difficult angles. I was able to draw more clearly today after sighting the subjects with sufficient clarity.

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Quick sketch of an evening train sleeper

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Quick sketch of an evening train sleeper

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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April 2, 2019

A day without finding good drawing subjects

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:26 pm
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I had a hard time picking suitable drawing subjects during the day until I settled for this train passenger who slept soundly behind my seat.

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Quick sketch of an evening train sleeper

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Quick sketch of an evening train sleeper

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Employee experience

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:26 pm
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During my lunch people watching in the sandwich place, the lady waiting for her food across from the table started to chat with me.
She was entirely smooth in starting the conversation (along the line of: your lunchbox looks cool) and talking about other topics like office location and work division. She is part of employee experience which explains her style and skill. All I needed to do was to ask her the same questions.

Adversary

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:42 am
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“Hate traps us by binding us too tightly to our adversary.” – Milan Kundera

I guess this is another way to say “don’t get mad, get even.”

April 1, 2019

Retirement

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:33 pm
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I am retiring from CS and spending the rest of my time sketching random people in public places.
🙂

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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Quick sketch of an evening train passenger

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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Quick sketch of a cafe customer

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