Confessions of a researchaholic

December 31, 2019

Pocket-size watercolor

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:19 pm

My dad gave me a watercolor sketch book and a watercolor paint set, both in pocket size.

This is the first pencil sketch and watercolor experiment.

View this post on Instagram

Pocket size watercolor sketch book

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

I did another watercolor for a guava. My dad said I approached watercolor with many dense strokes, and showed me how to use a sparse set of quick, watery strokes.

View this post on Instagram

Physical watercolor experiment

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

December 29, 2019

Some good stuff in Taiwan compared to the US

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:45 am

Every time I traveled to another country (Taiwan at this moment of writing) I almost always observed something nice that I wish could exist in my current resident country (which would be the US right now).

The top item will be medical service, always.
With a universal health insurance, you only have a small amount of out-of-pocket co-payment and hospitals (for non-serious issues) are as common as convenient stores.
But that has been the case since decades ago.
A few relatively newer things I noticed are:

Have you ever had difficulty finding your cars in a large parking area?
Some parking garages in Taiwan already have systems to automatically scan the license plate of your car when it enters, guide you through available spaces, and tell you where your car is when you access the pay kiosk. (I could imagine a mobile app version.)

There is this company, Owndays, which can make eyeglasses on-site in about 20 minutes, from measurement to lens making and glass fitting, with very reasonable price.
In the US, even with Warby Parker, you would still wait for days.

December 28, 2019

Analogy of blog versus social network

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:01 am

Social networks are like loud parties, blogs are like quiet libraries.

December 27, 2019

A shrimp dish

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:17 pm
Tags: ,

Someone commented that the shrimp doesn’t seem very appetite, but the lemon is crisp and eye-catching.
Then I realized that I should add more highlights to the shrimp to make it appear fresher and oilier.

View this post on Instagram

A shrimp dish – watercolor #adobefresco

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

December 25, 2019

Portrait painting from memory

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:32 pm
Tags: ,

I saw this face sitting opposite to me on a metro train, and drew it from memory after coming home.

Drawing from memory is the next step after drawing from sighting, with the additional involvement of (long term) visual memory.

View this post on Instagram

Oil painting a face from memory #adobefresco

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

December 22, 2019

Incorrectly proportioned portrait sketch

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:51 pm

December 21, 2019

Mobile sketch

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:49 am

Unlike a (paper or digital) drawing pad, a cell phone usually accompanies me on the go, which can be handy for quick sketches.

View this post on Instagram

Quick sketch on a moto x4 phone #autodesksketchbook

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

December 17, 2019

Volcker rule

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:47 pm

I drew this on a long distance flight inspired by a photo of Paul Volcker.

View this post on Instagram

Volcker rule #adobefresco

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

December 14, 2019

Drawing a dessert from photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:53 pm
Tags: ,

The transparency is not quite right.

View this post on Instagram

Sorbet raisin white wine dessert #adobefresco

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

Quick sketch of a cafe customer

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:53 pm

Mainly to compare Adobe Photoshop Sketch with Autodesk Sketchbook which can record time lapse on mobile phones.

View this post on Instagram

Quick sketch on a moto x4 phone #autodesksketchbook

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

December 13, 2019

Quick sketch during a meeting

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:55 pm

View this post on Instagram

Quick sketch during a meeting #adobefresco

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

Afterwards, my colleagues are having beers, while I just want some hot chocolate.

December 10, 2019

Quick sketch of a break-away body part

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:15 pm
Tags: ,

while I can still feel it.

I need to be gentler to my own body, which no longer heals like the Wolverine.

View this post on Instagram

Quick sketch of a break away body component

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

Rotten orange sequence

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:14 pm

Mold growing on an orange reminds me of humans growing on earth; the natural instinct is to consume available resources until nothing is left.
I doubt if humans have the collective discipline for sustainable living.

View this post on Instagram

Drawing a rotting orange

A post shared by Kublai (@kub1ai) on

PS: Orange mold should be safe for humans, but it started to smell weird so I finally dumped it in the compost bin.

December 5, 2019

Networking/recruiting events

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:23 pm

Personally, I never found networking/recruiting events very useful, especially those requiring registration fees.
It is OK to go to parties to have fun and increase the chance of random encounters, but networking by itself is a quite shallow goal.
All my best and deepest connections and recruits are established via other means, mostly shared interests.

It is much better to spend time and efforts to motivate others to find us, which in turn can help networking and recruiting.

I am not the only one saying these; see also here and here.

December 3, 2019


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:17 pm
Tags: ,

Confidence is not about knowing I am good at something; instead, it is about sucking at the bottom and still being able to win.

I did two drawings on a long distance flight.
The first one I drew from memory, taking me a lot of time and still sucks.
The second one I drew from a frozen in-flight movie frame in only a few minutes.
I wish everything can go as smoothly as the second drawing, but life moves forward regardless.

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at