Confessions of a researchaholic

July 31, 2020

Decomposition

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 8:48 pm
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The disintegration of a dead body is its reintegration back to the nature, and inspires me to decompose my sketching.

July 29, 2020

Library outdoor pickup

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:30 pm
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I walked up to the wait area, told the librarian my name, and received the book in a shopping bag.

July 28, 2020

Gift from the cat

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:02 am
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The neighborhood black cat seemed to express his affinity by occasionally laying dead rats around the house.
I spotted this one in the backyard earlier this morning, but it disappeared when I tried to draw it in the evening; fortunately I have a reference photo taken earlier for backup.

July 26, 2020

Memory of a silverfish 衣魚

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:55 pm
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I spotted a silverfish in the morning, which reminded me of those I constantly saw in my grandfather’s numerous ancient Chinese texts, which he refused to throw away any despite repeated demands from my grandmother. (Is this house for people or books to live in? 這房子是給人還是給書住的?)

He started to teach me classical Chinese when I was in kindergarten, and told me several important and unconventional lessons, such as: do not trust everything in the history books, better to beat others with my brain instead of my fists, and never let others control my thoughts and actions.

July 25, 2020

Breakfast memory

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 8:40 pm
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I drew from visual memory a cut avocado that has been a regular part of my breakfasts.

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Breakfast memory – oil paint with #adobefresco

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July 24, 2020

Lack of energy

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:23 pm
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I did not bring out the underlying energy in this exercise of sketching secondary dynamic effects, and thus most of them look lethargic.

July 23, 2020

Hand steadiness experiment

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:47 pm
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I drew two circles by my left and right hands with onion skinning over multiple frames, and observed the circular animation caused by unsteady hand motions.

July 22, 2020

Lonely excavator claw

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:22 pm
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I saw this excavator claw sitting alone on the road side a few days ago, and walked back to sketch it.
The road is meandering and thus the car traffic can be a bit dangerous for pedestrians.
Fortunately, I can stand on the down-wind side of the claw, under the protection of its size and weight.

July 20, 2020

Road roller

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:08 pm
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I saw this road roller parked at the corner of a nearby fire station, which has a nice low wide stone wall for me to sit comfortably while sketching.
The connectors between the wheel/drum axes and the body seemed obstructive while on site, so I skipped them but found them pivotal for the structure and composition after the first drawing.
I came back to add the connectors the next evening.

July 19, 2020

Mamba graduation wine bottle

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 8:46 pm
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This is my first graphic design, to celebrate the graduation of my last HKU PhD student who derived her nickname from the black mamba.
(I managed to help her publishing top papers but not converting her from LAL to GSW.)

Source svg file

Inspiration:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CCvFXuEpjPD

Source graphics:
wine bottle
graduation hat
the black mamba

July 18, 2020

Mailboxes

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:13 pm
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I was trying to draw a temple building but lacked enough time before the evening closure, so I switched to another nearby scene.

July 17, 2020

How to choose faculty jobs for research universities

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:55 pm
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The first rule, which you will also hear from others, is to choose a place that can attract top graduate students whom you can work with, because that is the main attraction for being a professor in a research university.

After that, consider other factors, like funding and geography (and thus why I went to HKU as a professor).

July 16, 2020

草草了事 undeleted from a restless afternoon

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:31 pm
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I was trying to sketch Dona Arguello‘s statue from a sliver of shaded area in a hot afternoon but could not gather enough interest within the allocated half hour, so I deleted the file, but restored it to continue from memory at home.

July 15, 2020

Dragon fruit peel

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:30 pm
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After eating the dragon fruit, I drew its peel to memorize it.

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Dragon fruit peel – oil paint via #adobefresco

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July 13, 2020

Pencil and pen sketch of an unlit corner after sunset

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:18 pm
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I went out after 8 pm to this interesting and yet unlit corner of my neighborhood, to force myself to either draw quickly before it was too dark and/or finish the rest from visual memory back home.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCm_h8RHb5h/

July 10, 2020

Hand exercise pine cone

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:28 pm
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When I picked up this pine cone it was still oozing sap, and has remained on my desk as an aroma source and hand exercise instrument.

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✋ exercise pinecone #adobefresco

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July 6, 2020

Sitting across from the black cat opposite a glass panel

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:00 pm
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The neighborhood black cat often came to visit.
The sketch is a composition based on two photographs.

July 4, 2020

Drawing a composition of evening sun and moon

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:54 pm
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This composition is astronomically implausible (unless there are multiple suns above the horizon) but I felt like doing it after seeing the evening sun and moon at opposite ends of the sky.

July 3, 2020

Sketching after a photo of a sketching scene

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:55 pm
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My father shared some photographs of this drawing scenes, which I could draw from and connect to his works and travels.

July 1, 2020

A spider on a flower

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 9:47 am
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A spider, resting on a lamp shade, scurried away after being gently poked by me to see if it was still alive.

This exercise aimed to reproduce my impression of its movement, but over a flower as captured by an earlier photograph of another spider instead of the lamp shade.

I drew the flower and the spider in multiple layers via Fresco, exported the pdf file to Illustrator to animate the spider via puppet warp, and assembled the final video from the individual spider layers/frames along with the flower.

Even with puppet warp, the authoring process still involved tedious manual repetitions, which can be alleviated by autocomplete.

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Painting a spider on a flower #adobefresco

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ffmpeg -framerate 32 -start_number 0 -i frame_%02d.jpg -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf scale=1024×1024 SpiderOnFlower32fps.mp4

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