Confessions of a researchaholic

July 27, 2019

Digital graffiti experiment

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:33 am
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I like this wall painting at the north-west corner of the 8th and Hope street intersection, and decided to try a digital Banksy.
The wings are too low for their size and span, so anatomically the carrier needs to be very stout. (The original reference is a much taller and thinner person.)

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Digital street drawing

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September 16, 2018

Stanford men’s toilet building

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:25 pm
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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.

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Men's toilet building

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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.

September 13, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:38 pm
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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.

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Airplane, drawing from a photo

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September 9, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:38 pm
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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.

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Airplane, drawing from a photo

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September 8, 2018

Airplane, drawing from a photo

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:05 am
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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.

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Airplane, drawing from a photo

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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
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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.

April 12, 2017

Jedi academy memorabilia

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:02 am

September 26, 2014


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:30 pm


Just be smart and don’t get hurt.

(Really) lonely planet

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:16 pm
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See here

December 25, 2013

Cat pose

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:43 pm
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Cold winter day
Sitting on a warm hood

January 25, 2010


Filed under: Imaginary — liyiwei @ 2:31 pm
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The most muscular pepper I have seen; photo by Edward Weston.

July 31, 2009

Beignets in Cafe Du Monde

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:30 pm
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I had these for breakfast in an extremely hot and humid morning in New Orleans.

Beignets in Cafe Du Monde

June 30, 2009

Hamburg travel

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:21 pm
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This is my second trip to Germany in the last 3 months. People usually do not travel to the same place within such a short period of time, but I went both for conferences: the first one in Munich for an EG09 STAR (see here for more details), and the second one in Hamburg for an ISC09 panel.

Fortunately, Munich and Hamburg are sufficiently different to worth separate travels; in a nutshell, Munich is a more traditional Bavarian city while Hamburg a very international port.

Like Munich, Hamburg has a very good metro system, consisting of S-bahn and U-bahn. I could easily travel from the airport to my hotel via trains. Well, it is not exactly that easy, as after arriving at Dammtor Station near my hotel, I had trouble identifying the right exit for the hotel.

Fortunately, Hamburg residents are very friendly, as for at least 5 or 6 occasions during my entire trip someone volunteered to help. I guess I must look quite lost.

Being a port, Hamburg is a very watery city. On the north of the city center there are two artificial inner city lakes formed by river Alster, Aussenalster (outer Alster Lake) and Binnenalster (inner Alster Lake).

On the south of the city center is the Albe River. Near that is a new construction region named Hafencity.

Rathaus (city hall) is the landmark building of Hamburg city center, containing many shops, restaurants, and historical buildings.

Cafe Paris is one of the restaurants I visited; the vaulted ceiling with large paintings is quite beautiful.

Hamburg also has many museums. Kunsthalle, the art museum, contains two buildings, one for modern art, the other a curious mixture of classical and contemporary work. The two buildings are connected by a very unique underground tunnel.
The ethnology museum near my hotel is also very unique; I especially like the photo room, and was amazed by the ethnic similarity between Chinese and Central Asian, even though the latter is mostly nomadic (i.e. the so called barbarians in Chinese history textbooks).

I also visited the Brahms museum, and discovered that he was a Hamburg native.

Not all buildings in Hamburg are in good condition. St-Nikolai-Kirche, bombarded during WWII, served as a reminder of the wreckage of war.

Rote Flora is perhaps the most salvaged building in Hamburg, but ironically it was one of the few theaters not damaged by the war.

Unlike Munich where local Bavarian food is rampant, the restaurants in Hamburg are quite international, and it is actually not that easy to find really local tastes. Most of the restaurants I visited are quite good (e.g. the whole fish I had in Turnhalle, a restaurant converted from a gymnasium), I still wanted to try some local food. Well, the closest thing I found is in a restaurant named Filmhauskneipe (yes, near a film house); I ordered a plate of whole raw fish and veggie as suggested by the waitress to be truly German food.

For more photos I took during this travel, see here.

May 27, 2009

J.R. Smith

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:52 am
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Nuggets' Smith is hit or miss

April 19, 2009

Patent cube

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:53 pm
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Once in a while the company gave me a little granite (?) cube for a filed patent.

patent cube

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