Landscape Drawing

I haven’t done landscape drawings for a particularly long time, so I’ve always been daunted by them.  Mainly because I’m really bad at drawing trees, leaves, and textures of landscapes, moreso because I lack experience in doing so.

However, I take particular pride in this drawing. The composition is set up well and there’s a good amount of depth that leaves the reader with amount of interest. Unlike other landscape drawings I done, I decided to leave this without color so that I could be more comfortable with line and tone, which are my weaknesses in my landscape drawings.

What I really enjoyed about today was that I had some opportunity to get away and immerse myself with drawing. One thing we forget easily in society (something I’m trying to practice) is that we tend to do so many things at once, try to be very ambitious to search for a “higher quality of life” that we tend to forget about living simply and being satisfied with what we have. I think nature helps us appreciate that; it’s sad that we don’t design enough places that try to accommodate nature into our cities.

Beijing in 3D, and Updates on Life

Nan Luo Gu Xiang, Beijing

While planning for Mapping Morsels in Oakland Chinatown, I got distracted talking about this map of the different type of restaurants that were in this 3D visualization of a Beijing hutong designed by Lihan-BJ, in terms of idealizing a visually pleasing visualization for urban planning.

I’m still working on my visualization/drawing skills, and probably will be working on more through practicing comics/conversations on nciku. Hopefully, they shouldn’t be too perfect, because I want to work on more of my drawing skills. I’ll scan a whole bunch of comics.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to apply a lot of “human-centered-design” thinking  into Mapping Morsels in Oakland Chinatown; for starters, it is a project that I am working on that answers the question of how food is a integral part of the Chinatown community, and in return, we will make a visually compelling product that shows this (see below for examples).

Types of Food-Related Businesses in Oakland Chinatown

We really don’t know what sort of visual to make, but that’s not the important part; visually compelling is not as important as being able to solve a simple problem, which is easy for designers to get lost in.

This is why the Beijing Map I have is only visually appealing to artists, but doesn’t solve the larger problem of how this can be used for future planning (although that isn’t it’s original intention).

It’s weird; I have many different personality types to balance. I have my very Chinese culture and arts side that really enjoys learning Chinese and Chinese creative youth culture; I have my participatory planning side that comes out of my experience in planning. A part of me wants to learn about the Korean culture.

As a young person, in Chinese, 在这个年龄很不容易决定你 想 做什么 (In this age, it’s not really easy to decide what you want to do). The reason why I try to different things is to try to get a sense of where I belong. To be honest, I don’t know what my future will be in a year from now. All I know is that these steps allow me to get different perspectives in life that will eventually mesh in the end.

Market Street and Embarcredero, San Francisco

Market Street and Embarcredero, San Francisco, facing the City

As part of the Worldwide Urban Sketchers 36th Sketchcrawl, I was walking to find lunch when I noticed a big burst of people coming toward the Ferry Building as they walk toward the Bay (see map). The pedestrians have just walked past a series of tents showcasing various art products, and passing the streetcars, they walk toward the Bay to experience its beautiful weather.

With the San Francisco skyline in the background, the transit lines surrounding the skyline’s perimeter, and the Twin Peaks at the center of the horizon as you move further along Market Street, I had to draw this scene to capture the life of this public space.

Historically, before the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, there was a double-decker freeway above this space, with little or no pedestrian life available as the automobile breezed through into the city. If an opportunity arises, I’d love to do a before and after sketch of the freeway’s effects on the space.

Notes: Used 2B pencil to outline, then used Precise V5 rolling ball pen, and added watercolors.

Graduate Theological Union Sketch

Graduate Theological Union 

Because school is over, I now have more time to sketch.

I look forward to doing at least a sketch a day, practicing a lot of artistic fundamentals. This also means that I will be depending less on Adobe software in order to improve my understanding of art fundamentals.

Anyways, I drew this because I was attracted to how the atrium created a center point for the reading room below; this center point created a sense of circulation and openness, which is exemplified by the skylights above (not seen).

On inspirational illustration work

I should be heading to bed right now, but I am looking at lots of artistic stuff at the moment, that’s keeping me pretty inspired. Here are a bunch of links I want to save (and will read more in detail later).

Stockholm sketching time-lapse video

Wow, I could so imagine getting into a conversation with this person! Just a few things in my head (I have many more, but I need to head to bed).

My sketches, in terms of working with lines/edges, tend to be more rough, filled with many lines at once, whereas the person here took her time with the drawing and drew the edge slowly, avoiding what I do and ending up with crisp, straight, yet simple lines. In terms of my craft, this is something I want to work on, since when I do sketches, I often give myself time-crunches and rush my sketches with those many lines. Is it even possible to sketch quickly while maintaining those crisp, single lines.

Look at the outline of the trees! For people who do not have as much practice with drawing, like I once did, I was used to drawing either a large circle and a tree branch, or drew a bunch of squiggly lines to symbolize the tree leaves. I like how she drew the outline of the tree leaves very carefully with one stroke such that the top of each tree really shows how the leaves sort-of stick out in different ways at the ends and top of the tree.

For advanced sketchers, I know I’m just over-analyzing this, but for me, a person who does not come from a design background (and coming from the group of people who say, “I suck at drawing”), being able to break this sort of thing down into simple terms and elements really help build the foundations for honing the craft in sketching.