Although she was only saying the school’s name, she seemed to hold a lot of pride as she pronounced each letter with emphasis. Laurong heard the girl’s words and clapped his hand as if he finally remembered.
“Right, Parsons. That really expensive place. She’s going there this year as a freshman.”
“Uncle, what do you mean Parsons is expensive. If it’s about Parson, it’s a manageable school.”
Jinho almost spat out the water he was drinking at the girl’s words.
Parsons’ tuition is manageable? When applying, the school checked the applicant’s bank account, and if it thought it didn’t hold up to the school’s standard, it was impossible to get in; that was Parsons. Of course, once Jinho finishes his portfolio, he would apply to Parsons as a first choice, but if he couldn’t get a scholarship he wouldn’t even dream to getting in.
At Jinho’s rather strong reaction, the girl looked at his face in surprise and handed him a napkin this time.
“Wipe your mouth.”
Jinho carefully took the napkin from the girl’s hand and wiped his mouth. Laurong who was watching the exchange suddenly snapped his fingers.
“Come to think of it Jinho young man said he was applying to art college. Are you two perhaps doing similar majors? Why not have a talk with each other?”
“Art college applicant?”
“Ah, yes. For now… I’m preparing a portfolio to apply for next fall.”
“What are you planning to major in?”
“Hm, for now I’m thinking about going for illustration. It’s not decided yet, though.”
For the first time, the girl’s eyes became curious. Pushing a dish in front of her to a corner of the table, the girl leaned towards Jinho and asked. At the same time, an unknown scent of flowers floated aromatically toward Jinho and tickled his nose.
“If you’re aiming for the fall term, there’s about two months left, no? Your portfolio should be almost finished now.”
At the girl’s question, Jinho felt like his lungs were being pierced. Forget finishing, he barely did the introductory pieces. But since he couldn’t lie, Jinho answered truthfully.
“There were some circumstances and I finished just three pieces so far…”
“Just three pieces?”
When she heard Jinho’s answer, the girl’s curiosity disappeared as quick as it came.
To say he’s only prepared three pieces for a project that needs at least twenty works. Naturally the girl’s expectations turned to disappointment. But even so, she was still curious about Jinho’s works and continued to ask.
“Do you perhaps have photos of your work? If it’s not rude, I want to see a bit.”
“Ah, yes. I did take some with the phone on me. Just a second.”
Jinho took his phone out of his pocket, turn off the lock and opened the photos.
The most recent three shots were the pictures Jinho made, so there wasn’t any difficulty finding them. At first he was only going to show it to the girl, but Laurong seemed to have gotten curious too and stood behind Jinho to look at the artworks.
The girl saw Jinho’s works and quietly groaned.
It was same for Jinho. As he got a chance to look over his artwork again, Jinho creased his brows and scratched his head.
‘Why’s there so many problems in the picture?’
It wasn’t just one or two places that needed work.
“It seems that overall there’s a lot of pieces that need a bit of editing.”
Soon as Jinho finished his thought, the girl’s red lips opened, and her honest opinion slipped through.
Jinho nodded in agreement. When Jinho slightly closed his left eye the picture shined staggeringly as bright as a light bulb. It meant that the picture was lacking so much, it needed that much editing.
The two looked at a landscape painting out of the three works first, and continued their talk.
Jinho touched the phone’s screen and expanded the photo of the picture.
“Firstly the color palette. The background is cold but the objects might be too warm… Of course it does make the objects stand out, but it loses the meaning of landscape painting. For the attention to go to the person in the front rather than the whole picture… drawing a person in a landscape painting isn’t bad, but there’s too much focus gathered there.”
“And look at the organization. It’s crammed into the center too much. This kind of organization isn’t interesting. Perhaps if the structure was turned a bit more diagonally, it would’ve been more interesting. And here, did you perhaps attempted dripping?
It’s a technique for dropping color using a wet brush to achieve a special effect.
At the corner of the picture the girl’s white finger pointed, there were marks of paints, painted in their original hues, formed into drops and left to dry just like the girl asked. Jinho looked over the part the girl pointed to and turned red. That wasn’t an attempt at dripping.
“… It’s probably paint that splashed from improperly dried brush.”
“That’s too much of an amateur mistake… this has to be definitely fixed. If you sent the portfolio in as it is, it’ll definitely be disqualified.”
“You’re right. Not just that, but there are places that wasn’t properly colored… there’s lot of lacking parts.”
Jinho greatly agreed to the girl’s words and continued to criticize.
No, Jinho’s evaluation was precise enough to be called perfect appraisal. But because the girl agreed to most of them, she simply continued to nod at Jinho’s words.
From time to time, if the girl pointed something out, Jinho would notice multiple problems that extended from that point and shocked the girl.
And somehow it ultimately came to a point where Jinho was the one talking and the girl was simply agreeing to his evaluation.
It was while halfway through evaluating the third artwork that she felt something was off.
The girl slightly parted her small lips and with round eyes stared quietly at Jinho’s side. Without any words, nor response, she quietly stared at Jinho’s face and listened to his words.
After an unknown amount of time.
Jinho who realized the girl’s sharp gaze realized that only he was talking, and muttered ‘oops’ as he lowered his head to the girl.
“I’m sorry. I got excited on my own and talked by myself. I should’ve asked your opinions…”
“Oh no, that’s okay. But are these works not the ones you drew?”
Seeing Jinho asking in return, the girl smirked and tilted her head.
“You said that these are your works, but I don’t understand how you notice so many faults. Usually one would ask his friends to judge his work because it’s hard for one to see flaws in one’s own work, but when I listen to Mr. Jinho… it doesn’t feel as if you’re looking at your own artwork…”
The girl’s question was right on the point.
Because the artist himself would know the meaning and the subject within his own work, because the artist knows his work too well, often artists would have hard time finding faults in their own work. But to Jinho it wasn’t a problem. Listening to Jinho’s merciless evaluation that points out faults in places where one would usually try to protect, even the girl herself who was simply listening in felt as if she herself was being criticized.
At the girl’s sudden question, Jinho instead panicked. How should he explain this situation? Jinho decided to for now answer vaguely and change the subject.
“Ah, that is. Now that I’m looking at it on a phone with someone else, I feel can see the parts I normally don’t understand and see better. That is, come to think of it I haven’t asked your name. May I ask what your name is?”
“It’s Fei Ling. My friends simply call me Fei.”
“Ah ah, it seems that since I’m looking at it with Fei Ling, thanks to your knowledge I seem to see better… well anyhow it feels like it.”
At Jinho’s dubious explanation, Fei Ling narrowed her eyes.
For a while Fei Ling stared at Jinho’s face. At the same time, a cold sweat rolled down Jinho’s back.
‘Did she… not fall for it?’
As Jinho wondered if the explanation was too vague and tried to add more meat to it, Fei Ling finally opened her mouth.
“That does happen. When I was first learning to draw, my sights opened up when the teacher was next to me. Well, it’s rather weird, but it’s understandable.”
At Fei Ling’s words Jinho sighed inwardly in relief. But Fei Ling’s words didn’t end there.
“But from the perspective of painting skills you seem a bit lacking… instead you seem to have more potential for critiquing so why not hold a pen instead of a brush?”
“Ah, did I perhaps say something rude?”
Jinho quickly shook his head.
Fei Ling’s words weren’t wrong. Without a doubt there were many problems in his artwork. But the one who became angry at Fei Ling’s words was Laurong who was listening in behind them.
“Fei! What are you saying! Are you saying that you’re already good enough to judge someone else’s talent?”
“That’s not it uncle, that’s not what I meant.”
“That’s right, Mr. Laurong. Honestly these pictures have a lot of problems. And I was the one who criticized most of them. Miss Fei Ling isn’t wrong. If there’s a problem it’ll be in me who still haven’t draw the artworks properly.”
“Hm, if you say so…”
When Jinho came to Fei Ling’s defense, Laurong’s accusation was greatly discourage. But he still looked as if he didn’t understand the situation.
“But the painting you gave me was really worth exclaiming in awe. Che, what in the…”
“Hey, if you have strength to chat like that, go clean the house and take out the trash. If we don’t today, we’ll have to wait until the weekend.”
“Ah, got it.”
At the wife’s scolding, Laurong reluctantly got up.
As the meal was almost over, everyone started to clean up. Jinho stood up to help clear the table, and Fei Ling too gathered her dishes and placed them on the sink.
And a following tea time. This time the conversation went between Jinho and the wife.
“Hah, what kind of tea is this? It’s my first time drinking but it’s really clear.”
“Hoho, it’s a local speciality from my hometown back in China. Quite tasty, no?”
“Yes, really. Thanks to today, I feel my horizon on food and tea has gotten bigger.”
“Oh my, what an exaggeration. Do come to eat dinner again. At that time I’ll make different dishes for you.”
“Thank you very much. At that time, I won’t come empty handed again.”
“Just your words are enough. Ho ho.”
Jinho squeezed his fist and exclaimed inwardly.
If I can eat dinner like this again I’ll definitely come holding something, and thinking such.
At that moment someone softly tapped on Jinho’s shoulder.
Fei Ling, who had been uncomfortably sipping tea next to Jinho, gingerly talked to Jinho.
“I’m sorry about before.”
< Miracle Drawing! 4. > End
Translator : CSV
Proofreader : Kuhaku