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blue_crab_underwater_by_al_lau

I’m feeling crabbie today. Perhaps from being indoors for so long. But it gives me the chance to do drawings :)

The Blue Crab, a regional seafood delicacy, is commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. In my artwork, I depict the crab as energetic and alive, reaching out for possible food to float by in the strong currents under the sea.

My print is available online. Check it out at my store.

Happy Earth Day and Happy weekend all!

Dungeness Crab Version 2

Along the west coast of America, up to the Pacific Northwest, lives the Dungeness Crab. It is one of the larger family of crabs. Their name is derived from Dungeness, a fish port town in Puget Sound, Washington state. Their lifespan is about 10 years. Commercially caught Dungeness Crabs are usually around 5 years old when their shells reach 6 to 7 inches wide. Crabs grow through a process called molting where it sheds its shell for a new, larger one. Each time this happens, the crab grows 15 to 25%. They can be found in muddy/sandy portions of estuaries with eelgrass, along rocky shores, or as deep as 2000 feet in the ocean where they forage for small fish and invertebrates, such as clams and mussels.

Here is some good news. In a world full of so many threatened species of sea life, Dungeness crabs are actually a very good choice as a sustainable food source.  Regulations is saving the species. For example, in Canada, Dungeness Crab fisheries have catch size limitations. This protects male crabs until they are sexually mature, giving them the chance to spawn before being harvested. Female crabs are also protected by having fishing season restrictions.

What is your favorite prepared way to eat crab?  Mine is Hong Kong-style which is stir-fried in a wok and tossed with soy sauce, green onions, and lots of scrambled egg. Yummy.

I have painted a Dungeness Crab before, however, my approach toward doing watercolor has changed over time, so this is version 2 of the beloved tasty subject.

plesiosaur_vs_dunkleosteus_by_al_lau
Hey fellow bloggers, artists and friends. Sorry for the slow posting. I am camping in Yosemite National Park. I’m lucky enough to have a sliver of connectivity in the villiage so that I can publish this dinosaur drawing of mine.

sketch: giant squid vs whale

September 23, 2011

Two giants of the seas battle each other for dominance. This is an alternate drawing of my giant squid vs whale theme. Perhaps they are not fighting, but actually kissing?

illustration: stone crab

September 17, 2011

The first time I heard about the Stone Crab was when I was in Miami, Florida.  Apparently, they are a favorite dish down there.  When they are caught, the trick is to just take their claws, so that the crustacean can live on and grow back the claw.  Poor crabs.  What a life.

This is the third crab I’ve done in watercolor, in addition to the Blue Crab and the Dungeness Crab.

drawing: blue whale

January 7, 2011


In the ocean hall of the American Museum of Natural History, hangs a life-sized replica of the largest animal on Earth, the Blue Whale.

The is definitely the grandest still-life I had ever drawn. It was extra special to do because groups of school kids would pass behind me and comment. They were amused by my sketching of the enormous subject.

This is my first post of 2011. Happy New Year, everybody!

painting: three trilobites

December 2, 2010

Trilobites were prehistoric anthropods that existed in the waters during early the Cambrian age (525 million years ago) to the Permian age (250 million years ago). Mainly, bottom-feeders, their diet consisted of plankton.

My watercolor painting illustrates three trilobites passing each other in the shallow ocean floor. Naturally, the only evidence of their activity appears in fossil form, but I wanted to depict them as alive. After all, the trilobite species reigned on the Earth for hundreds of millions of years.

illustration: angler fish

April 22, 2010

Based on a real creature from the deepest realm of the sea, this illustration is of an angler fish, and an unsuspecting little guy.

Happy Earth Day, by the way. Let’s do something to help our environment, such as recycle our disposables properly, or bike to our destinations more. Continue good habits every day! Do environmentally sound things so that all creatures, great and small, can live on as naturally as possible.

Have you done something for Earth today?

sketch: prehistoric shark

August 17, 2009

dunkleosteus_chase_fish_sm

The Dunkleosteus, a prehistoric shark, lived in the Late Devonian period, 380-360 million years ago.  It grew to as big as 33 feet in length.

drawing_carboniferous_sm

My pen and ink drawing of sea life found in the Devonian period, 416 to 359 million years ago, during the Paleozoic era.   A print of this is for sale at my shop.

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