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trout_watercolor_by_al_lau

Rainbow trout were originally abundant only in North American rivers, then they were introduced to other waters around the world due to its delicious taste and challenge as a fighting game fish. Rainbow trout are generally a smaller cousin to the Salmon fish. They thrive in cold clear water. When you see the presence of trout in a river by you, it is a good indicator that the river is healthy, clean and pristine.

My rainbow trout illustration is done in watercolor.

illustration: clams

January 13, 2017

clams_by_al_lau

The earliest clams first appeared 500 million years ago. Clams are a bi-valve mollusk. Unlike oysters and mussels which need to be anchored to rocks in order to survive, clams burrow themselves within the sandy bottom of the ocean floor.

Although clams may look uninspiring, they play an important part to healthy coastal waters because of their role in filter feeding.

I am experimenting with a new type of art pen which gives me a finer line. It reminds me of when I used Repidograph pens in school. Drawing clams formations is a good exercise for me to study contours and detail. So with my clam sketches, less is more.

illustration: white oak

November 12, 2016

white_oak_tree_leaf_by_al_lau

White Oak hardwood trees grow throughout the central and east part of North America, ranging from Texas up to Maine, also reaching up to Canada. They are described as white oak due to their bark being white-ish, in comparison to their oak cousins. Its acorn nuts provide an important food source for deer, squirrels, blue jays and turkey. A distinct identifier of the white oak is its leaf shape which has seven to nine rounded lobes.

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.

illustration: bluegill

January 15, 2016

bluegill_by_al_lau

If you went fishing as a child and caught your first fish, chances are, that fish was a Bluegill. They are easily caught using a worm on a hook, sinker and bobber. Bluegill are a very common fish in North America, part of the sunfish family. They prefer slow moving waters with plenty of vegetation so that they can hide from larger, quicker predatory fish, like Bass or Pike.

It was fun for me to illustrate the bluegill, because however small they may be, the fish possesses a nice spectrum of colors, much more than just blue.

Do you remember the first fish you caught?

cartoon: the totem

December 30, 2015

totem_by_al_lau_A

totem_by_al_lau_B

totem_by_al_lau_C

Happy Holidays everyone!

dinosaur_footprint_by_al_lau

I did this illustration in watercolour medium. It was fun to do because of all the sandy texture that had to go into it. I wanted to capture the footprints as if they were made recently, hence the sharp nail marks and defined foot pads.

These track imprints in the sand belong to an Allosaurus, or a bipedal theropod, from the Late Jurassic age. The Allosaurus is a carnivorous dinosaur much like its cousin the Tyrannosaurus Rex. All theropods had bird-like clawed feet although their legs were very strong and muscular to chase prey down.

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