Home

tiny house 4

May 27, 2017

tiny_house_4_by_al_lau

This is the biggest of my tiny house drawings, so far. Complete with a nice deck, super high ceilings and plenty of windows for natural light!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!

Advertisements

drawing: blue jay

April 15, 2017

blue_jay_by_al_lau

The Blue Jay is a clever North American bird. Although the population of Blue Jays in the eastern US declined after industrialization, they eventually adapted and learned to survive in urban environments. They even expanded their range throughout the midwest. Without even seeing a Blue Jay, their loud squawking is recognizable. Blue Jays are omnivorous, mostly consisting of nuts, seeds and fruit in their diet, they also can eat insects and sometimes rodents.

My birdfeeders are not big enough for the Blue Jay, but sometimes they make a cameo appearance. When they do, it is treat to see them.

Happy Easter and Happy Passover all !

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?

%d bloggers like this: