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salmon_life_E_by_al_lau
Our salmon has another near brush with danger.
Will he make it to his destination?

I wasn’t sure whether to include this moment in Salmon’s life, but I wanted to be as candid as possible. Sorry. I don’t want to be a downer. I just want to share awareness and the importance of sustainablility on our precious planet. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a very good chart, detailing which kinds of fish are threatened and which fish are okay to harvest.

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

The quick and nimble Plesiosaurus encounters the megashark, Dunkleosteus. Both creatures were deep sea dinosaurs from the prehistoric seas of early Earth. Check out my illustration which is available at my store now.

There can only be one alpha predator. Who do you think will win this battle?

sketch: salmon shark

January 7, 2016

salmon shark_by_al_lau

It’s a bummer to be a salmon in a world where everybody loves to eat salmon steak and sushi. It’s even worse when salmon have an apex predator stalking them called a Salmon Shark. This is my sketch of a salmon shark on the prowl. He kinda turned out cute. Almost huggable.

photography: california

June 19, 2015

yosemite aerial

monterey_247

monterey_147

napa_7113

napa_7064

napa_6932

wente_vineyard_748

santa cruz_632

santa cruz_605

A few photos I took while in California. Quite a nice experience for the senses where everything is big. It included many grandiose views of the ocean, the mountains and of course, wine tasting in Napa Valley.

blue crab (remastered)

November 13, 2014

blue crab v2

This is the latest version of my watercolor of the blue crab. I am glad with how it turned out. And guess what. The print is available in my little store . They will be selling like hot Crab Cakes. So get your print today while supplies last!

sketch: horseshoe crab

September 18, 2014

horseshoe_crab_by_al_lau

illustration: blue crab

August 28, 2014

blue_crab_by_al_lau

I’ve painted this crab species before, though the creative process feels fresh because it’s been over a year ago and I use a different crabbie for reference. Plus, this particular Blue Crab is displaying a wonderful spectrum of colors which is a pleasure for me to do in watercolor.

illustration: ichthyosaur

March 28, 2014

ichthyosaur_by_al_lau_A
Ichthyosaurs first appeared in the Triassic age, then flourished during the Jurassic up to the Cretaceous. Ichthyosaurs are an early relative of today’s dolphins – built for speed and equipped with razor sharp teeth. In my artwork, it is a prehistoric “dinner for two” as I display them in hot pursuit for a school of fish.

grouper_by_al_lau
Groupers are solitary fish that can swallow their prey whole by inhaling through their powerful mouths and gills. Due to their stout shape, groupers cannot swim fast or far. Instead, they hover near the bottom, virtually disappearing with complex camouflage skin patterns against the rocks or coral reef.

If the Goliath Grouper wasn’t threatened by over-fishing pressure, they could live as long as 50 years. Its slow growth and low reproductive rate doesn’t help its population either.

The largest recorded capture of a Goliath Grouper in Florida weighed over 650 pounds.

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