Ranch 99 Asian Market Sketches

Soak Squid on Ice, ink & watercolor

Soak Squid on Ice, ink & watercolor

Ranch 99 Asian Market is a great place to sketch on a dark rainy night. The delicate pink of these cleaned whole squids on crushed ice was the first thing to grab my attention. I Googled “soak squid” to see if it was a variety of squid but from what I read, I think it was pre-soaked in milk or buttermilk for several hours to tenderize it.

Hanging fowl, ink & watercolor

Hanging fowl, ink & watercolor

Even though I’ve sketched their hanging fowl before, there were a greater variety this time including one on the right that I thought looked like a rabbit.

Eggplant and Bitter Melon, ink & watercolor

Eggplant and Bitter Melon, ink & watercolor

I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the similar shapes but different colors piled beside each other. I was running out of time before we were to meet but still tried to draw each individual shape as they appeared rather than generalize.

Dragon fruit, ink & watercolor

Dragon fruit, ink & watercolor

The Dragon Fruit again grabbed my attention and one of these days I’ll get around to eating one. I fought the temptation to shop instead of sketching so didn’t bring anything home this time.

Sketching Fish Heads at Ranch 99

Salmon Heads, Ink and watercolor

Salmon Heads, Ink and watercolor

For Tuesday night sketchcrawl we met at Ranch 99 Market inside the Pacific East Mall, an Asian shopping center. I spent most of my sketching time in the fish department, where shoppers can poke and prod a huge variety of whole fish, select the ones they want and hand them to the fish mongers to scale, wash, and carve them into steaks or deep fry them whole in their gigantic deep fat fryer.

Fishmongers, Ink and watercolor

Fishmongers, Ink and watercolor

I didn’t want to get in the way of shoppers (or have my fishy model sold before I could sketch it) so I moved down to the bins of fish heads to sketch. But even in the low rent department my models were being picked over and sold.

Cod Heads, Ink and watercolor

Cod Heads, Ink and watercolor

The catfish (below) had long whiskers that reminded me of Salvador Dali.

Salmon and Catfish Heads, ink and watercolor

Salmon and Catfish Heads, ink and watercolor

We also sat on benches inside the mall and sketched diners at some of the restaurants. That made me hungry and it was getting late so I ordered takeout from Great Szechuan and we called it a night and went home. The dish wasn’t great, made worse by being slopped into in a styrofoam clamshell container instead of a traditional Chinese takeout carton and I didn’t even get a fortune cookie!

Ranch 99 Market, Ink and watercolor

Ranch 99 Market, Ink and watercolor

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