These sea cucumbers can be over a foot long. They live in not terribly deep water in the Indo-Pacific. Unfortunately they are heavily fished for. I always find it disheartening when I am searching for information on an animal and a lot of the pages that come up are talking about the nutritional information rather than how to save them. That tends to make me think that there are likely not very good conservation efforts going on. Typically there is at least one site that will talk about the generational length. You can't really do that with these, because they regenerate. There is no known average lifespan, they have no idea how long they can live. The last assessment was done in 2010, so although they have not changed the classification to Data Deficient, there really is not much certainty about the current numbers and status of the species.
I painted them like this because I had a feeling if I painted the whole sea cucumber, not only would they be pretty small, but it would also look a bit like a moldy maple bar doughnut. Animals like this are why on my Patreon I do not have as many of the sketches available as you might think I should have. I was going to do a sketch, but I realized I wanted to add the spots with paint as I went along. Drawing them in first was not going to work for me. A sketch would have looked like an arc on a postcard. I know some people really like minimalist art, but it would be a little silly and certainly not something I'd feel comfortable giving to anyone.
I've decided on the first vulnerable animal I am going to paint. I will then sell the painting once it is dry. My guess is I will put it on Etsy, unless someone asks for it on my Facebook or Twitter and I sell it that way. I will be doing the painting over the course of a few days if not more. I don't have to paint it in a single day, so I can go back over things and add even more depth to it. Today all I did was decide on the animal (I'm not telling, it is a secret) and what composition I will be doing. My neck started bothering me though (of course, if you follow the blog you are used to that happening to me) so I had to go use a heating pad. I am doing the paintings to sell larger than the ones that are part of the project. They are being painted specifically to raise money so I can continue doing the smaller ones and it seems right to me that they be larger. Hopefully I can make this work. Maybe I can do a vulnerable one every other week, and use that to not just get the water colour paintings framed, but provide the supplies for the second year's works. I am operating on a weird mix of sad that I don't have more than one Patreon supporter and feeling as if shows will never happen, and seriously optimistic that maybe I can not just get to where I can afford to have them framed and buy supplies, but have money I can put toward conservation right away. Who knows which side of me will win out. I usually say I expect the worst, hope for the best, and then I can be happy with whatever happens.