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Water Mob
posted: September 26, 2007
"And if I see ANY grass growing, I'm coming back!"...
Around these parts we generally have green lawns, kids running through sprinklers on a hot day and such an abundance of water that it seems to just fall from the sky. I’m told that it’s not like that everywhere though, especially in the Southwest.

This was done for a small alternative weekly in Santa Fe – The Santa Fe Reporter. The story is about how the local authorities have taken to using strongarm tactics against the top ten water use abusers in the area. Angela Moore,  the AD, suggested a mob type in a threatening position. Kinking up the hose like he was breaking a leg got the idea of “You might want to turn the faucet OFF”across. A couple of years ago I told myself that I would no longer do much work for these small weeklies where I got my start, but I’m often drawn back by the lure of interesting stories and almost complete artistic freedom. Let’s face it, I like working, period.

When we first moved into our house back in the nineties we had to put a new lawn in, and after spending a few grand on the whole process, I’d be damned if I let it all go to waste and not water the sucker. Of course, there were water restrictions in place (even after a record rainfall that spring), and the local inspector happened to drive by while I had the sprinkler going and he gave me a ticket for about $50. So now I NEVER water my lawn.  It is mysteriously green though.
A particularly unattractive piece of reference....
18 comments
Alex Murawski September 26, 2007
Timely, sweaty piece. So you have water that falls from the sky up there? What must that be like I wonder? I've only heard stories.... didn't think they were true.
Steve Wacksman September 26, 2007
Good 'un, Dale! I had a chuckle over the sweat stains. I like seeing the reference photos, too. Whenever I try taking reference photos they never seem to actually help; they're always a bit off from what I had in mind and wind up being no help whatsoever.
Peter Cusack September 26, 2007
Nice! Really smart way of treating the locale . . . big powerful hands. The more I look the more I see . . . the rain drops, the bulge in the hose, the beautiful rendering of his expression. Outa sight.
Carl Wiens September 26, 2007
Great piece, Dale. Love all the details here. I recognized your features in this right away. I guess you finally get to be the tough guy! (what you'd look like if you had Barry Bonds trainer)
daveB September 26, 2007
cool illo - man remember Santa Fe? Good times.... I think its where I first laid eyes on the hairless legs of Stephanos
Bob Staake September 26, 2007
dale, i'll give you a medal if ONLY because you had the balls to take on a rendering of a crimped hose.
Steve Brodner September 26, 2007
Really, really nice piece.
Dale Stephanos September 27, 2007
Alex - Really, the stuff just drops right out of the sky. It's doing it now. Wax - I always draw a sketch first and then shoot reference based on the that. If I do it the other way around I get stuck. Peter, Carl, Bob, Steve - Thanks! Dave - Santa Fe was fun...I think. I only remember bits and pieces.
Brian Stauffer September 27, 2007
You must have been working with Angela Moore out there, eh? She's a good one for artistic freedom. Very strong.
Tim O\'Brien September 27, 2007
This is Dale if he didn't ride 500 miles a week: 100 pounds heavier and really angry. Good one.
Rob Dunlavey September 27, 2007
This is a fun post Dale. And a hilarious illustration too.
John Dykes September 27, 2007
Nice one, Dale! I saw the resemblance at first sight... but thought it could have also been your uncle.
Peter Hermann September 27, 2007
WOW those hands are amazing Dale. great painting.
Mike Moran September 27, 2007
If those knuckles looked anymore realistic, I swear they would jump out the monitor and pop me in the jaw! Real nice work Dale.
rag September 27, 2007
I'm shutting my water off right now.
Christoph Hitz September 27, 2007
Dale, The final with your reference photo is a riot.
Mark Fisher September 28, 2007
Dale, Really nice face.
Brad October 26, 2007
This blurs the line between illustration and photo manipulation. It's a nice concept and well executed. The reference piece gives away WAY too much though. The perspective is cool, but the use of the photograph in such a literal way seems to flatten everything a bit. It almost looks like you are holding the final piece (meaning the actual print) on a perspective with the bottom edge closest to you. I think this has to do with the photo-realistic mouth, nose, eyes, hands and hose against the relatively soft suit and backdrop. It goes from edgy/photo-like to painterly and the background is sort of surreal. All of that put together gives the composition a very intriguing, yet somewhat confusing, space. Still a great composition and concept. B
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