Contemporary legend – Sewer alligator

by Daniel Mackie December 07, 2011

My illustration is of a crocodile. This story is about alligators. Alligators are often confused with crocodiles, they belong to two quite separate taxonomic families. However, I love the this story.

It goes like this: in the 1920’s and 1930’s families would return from holiday in Florida and bring back baby alligators to New York City, with the idea of keeping them as pets for their children. When the alligators grew too large for comfort, they’d be flushed down the toilet!

The alligators survived and lived within the sewers and reproduced, eating rats and rubbish, growing to huge sizes and striking fear into the hearts of New Yorkers, who were afraid of what lurked beneath!

This illustration is coming on nicely. As you van see, the head is nearly finished. I used a bit of wet-in-wet technique in areas here, blending the yellow ochre with the green.
crocodile illustration watercolour
Image © Daniel Mackie
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Daniel Mackie
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