"the dark side - four Texas Rangers -late 1920's"

I did this drawing in June, which I decided to call "The Dark Side - Four Texas Rangers - late 1920's". With considerable creative freedom, I took these four characters from my original Texas Ranger's photo. This is a 50" X 70" MONUMENTAL drawing.  While finishing the drawing, I debated with myself (for a brief second) on whether I should put in the rifles, or leave them out. I had the feeling that rifles in a six foot drawing might be a little offensive in that time, the summer of 2015. I decided to be true to the history of the 1920's, and drew in the rifles, but faintly. After all, my grandparents would not have allowed anyone to live in their home, if they did not feel they were good people, and it was 1920. I took the drawing to a class critique at the Houston Museum of Fine Art Glassell Studio school, and sure enough, it was evident to me that at least one person in the class was very uncomfortable with the rifles. The animosity I felt from this one individual regarding this drawing and the rifles was eye opening. I was surprised that this drawing could evoke such unintended emotion.  The smaller piece I did a few months previously did not evoke any negative feelings in a similar critique. After the experience, I hesitated to post this drawing, not wanting to be offensive to anyone or to give the wrong impression. I have since researched the Rangers, and found that they did have a dark side. There is no doubt that many good men were Texas Rangers, however, like many systems of law enforcement you can find corruption and abuse if you look hard enough.  I do know my grandparents would not have tolerated anyone living in their home that were not good men. So I posted this picture, aware that there is a dark side to the Texas Rangers, but ultimately deciding not to condemn all for the poor decisions of a few. Further evaluating what caused this image to evoke such a negative emotion, I think it has to be the dark shadows. The shadows make these men very sinister, but the truth is, these men probably did not even realize they were standing on the dark side of the rock wall. On a lighter note, I was very happy with the use of the negative space, and how the lack of detail in the images gives the piece energy.