The Winged Eagle Championship
Ink, watercolor, spray and acrylic on 30″ x 22″ watercolor paper
A lot of people have been asking me for a long time to do this series so I reckon it’s time I start listening to you. I’m on record as not being a fan of painting championship belts, mostly because of the detail and precision needed. Then it hit me that the problem was with myself and how I was approaching the ‘problem’. I needed to find a more organic way to work to give you what you’ve been wanting from me.
On New Year’s Eve I did a retrospective on Twitter of the paintings I did for Canvas 2 Canvas in 2018 and talked a bit about each one. The painting for Pete Dunne was done in a modified approach I’d been developing over the past couple of years and it hit me: This would work perfectly for the Championship Series.
I started with the classic ‘Winged Eagle’ version of the World Championship after I did a poll online asking folks what their favorite belts are and overwhelmingly this was the very favorite. I mean, it’s the one Bret Hart held and I’ve always heard other wrestlers say they wanted to hold the title that Bret held, like, that’s the real deal. I’ve never taken a bump in the ring and likely never will, so I’m going to trust their judgment on this one!
Here’s the logic I use to help you follow along. This may get weird, so let’s get weird together. I’m doing five tones: Black, Dark Midtone, Midtone, Light Midtone and White. Instead of doing black, white and greys I use color. What I did was put down a layer of blue watercolor for the midtone, then black ink applied slapdash with a large sumi brush. Once that dried, I applied a misting of spray paint using a mix of orange, red and gold. That attaches to the black creating the dark midtone while also sitting over any unpainted areas creating the light midtone. Then I put some ink in again but not in all of the same spots I had before, just the ones I want to be the darkest. After that dried, I applied white acrylic paint for the highlights and blammo, we’ve got a painting of a championship (not a belt, they’re not called belts, I swear, repeat with me, they’re not belts)!
I plan on releasing a new Championship Series entry around once a month or so. I have a feeling folks are going to like these, especially the title belt collectors who need something to take that collection to the next level! Yes, I called it a ‘title belt’. Deal with it.