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SHAWN MICHAELS: HANDS OFF THE MERCHANDISE

Shawn Michaels

Ink and watercolor on watercolor paper

Artwork by Rob Schamberger

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When I've made a lot of paintings of someone, as I have with Shawn Michaels, I have to find ways to keep it fresh and interesting both for myself and for the person (you!) looking at the painting. One way I do that is to study the artists who inspire me to find something I can in turn apply to my work.

See, it's all just problem solving at the end of the day. How did this other artist use these tools, brushstrokes, colors and compositions to create something that looks a certain way? Studying that always teaches me something, or inspires me to experiment.

This time around it hit me that some of the things that noted French fashion artist Rene Gruau did would translate to a Shawn Michaels piece, notably dropping out the background and anything other than the pattern of the clothes, especially with the zebra-stripe gear Shawn was wearing at this time.

I know, it's weird and anachronistic to look at a French fashion artist when thinking how to paint a portrait of one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time, but dang if it didn't work out tremendously.