Sunday, February 04, 2007

John Cena is A Bump-Lunk!

Maybe that doesn't quite rhyme with 'erumpent' like I wanted it to... never mind.

I've been suffering for my art... I just said 'Right! If I'm going to draw John Cena, I'm going to do it properly.' I had been floundering in indecision, but now I was going to make the sacrifices necessary to see this task through.

But sifting through the reference material was not always easy on the peepers.

john cena flat top crew cut

(I also referred to this problem on my wordy blog)

Bless his big flat topped rectangular foam wax head.

With this subject, it was kind of a case of 'You can't spoof a spoof'... I actually found it quite hard to get the drawings funnier or more strikingly extreme-looking than the original.

Or... to capture some aspect of the uniqueness of the original and play on it til the cows come home.

He does look sometimes like his arms are on backwards. And that's not the only feature he has in common with Fred Flintstone.

In the past I compared Cena to Poochie from that Simpsons episode that parodied focus-group thinking. Well, that was a little bit unfair. Even though it was true. Cena's designated wrestling persona did in the past make him into an extremly undignified human vehicle for the most unedifying corporate version of the 'tude' that John K described on his blog recently....

But he's a good stick really, is Cena. Watch him fly!

In real life, he appears to possess no 'tude, no pride, vanity, shame, grace, or feminine characteristics. He's also a walking epitome of 'uglycute'. Well, I say 'walking'... he doesn't appear overly good at activities that involve coordinating more than one limb.

When I do these drawings, I start off comparatively careful, with my observational head on...

But then there comes a stage where I'm suddenly faced with a plethora of possibilities... oh no!

Sometimes when I feel I'm gaining control, it makes me feel drunk with power... other times indecision leaves me befuddled. What is my ultimate aim? Moody intense paintings? Cute lighthearted cartoony designs? Involved, extreme caricature? The ability to draw Cena from memory? A striking image for a myspace comment (that's slightly depressing..)

A lot of the decision seem to boil down to 'mood'. Do I want to do something joyful and silly, or something that caters to all my high faluting serious propensities...

Not that the two things HAVE to mutually exclude each other, it may be like a continuum... or it may be that I have to find a way to be serious while infusing my pictures with joy.

I have said that I find it possible to 'get past' a subject and into my own intent once I learn the subject really, really well.

Well gosh I'm having fun with this for the time being.

P.S. apologies to John C and his friends and family, I didn't mean to be mean or anything. All insults are delivered with affection.

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Chloe Cumming said...

On reflection, the bottom face with the blue eyes on the bottom image is the one that looks the most like him. And yet, I find that drawing quite clumsy.

But this might make sense. John is a clumsy man. Perhaps in this case, trying to make the drawings too graceful or asymmetric or delicate is likely to damage the Cena-ness.

It's something about the positioning and shape of the mouth, and the shape of the eyes... the chin is unsatisfactory.

Marlo Meekins said...

you are becoming an amazing caricature artist! really fucking great stuff!!!

i'll update my blog and hopefully give you some more traffic !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, nice shading and construction!

Chloe Cumming said...

Marlo! Ahhg you're back!

Thanks and yeah! Get your act together and update, woman.

I do actually want to pick up where I left off with these and get more extreme with the caricature... among other plans... these were sort of about getting some kind of feeling of dimensionality and some of the sense of the subject's peculiar face and how it attaches itself to bodily stubbyness.

At the moment I've sort of moved onto women, and I'm oil painting again, but all this drawing practice has given me a new way into it. More on this shortly I expect.

Thanks Jorge! Come back and see me again sometime! No one comments this blog any more. *sob*

Scott said...

Chloe! I'm too dumb for you!

katzenjammer studios said...

Haha, these are great Chloe! So solid. I gotta say that I'd like to see more like that little bear that creeped into the sketch you posted.

I like your style, the blockiness and weight really caters well to the subject matter. But on the other hand, does every wrestler's personality call for him to be hewn out of stone? To capture a specific personality, you might consider different treatments for different wrestlers. I think you're starting with the noodly bodies (like the bottom picture). I really like those. It makes him feel awkward. Keep it up!

Chloe Cumming said...

Hi Katzenjammer,


Well, Cena is particularly concrete-like.

There are other wrestlers who are more squirly and effete and I would treat them thusly.

These drawings were all an effort to get a feel for the whole body and how it relates to the head... like a test for my own eyes and my dexterity, so I'd 'learn Cena'... I still might take these as the first stage in a process and push it further out in any direction.

mez said...

I really like your work! It has a very organic flow. Awesome squash and stretch. Keep it up!

Chloe Cumming said...

Wow, I've never heard the phrase 'squash and stretch' associated with anything I've done before... I feel like a cartoonist this wednesday!

Shawn said...

Wow! This is really cartoony compared to your usual stuff! Of course I really like your "usual stuff" a lot too...but this is some tippemost toppermost Cloeness! I looove it!

Marc Deckter said...

Thanks for the recent comment, Chloe! I'm trying to make posts again - sorry for the dry spell!

I especially like the 4th image down John Cena with the Little Orphan Annie eyes!

Chloe Cumming said...

Hi Shawn

I know they're more cartoony. I couldn't help myself. For one thing, I can't resist the pull of all the pro-cartoony propaganda from John K. And secondly, John Cena is so cartoony and funny looking in real life that I really have to force my drawings quite cartoony for in order to make them have any entertainment-advantage over the original.

Chloe Cumming said...

Oh and if I'm being honest... they're more cartoony because I really want to learn to loosen up more... I'm trying to instigate an organic kind of process with these where shapes and forms evolve into something that has intrinsic character and appeal... and 'organic' is really helped along by a looseness of handling and a natural spontaneity in generating design ideas, which is in turn helped along by getting to grips more with cartoon principles like construction, which allow me more control over my subjects and my intentions for them. I don't want to be rigidly enslaved to source material, I'd like to be able to take on some kind of cosmic puppetmaster role here.

I have a feeling that if I take the time to master certain principles in drawing, all of my work will be improved, even if 'cartoony' is not my final destination.

I've already noticed an improvement in my ability to paint 'with flair' and focus since I've put more time into honing (through drawing and studying killer draftspeople) my fundamental sense of design and the challenges of conscientiously and creatively positioning three dimensional forms in 2D picture planes.

Anonymous said...

>Thanks Jorge! Come back and see me again sometime! No one comments this blog any more. *sob*

Are you hot? If you posted some pics of yourself that might increase traffic!

Show us the goods!

Anonymous said...

I meant the OTHER GOODS, your drawings are also goods!

Chloe Cumming said...

Hello Jorge

Re: My 'goods'...

There's a link to my myspace in the links. Judge for yourself.

Chloe Cumming said...

but you might be onto something Jorge, even though I ought to be offended... hmmm... ways to include own boobies in bloggal storytelling... something to muse on...

Kali Fontecchio said...

These are amazing!!! I love the progression of how you interpretted his physique etc. You're so good at drawing meat sacks!

Kali Fontecchio said...

Jorge is randy apparently.

Chloe Cumming said...

Hi Kali,

Oh thanks! Meat sacks! One can get carried away with these things.

Anonymous said...

>There's a link to my myspace in the links. Judge for yourself.

Ahh, I hate myspace. Don't make me go there!

*checks Chloe's myspace*

I LOVE Myspace!


>Jorge is randy apparently.

Oh, yeal, well you're Jeffrey!! Nyahh!!!

Hey, Chloe, is WWE the modern day vaudeville?

Chloe Cumming said...

Well, Jorge, that's an interesting question.

Up until very recently I've been inclined to defend WWE despite all its gaping idiocy. I'm fascinated by wrestling as a FORM. I think it has magic potential. And I think magic has been generated within it in the past. I might have made comparisons to Vaudeville, I would have talked it up for all kinds of esoteric reasons.

But even since I've been regularly watching, the last couple of years or so... the entertainment to be had from WWE's product has waned to the point that I'm quite cross about it. I see less and less glimmers of hope.

Part of the reasons I do these drawings is that I'm determined to extract some fun from a once-fun product, even if it kills me!

Wrestlers like John Cena and Randy Orton are charismatic (you can probably tell from this blog that I have affection for them... and I want to believe dammit!), and they have the potential to be a lot more entertaining, fun and zeitgeisty than the corporate fun-sucking machine enables them to be. Which is part of what's frustrating. They are reduced to generic, blandly scripted, curiously emasculated man-dolls whose major purpose is to flog their own merchandise. In present day WWE I see a lot of the idiotic executive mentality that John K describes in relation to cartoons. Like it's being run by people who don't care about or understand wrestling - which is really the last thing it needs. It's especially perverse as they employ people like Dusty Rhodes who presumably do understand and are passionate, but there's obviously something rotten about the system, as what I witness is a passionless, directionless, monotonous grind. Vince McMahon doesn't seem to recognise the slow creative death of his empire. Wrestling's supposed to be about deranged eccentric shameless barely-constrained giant maniacs. It's supposed to be a circus of un-PC funtasms. It's become boring, terminally boring, which is really the ultimate insult I could apply. I'm going to write a blog about my dismay at all of this.

But hey! thanks for finding me worthy of a couple of *PANT*s.

Chloe Cumming said...

That should have been 'fewer and fewer' glimmers of hope, not 'less and less' I think. Damn I knew something was wrong!

Anonymous said...

Maybe wrestling needs more racial stereotypes.

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