Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The past 4 years + nude woman!!

Three of my past four years have been spent learning things in a building representing what in the Finnish school system is called upper secondary education. This entity of education is supposed to act as an academical bridge to prepare me for tertiary education at a university. Also, this level in my education is supposed test me, and grade me. Based on the results in my final exam, I may or may not proceed to the next level of education. I graduated a year ago, but as I was dissatisfied with my final exam results, I gave one subject another go, and today I got the results.

I was dissatisfied with my original results, because I thought they obviously didn't match my abilities in that subject. I was dissatisfied doubly, because the low marks turned out to be quite the obstacle for me in advancing to the studies I am interested in.

I didn't get any better at the subject in the year that went between the two times I wrote that same exam, yet somehow, the amount of points my second exam was scored was nearly double that of my first try. I didn't read a lot the second time, I didn't concentrate harder. In fact, I'd say my time away from school made me worse at that subject. But luck (Or, maybe bad luck, rather) played a huge part. 

How can it be that luck is the deciding factor in how productive my four last years of education have been? If you get low marks, your entire 3-4 years spent studying at a upper secondary school have been a waste of time. There really is no point in going to a gymnasium, as they're called in Swedish, if your grades don't end up good enough to get you in on whatever studies it may be you want to spend your next 5 years with.

How absurd is it then, that my grade in this subject went from being absolutely mediocre, to top marks, without me improving at all? How can a system that coolly decides where your future lies be this arbitrary, and why is that acceptable? It's completely outrageous. It took me one year to fix the mess that one doctor of literature in Helsinki made on the whim decision that my while my essay exam work was good, it was 'irrelevant'.

It's absolutely stupid. Christ. Just thinking about it makes my blood boil, and I remember how utterly disappointed I was last year. I even got a scholarship with recommendations in that subject at my graduation, I knew I was good at it.

Thankfully, what happened in my case isn't very common in other subjects. But even there, a lot of it has to do with luck. The testing simply isn't rigorous enough to mitigate a spot of plain good luck.

I'm not going to say I'm not happy. I had a victory dance when I got the results this morning. I hadn't dared hope I'd do this good. But the system is so bad and it's such an important part of our education, that it's infuriating. I am really quite bitter about it. But I'm also so super happy now that I had the chance to make it better, and happy it went so well this time. At last, I got that acknowledgement, bekräftelse.

What else? Well, I guess I made a promise when I wrote that entry title.

I'm sure I've been over this before, but it may seem like I only draw pictures of men. And to some extent, it's true, because I find it's a lot easier, thus the results are more satisfying. But I do draw women, too! And when I do, they're, uh, sometimes kinda naked (I mean, give me a break. I'm a man.). So this is the second time I'm uploading a nude drawing on my blog! 

The angle is a bit unflattering, and she doesn't have any eyebrows (or hands, I was apparently focusing on something else), but I like it. The shading is very complex and nuanced. I used reference. The hardest part was figuring out the proportions. I'm used to drawing male proportions, so I thought it looked strange. Translating the color picture into different shades of grey was also a bit tricky. 

Here's another, less graphic. This one I don't think is done from a direct reference, but I probably looked at some portrait material on Google to figure out the mouth and neck (Which I think looks super weird).

I thought about censoring the jiggly parts in the first image, but I didn't do that the last time I uploaded nude drawings and I want to be consistent.

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