During level 6 constellation, learning to write a dissertation and actually writing the dissertation was difficult at times, although some of the lectures we had at the end of level 5 constellation became helpful when researching and writing the piece.
The keynote lectures on dissertation preparation were important to helping me understand how to write the pre dissertation form and the dissertation proposal. I found that if I wrote these well they would help me plan and write the actual dissertation.
Background reading and referencing books as you go along was also important. I made a table with all the book references and quotes in so that it would be easily accessible for planning, but also meant that I wasn’t constantly searching for quotes as they were all in one place. On a couple of occasions when first researching I forgot to write the page number of the quotes which meant having to go back and find the books and the quotes again.
Writing a proposal helped me to then split my dissertation into chapters of which I could do a detailed plan. In the plan I would bullet point important quotes about the three artists and briefly expand so when I started writing for the first draft I could follow a plan. Also having a first draft taken in and marked helped see where the dissertation was at and what I needed to do to improve the areas I had already written in order to do better. This then helped write the other sections of the dissertation that I hadn’t written a lot about.
When researching the three artists that I decided to write about, I became aware that there was a lot of information that had no relevance to the specific pieces I was discussing. I found researching for Leonardo da Vinci’s piece St John the Baptist the hardest out of the three as its one of his less well known pieces and one of the last pieces he did before he died. Another thing I found hard about researching Leonardo was that the books about his life and works are massive and I would usually only find one paragraph in each book. In order to overcome this, I researched did some more research into the psychoanalysis of the painter. Although I didn’t go into much detail about psychoanalysis in the final dissertation, it helped me find new perspectives to look from in order to find what I was looking for.
Another thing that I found hard about writing the overall dissertation was concluding the chapters and writing the final conclusion. In order to help write the overall conclusion I wanted the end of chapter conclusions to wrap up and explain the points made within the chapters so when planning the overall conclusion, I could look back and know the which key points to mention.
The part of the dissertation which I was least satisfied with before doing the edits was the conclusion as I found it difficult to make it flow and link all the points I wanted to make together. The conclusion ended up taking the most amount of time to get to a point where I was satisfied with what I had written and that the reader would understand the points I was trying to make.
In the introduction of my dissertation I explained why I chose to write about these three specific artists. Within my own subject work, I have looked at the human form and especially the female form. I start with life drawing and drawing accurate representations of the human form, to then concentrate on areas which I then go on to distort. Although none of the artists necessarily zoomed in on specific areas of the body, both Matisse and Picasso distorted how we see the female form in the pieces I looked at, while Leonardo looked specifically at trying to create this perfect human form.
In order to know that my dissertation made sense to others, I gave it to a family member who doesn’t know a lot about the three artists and asked them to read it. I knew the piece read well when they didn’t have to ask me questions about certain parts. I knew it was important to explain everything so that the piece would make complete sense and I would use other people reading it to measure whether I was writing successfully.
Writing the dissertation has helped my Level 6 subject work progress as I have come to see that context is extremely important when you want to show the viewer something specific, and in order to do that you have to be able to see the piece through different perspectives. Researching about how critics view pieces of artwork has helped me to try and see my own work from a different point of view as well as the artworks I was researching.
I found that organisation was important to improving the outcome of the dissertation to me. I started of not being that well organised and that reflected in my work, but once I had organised my time, I was able to write more, which meant that I wasn’t panicking about getting it finished on time.
If I were to write the piece again, I think there would be a couple of areas I would change or improve. I would like to have looked more into Jacqueline Marval and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ works, although they were minor parts in the dissertation I found their works interesting and would have liked to compare their works further to the three artists I looked at. I would also have liked to look at the psychoanalysis of Matisse and Picasso. I found it a necessary part of writing about Leonardo da Vinci as it was the basis of many authors case studies. Though psychoanalysis was not an important factor of my dissertation, it would have given my piece a different perspective as to why the works were painted how they were.