Patrick Procktor RA (1936-2003)
Sketch of David Hockney, 1965
Ink on paper
Portraits: What you lookin' at?
Drawn in blue and green ink, the composition includes three figures. These are identified by Procktor’s labels written in green. The central figure is labelled ‘David’ but even without his indicator we could make a guess – knowing the scenario - this is Hockney: sat drawing with his legs crossed, wearing his distinctive, heavy-framed circular glasses. Whilst the glasses are depicted with a thick line and pressured hand, the rest of the features of Hockney’s face are all but missing. It is as if Procktor identifies Hockney by his signature glasses, not his facial features. The glasses have become synonymous with their owner – an icon of the wearer which is as much a portrait of Hockney as Lawson’s photographs are.
Additionally, the central figure is depicted using overstated proportions with oversized feet, exaggerating the perspective. This elongates the room perspective, drawing the eye in along with the drawn lines of the flooring, in juxtaposition to the horizontal ceiling beam.
To the left is a kneeling figure with a camera – Andrew Lawson – taking portraits of the artists sketching portraits. Entering the composition from the right are the legs and shoes of a person and in the background there is another seated figure. Drawn with loose, diagonal shading and lines this sketch shows Procktor’s concern with depicting tone. The addition of the green ink in the shaded areas helps to construct depth in the composition.