I thought my portrait was finished. It isn’t. I was called back for another sitting yesterday, as has Hannah Rothschild. There was a great deal of inspection of the nearly finished portrait from near, from afar and as seen in the large mirror behind the easel, which enables me nearly to see a reflection of the portrait, but not quite. The back tape round its edge was gradually stripped off. I asked why. She said that she’ll tell me one day. At one point, she applied a large dab of bright yellow pigment which looked dangerous and wholly unnecessary. I had thought that my very severe haircut might be a disadvantage, as had she. It’s not long now that the invisible college of her sitters – the dealer, the gardener, the film director and literary agent, but not the Duchess of Cornwall – will be revealed on the walls of the National Portrait Gallery. We might finally all meet.
Here is what the artist looks like from the viewpoint of the sitter: