Hockney made this drawing on 19 February 1979, the day of his father’s funeral. When he signed and dated it later, however, he mistakenly inscribed the year 1978. Relying on a minimal line, the artist conveys the sadness in his mother’s face as she looks directly at her son. The use of sepia ink applied with a reed pen—a possible reference to Van Gogh— gives his mother a softer, more vulnerable air than in the earlier pen-and-ink portraits. Making a drawing was less intrusive than taking a photograph would have been. Drawing had become Hockney’s way of communicating with his mother.