The portrait captures a lady in drapery being caught up in a strong wind. She elegantly shields herself from the wind and cold by lifting her arms above her shoulders. The later painting would include a beautiful background scene in which the impact of nature is carried over to flowers and plants that also come under fire. Within this drawing, the artist is merely concerned with the model's pose and leaves the remaining content as something to consider at a later date. Her posture in both is almost identical, and the use of red chalk in this drawing allows Waterhouse to focus on building a precise image of the folds of clothing which are fairly complex and impacted by her unusual posture, and the prevailing conditions. Clothing, and specifically its interaction with the human body, is a particular craft that needs mastering by any portrait artist and is an additional consideration that many are not aware of. The artist would also have carefully chosen the model's clothing in order to get just the look that he was after for the final Boreas oil painting.
Waterhouse creates here a feeling of shadow and perspective by using some strokes of chalk in a strong, bolder way than others. He may have achieved this by going over some lines several times, or simply pushing harder into the paper. We can see underneath the model's left elbow, for example, where several different parts of her clothing combine and this area is left darker in order to create a shadow from below her arm. He also does similar down her back as well. The elements of her clothing which fly around in the wind are lighter in tone, perhaps attempting to give the impression of movement and fragility. The lady looks across to the left in the side profile, with a serious expression on her face. Whilst completing this drawing, the artist may not have even considered how the rest of the composition would have been constructed, but he knew that this was the key part and therefore required more of his attention.
The majority of Waterhouse's drawings were collected together and sold in batches at auction soon after his death. This means that most now reside within small private collections and rarely see the light of day, unfortunately. The best records that we have, therefore, were from those auctions in which good records are always taken. Some have attempted to document the artist's work in this medium but we are not aware of a truly comprehensive study yet which has successfully pulled them all together within the same publication. We therefore have attempted here to collate as many of them together as possible and to provide whatever information we can on each one. Hopefully, in time, this artist will receive a strong focus again, and perhaps someone will look into documenting his drawings more comprehensively.