Within this study painting much of the important parts of the artwork are completed to a high level of detail. Waterhouse is clearly attempting to practice these areas in order to feel comfortable in starting the main painting but does not want to waste too much time in other parts of the scene, such as the background, where much can be worked out later on. You will notice, therefore, that the lower half of the background is particularly devoid of colour, whilst the upper half is left as a predominantly large block of colour without any particularly obvious details. Waterhouse is focused on the facial features of the young model and also gives attention to her clothing and the bouquet itself. The red headed woman peers off to our right hand side, seemingly in the same trance which is found with so many of his models in other portraits from around this time.
The artist would work on the fringes of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, having arrived a good time after its main members. He adored their work and followed in a similar style at this point in his career but would never become an official member of the Brotherhood. He respected their integrity as well as the technical brilliance that many of them possessed, but somehow Waterhouse was able to achieve fame for himself on his own, thanks in part to a number of key highlights from his career, such as Lady of Shalott, Boreas and Hylas and the Nymphs. He is also today much loved by the public and prints of his work are particularly common. You will find many of his best works to be recognisable images which many occasional art followers are even aware of and his reputation, though strongest within his native UK, actually stretches abroad into the US where he also enjoys a strong following.
Although born in Italy, this painter would grow up in the UK and was fortunate enough to receive some education from highly prestious institutions, including art schools which immediately set him on the right course. Although taught in the same ways, technically, many of those who become professional artists would later insert their own ideas and innovations as their careers progressed, ensuring a unique approach from each one. He would have been taught the principles of drawing first, even before a paintbrush might appear, as this discipline lies behind most major mediums, even sculpture. Eventually the artist would take the technical skills that he had learnt and start to look for influences elsewhere which could help him to formulate a unique approach of his own which took in all manner of different tastes.