Here we find a young woman staring into the distance as if in a trance-like state. Waterhouse would favour the angle of the sitter in many of his drawings, where they are neither side on, nor face on, but somewhere in the middle. She has the feminine features that feature in most of his models, with hair up and a fairly elegant, natural look. In every way, this young woman matches the Waterhouse-esque look for which he would become so famous for, even though many other members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement would do something similar. It may have been his refusal to tackle othe artistic genres that led to his career being so closely associated with this very particular type of look. Some critics would see this as a lack of ambition but ultimately it helped to give the artist a really recognisable brand which remained consistent throughout his career. The look itself seems popular today too, as the public seek to return to the relative innocence of a by-gone era.
The drawing itself was sold for £7,200 in a 2008 Bonhams auction in London. The original listing for the item details the piece as being just over 40cm in height, and 31cm in width. It was produced in black chalk only. The artist regularly used chalk for his portrait drawings, though sometimes using two different colours together, such as black and red, in order to provide a contrast between different elements of the composition. Although Waterhouse would often use models to plan his oil paintings, he also would sometimes take on commissions for private individuals and so in some cases he would have had to accept the individual as they were. In this case, the woman is ideally suited to his style in any case and there is a suggestion that she was known as Mrs Alexander Puleston Henderson, though this could not be confirmed at the time of the sale in 2008.
There have been a number of the artist's drawings which have come up for auction in recent years and these would probably have been a part of the mass-sale of his work which occurred shortly after his death in the early 20th century. Many of these drawings were dispersed widely and some of their owners are now seeking to cash in whilst the Pre-Raphaelite movement enjoys something of a Renaissance within the UK. Although he was actually more on the fringes of this group, Waterhouse is one of the most popular of its members, in part due to the success of some of his most famous paintings, such as Lady of Shalott, Boreas and Hylas and the Nymphs. He is still seen as well liked within the UK but also has a considerable following within the US too, where British art retains a strong popularity.