A bearded old man squats on the ground, his body enveloped in a large cape. Tufts of hair stick out from under a cap, which is pulled low over his forehead, while a broad-brimmed hat lies beside him on the ground. The man's right foot ends abruptly in a bandaged stump resting in front of him; his other foot is tucked behind. Roelandt Savery emphasized the cloak's volume and shape using a system of cross-hatching with short, hooked strokes of the pen.
This drawing comes from a series of studies similar in subject and style. On many of the sheets, the artist inscribed the words naer het leven, which suggests that each scene was drawn from life rather than from the artist's imagination. At a time when most drawings were prepared in the studio, this fact was unusual enough to be worth noting. The notations surrounding the figure suggest possible colors, perhaps for use in a painting.