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Berthe Morisot Self Portrait

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Morisot's paintings are commented as full of "feminine charm", which features elegance and lightness. Her brushstrokes are as light as the touch of a petal; therefore, French critics often use the verb "effleurer" (to touch lightly, brush against) to describe her technique. In her early life, Morisot painted in open air as other Impressionists to look for truths in observation. Around 1880 she began painting on unprimed canvases—a technique Manet and Eva Gonzalès also experimented with at the time —and her brushwork became looser. In 1888–89, her brushstrokes transitioned from short, rapid strokes to long, sinuous ones that define form. The outer edges of her paintings were often left unfinished, allowing the canvas to show through and increasing the sense of spontaneity. After 1885, she worked mostly from preliminary drawings before beginning her oil paintings. She also worked in oil paint, watercolors, and pastel simultaneously, and sketched using various drawing media. Morisot's works are almost always small in scale.

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