Renoir's oil paintings always give us a feeling that we are surrounded by sunshine. He enjoyed painting in the open air and taking ordinary people and landscape as subjects. In the open air, he could carefully study the reflection of light on people bodies and faces, as well as spot effect under the sun. Understanding the secret of colors and lights, Renoir expressed people's inner delight in a background of natural scenery.
The painting Dancer depicts a young ballet dancer, standing sideways. She is wearing a while ballerina dress and a pair of typical ballet shoes. Although her body is not facing the front, she is staring somberly ahead. We have no clue what she is thinking about. Standing very straight, like a tree trunk, she puts her right hand on the blue waistband while her left hand falls down loosely. It is a classical pose of a ballerina. In Renoir's deception, this ballet dancer is quiet and elegant. We can guess her temperament from the clothes she is wearing, her standing posture and her facial expression. Especially, her lips tighten and her eyes are calm and determined which distinguishes her from other common women.
In general, ballet dancers are always painted in a background of a stage or a dance studio. However, the ballerina in this painting is not set in any backgrounds mentioned above. Instead, she is standing in yellowish-green, tightly surrounded by the color of nature. In this background, Renoir used white spots, representing sunshine and happiness, as he had used in other paintings. These white spots are leaping in this painting. The ballet dress is full of white spots, which give people a sense of innocence and fantasy. Although there is no any background, this dancer is still steeped in beauty of nature. Except for the white dress, the colors Renoir used are a little cool, but we still can feel this young dancer is full of vigor.
Dancer has been a common subject of Renoir's painting. In his paintings depicting dancers, figures are always well-rounded and gentle; lines are soft; colors are rich. All these elements make his painting techniques more and more mature.