Throughout his career, Petitjean systematically moved back and forth from neo-Impressionism to a more academically inspired art, in the style of Puvis de Chavannes. This attempt to reconcile tradition and modernity found its best expression where his pointillist technique is merged with classical subjects as in Baigneuse se coiffant. Here he uses the technique of colour division, applying the paint rapidly with small brushstrokes, in a fairly loose network which lets the white canvas show though. This sets off the brightness of the colours by superimposing them. In this way, Petitjean achieves a very decorative, fairly bright effect, but further away from that obtained with a more rigorous use of colour division according to the strict principles of the divisionist method, as was understood by Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross.