Handsome and proud, Pepilla sits with one arm around her daughter's shoulders and her other hand on her hip. Both mother and daughter gaze directly out at the viewer. Just as the mother's gesture tenderly protects yet presents her daughter, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida expressed tenderness in his portraits of Spanish people, particularly women and children.
With his typical spontaneous, broad brushwork, Sorolla reveled in the effects of the warm Mediterranean light and air on the colors and patterns in the women's costumes. He preferred to paint even portraits outdoors, trying to achieve a spontaneous effect. "[N]o matter how much labor you may have expended on the canvas, the result should look as if it had all been done with ease and at a sitting," he said in 1909.