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  • Robert Martel

the art of BARBARA COONEY

Updated: Aug 24

Every Christmas my wife reads Natalia Belting's Christmas Folk (1969) to the children and we all love looking at Barbara Cooney's wonderful illustrations.

Barabara Cooney's art is detailed, sweet, and inexplicably moving. I can't articulate the feeling her art evokes but if you are curious about her phenomenal career I highly recommend Dr. Nathan Perl-Rosenthal's 2017 wonderful piece in The Atlantic titled "What Would Miss Rumphius Do?"

Below are a few of my attempts at mimicking Barbara Cooney's style by reproducing some of the illustrations from Christmas Folk. I began each study as a quick and easy ink sketch, followed by a more careful application of watercolour.

Barbara Cooney's Christmas Folk #1: ink and watercolour
Barbara Cooney's Christmas Folk #1: ink and watercolour

Barbara Cooney's Christmas Folk #2: ink and watercolour
Barbara Cooney's Christmas Folk #2: ink and watercolour

#BarabaraCooney #childrensart #childrensbooks #Christmas #watercolour #ink

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