David Rankin

Contact David Directly: Email:  ddrankin@sbcglobal.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DavidRankinWatercolors


Professional Artistic Endeavors

•     Professional Watercolor Painter / Wildlife Artist

  1.     Watercolor Instructor / Workshops

  2.     Fast Sketching Instructor / Workshops

  3.     Author / North Light Books

  4.     ViewArtBetter.Com / Creative Director

Professional Artist Memberships

  1.     Society of Animal Artists / Board Member since 1990

  2.     Artists for Conservation / Flag Expedition Member

  3.     Ohio Watercolor Society / Signature Member

  4.     Plein Air Artists / Artist Member

David's Training Workshops, Classes, and Public Lectures

David often elaborates... "My central training effort is to rapidly upgrade an artist’s skills. Transparent Watercolor on Rough Paper is the most classic, effective, and elegant artistic medium in the world. It has been the most widely used artistic imaging medium since the 1700’s. And coupled with today’s wonderful new state-of-the-art computer skills, a classic watercolor painter can travel all over the world with a full working studio. Or they can work close to home and studio with far a greater creative range of options than artists of the 1800’s could ever have imagined.

    Artists I meet and train come into classes & workshops with hundreds of dollars worth of equipment and loads of enthusiasm. But they don’t need more "passion." They don't need to "free themselves up." And they don't need to come up with "new ideas for paintings." They already have more ideas than they could ever paint in one lifetime.

    But the problem I see, and that keeps them from progressing, is that most have simply never been taught correct & precise watercolor brush handling techniques for creating magical washes, blends, values, and textures... on command. So they do not possess the ability to create perfect washes, or build an image using correct values. They tend to resort to over-using "frisket" to create effects that should normally be created with "good brushwork." And they’ve trapped themselves into only working in their studios... because they’ve lost the ability to work outdoors... directly from Nature.

My goal is to rapidly correct all of these issues.

It has been David's experience that with just a little precise training in correct procedure & technique they are then able to actualize the abundant creativity and ideas they already possess.

David won the coveted Flag Expedition Grant from the Artists for Conservation. And in this photo, by Kelly Dodge, David is painting in the evening on the banks of the Ganges River in May of 2007. This was the first stage of David’s remarkable Watercolor Expedition into the Ganges Himalayas. David is engaged in the largest and most challenging project of his long colorful career... to create the most comprehensive artistic study of the entire Ganges Himalayas that has ever been done. And in this initial stage he and his small team, including his wife, Deanna (red hair), Ashleigh DeVito (foreground), and Kelly Dodge, worked their way up and down the 4 major tributaries of the Ganges River... from Haridwar to the glacial peak regions.

Read More about this entire project here...

Special Achievements:

  1. 1999 - SAA/Ellliot Liskin Memorial Award for Painting / “In the Heat of the Day”

  2. 1998 - Featured Artist at the Smithsonian Institution Conservation & Research Center
    "Animals of the World: the Artist's View" was a fine art exhibition coordinated by Elizabeth Dubenitz of the Sporting Gallery, Middleburg, VA. It featured original paintings and sculptures by renowned wildlife artists to benefit the Conservation & Research Center, a world leader in the study and propagation of many of the world's endangered species.

  3. 1992 - SAA/Activities Press Print Award / "Queen of the Marsh"

  4. 1991 - Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence / "The Green Pool"

  5. 1990 - Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence / "Sarus Cranes at Dawn"



  1. 1994 - Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum  /  "Morning Bath" Sarus cranes, 17 3/4 x 28

  2. 1993 - Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum  /  "Last Light," 28 x 38, black necked stork

  3. Private & Public Collections:

•    Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
•    Air India Air Lines, Bombay, India
•    Beijing Light Industrial Co. Ltd., Beijing, China
•    Bennington Center for the Arts, Bennington, Vermont
•    The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio

•    Bernard Technologies, Chicago, Illinois
•    Cleveland Artist Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
•    Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland OH and Naples, Florida)
•    Cleveland Metropark Zoo, Cleveland, Ohio
•    Creative Flavors, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
•    Dana Corporation, Toledo, Ohio
•    International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin
•    Al Lerner, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
•    The Honorable Maharana Arvind Singh, Udaipur, India
•    Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
•    Rossburg Group, Hong Kong, Singapore & Vietnam
•    Private Collection of Maharana of Udaipur, India

Some of the Publications that have featured David’s Watercolors:

  1. "The Pencil Box: A Treasury of Time-Tested Drawing Techniques and Advice" (2006)
    Author: Editors of "The Artist Magazine" and North Light Books
    Published by: North Light Books

  2. Genesis of a Painting (2005)
    Author and illustrator - The article is about David’s working style and shows sketches to finished paintings.
    Author: David Rankin
    Published by: Wildlife Art Magazine

  3. Fast Sketching Techniques (2000)
    author, illustrator and designer - how to book on sketching
    Author: David Rankin
    Published by: North Light Books

  4. Watercolours in a Weekend (2000)
    Illustration -- uses Rankin's paintings to demonstrate water and reflections and the vital role of brush work, color and composition. - 
    Author: Hazel Harrison
    Published by: David & Charles, UK

  5. A Love Affair with Cranes (1999)
    illustrator - 
    Author: George Harrison
    Published by: Life Today

  6. Animal Artists (1997)
    illustrator - 
    Author: Barbara Cotton
    Published by: Sports Afield

  7. A Guide to the Cranes of India (1996)
    Illustrator: David Rankin - 
    Author: Prakash Gole
    Published by: Bombay Natural History Society

  8. Jewels of the Tropical Tapestry (1996)
    illustrator - 
    Published by: Wildlife Art Magazine

  9. India: Rajasthan (1996)
    Illustrator - A guidebook to Rajasthan
    Author: Edited by Editions Didier Millet
    Published by: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

  10. Wildlife Painting Step by Step (1995)
    illustrated the steps in painting "Morning Bath" - 
    Author: Patrick Seslar
    Published by: North Light Books

  11. Ideas & Inspiration, Splash 3 (1994)
    one of the watercolorists selected to tell how they find ideas and inspiration-- - featured the painting "Last Light" which was purchased by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
    Author: edited by Rachel Wolf
    Published by: North Light Books

  12. Wildlife in Watercolor (1994)
     - Article is written about 4 artists in Birds in Art national tour. It includes a number of paintings by David and information about his works and travels.
    Author: Pat Van Gelder
    Published by: American Artist Watercolor '94

  13. Down the Road from the Taj Mahal (1993)
    an article about Rankin and his paintings - 
    Author: Susan Milius
    Published by: International Wildlife Magazine

  14. Artist with a Vision of India (1992)
    Artist Vignette: David Rankin - 
    Published by: Wildlife Art Magazine

  15. Winged Glory (1990)
    Co-author and illustrator - An in-depth 14 page article detailing the birds of India, especially those that can be easily seen in various regions where there are hotels in the Taj Hotel chain all across India.
    Author: David & Deanna Rankin
    Published by: Taj Magazine / Bombay (Mumbai)

  16. Artist in India (1989)
    This in-depth 14 page article detailing David's long working relationship with India; in Minolta Camera's world reknowned magazine–"Minolta Mirror", marks the very first time in Minolta's long corporate history that they devoted so much space to a watercolor painter.  - 
    Published by: Minolta Mirror Annual Magazine

  17. Art Scene (5)
     - About the opening of Visions of India: The Watercolor Travels of David Rankin
    Author: Diane Jones, curator of the Genesee Museum
    Published by: Wildlife Art Magazine

David’s Studio Portfolio: If you are looking to purchase one of David’s watercolors you might like to visit his Studio Portfolio... Click Here!

David Rankin is one of the world’s top professional watercolor painters working today. He and his wife, Deanna, live in Cleveland, Ohio / USA, where David maintains his professional Studio.

David is an honors/graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and a successful painter, art author, lecturer and workshop trainer. His watercolors are in numerous public and private art collections and have been featured in over 110 Museum Exhibitions; numerous watercolor books & magazines; and in many one-man exhibitions all across North America as well as in Japan and Sweden.

David is one of the true modern-day masters of transparent watercolor and he exudes a dynamic passion for the medium in his lectures, demos, and class instruction.

He is one of the most effective watercolor trainers in the world today. He is a very classic watercolor painter exhibiting the highest level of skills common to transparent watercolor since the 1700‘s. David’s exceptional mastery of the watercolor medium are now seamlessly merged into the very latest 21st century computer & imaging skills. And he uses this unique combination to train artists faster and more effectively.