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Join David Rankin in May as he sends field reports directly from the headwaters of the Ganges river in the foothills of the Himalayas.
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David RankinDavid James Rankin   SAA, AFC David Rankin
Transparent & Plein Air Watercolors - Landscapes,Birds, Tigers, India,
Visit David Rankin's Latest Website
My painting style is based on what I call natural abstraction, in which I like to develop realistic subjects using abstract design principles that I find in Nature.

I perceive the world around me through a type of mental watercolor filter. I see a wet reflection on a street, or the fractured glint of sunlight on water or on a peacock’s neck or on grasses in a field and I instantly try to visualize how I would recreate that effect on paper with the fewest possible strokes.

If you study my paintings closely, you will see that what appears as complex detail from a distance, is in fact created from simple brushstrokes using the natural impressionistic roughness of the painting surface to create the illusion of detail and form.

In my field work, I photograph, sketch with a 9B woodless graphite, and use my ipad to capture ideas for paintings. I study
postures, facial expressions and reflections. In the studio, I use a gray study to evaluate potential subjects. Using Payne’s Grey
watercolor allows me to quickly establish a full range of values
so that I can evaluate the visual impact of an idea.

Check out my Calendar to see upcoming workshops.This year I have workshops in Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Ohio and North Carolina.

My paintings were in both the 2016 Artists for Conservation International Exhibit of Nature in Art and the 2016 Society of Animal Artists "Art and the Animal."

My work is also included in the recent books, "Art Journey, Animals," (2016), edited by Jamie Markle and "Strokes of Genius," (2016) edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf.

Support for Conservation:
Special Achievements:
  • 2015 - Society of Animal Artists Awards of Excellence

  • 2014 - Bott-Borghi Branson Legacy Award, SAA Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2013 - Susan K. Black Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2007 - Flag Expedition Grant from Artists for Conservation Foundation

  • 1999 - SAA/Ellliot Liskin Memorial Award for Painting
    In the Heat of the Day
  • 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.
  • 1992 - SAA/Activities Press Print Award
    "Queen of the Marsh"
  • 1991 - Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence
    "The Green Pool"
  • 1990 - Society of Animal Artists Award of Excellence
    "Sarus Cranes at Dawn"

  • 2014 - Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
    "Warp Speed," Pied Kingfisher
  • 1994 - Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
    "Morning Bath" Sarus cranes, 17 3/4 x 28
  • 1993 - Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
    "Last Light," 28 x 38, black necked stork
  • Private & Public Collections: including
    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
    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
    The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio
  • "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
  • Genesis of a Painting (2005)
    Author and illustrator - The article is about my working style and shows sketches leading to finished paintings.
    Author: David Rankin
    Published by: Wildlife Art Magazine
  • Fast Sketching Techniques (2000)
    author, illustrator and designer - how to book on sketching
    Author: David Rankin
    Published by: North Light Books
  • 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
  • A Love Affair with Cranes (1999)
    illustrator - 
    Author: George Harrison
    Published by: Life Today
  • Animal Artists (1997)
    illustrator - 
    Author: Barbara Cotton
    Published by: Sports Afield
  • A Guide to the Cranes of India (1996)
    Illustrator: David Rankin - 
    Author: Prakash Gole
    Published by: Bombay Natural History Society
  • Jewels of the Tropical Tapestry (1996)
    illustrator - 
    Published by: Wildlife Art Magazine
  • India: Rajasthan (1996)
    Illustrator - A guidebook to Rajasthan
    Author: Edited by Editions Didier Millet
    Published by: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
  • Wildlife Painting Step by Step (1995)
    illustrated the steps in painting "Morning Bath" - 
    Author: Patrick Seslar
    Published by: North Light Books
  • 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
  • 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
  • Down the Road from the Taj Mahal (1993)
    an article about Rankin and his paintings - 
    Author: Susan Milius
    Published by: International Wildlife Magazine
  • Artist with a Vision of India (1992)
    Artist Vignette: David Rankin - 
    Published by: Wildlife Art Magazine
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
Organization Membership:
  • 2005 - National Academy of Professional Plein Air Painters

  • 1990 - Society of Animal Artists
    Board Member of The Society of Animal Artists, the world's most celebrated association of animal and wildlife painters and sculptors from around the world. Founded in 1960, SAA is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting excellence in the portrayal of the creatures sharing our planet and to broaden public recognition of animal art through education, demonstration, and exhibition.
  • Ohio Watercolor Society



Direct Correspondence to:David Rankin
David Rankin
c/o David Rankin Watercolors
2320 Allison Road
Cleveland, OH
USA 44118
Tel: 216-932-2125
  Worldwide Nature Artists Group
Email: davidrankinwatercolors@gmail.com
Home Page: David Rankin's Latest Website
David Rankin David Rankin

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Use of nature art, wildlife art or any other images or text from this site, requires permission in writing from David Rankin (David Rankin Watercolors).

This site is part of the Artists for Conservation (AFC) Web site. (Wildlife Art - Nature Art - Conservation) Artists for Conservation is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to nature art, wildlife art and conservation. On this site you will find world-class nature art and wildlife art by today's leading nature artists & wildlife artists. The AFC site is the Web's premier location for nature art, wildlife artists All content appearing in pages featuring David Rankin is the sole responsibility of David Rankin. The opinions expressed on these artists' pages are those of David Rankin and do not necessarily reflect those of the Artists for Conservation Foundationi (AFC).