David Rankin Watercolor Workshops Green Country Watercolor Society - Tulsa, Oklahoma • The TexArt Workshop - Kerrville, Texas • Euclid Art Association - Cleveland, Ohio • SKB Foundation Workshop - Dubois, Wyoming • Cheap Joe’s Workshops - Boone, North Carolina

David Rankin trains artists in a wide range of artistic skills.

Transparent Watercolor • Watercolor's Middle Values • Gray Studies • Fast Sketching


Workshop Schedule 2017

April 24-27 – Green Country Watercolor Society, Tulsa, Oklahoma

To register - http://gcwatercolorokla.com/workshops/


May 21 – 26 - TexArt Workshop, Schreiner University, Kerrville, Texas

More Info & Register: http://skbworkshop.com/


June 2, 3, 4 – Euclid Art Association - “Essential Watercolor Skills Training Workshop” - Cleveland, Ohio

More Info & Register: http://euclidart.com


Sept. 17-23 – SKB Foundation Dubois Workshop, Wyoming Workshop

More Info & Register: http://skbworkshop.com/texart-details/


Oct. 23-27 – Cheap Joe’s Workshops, Boone, North Carolina - “Mastering Watercolor’s Middle Values”

More Info & Register: http://www.cheapjoes.com/david-rankin-art-workshop-mastering-watercolor-s-middle-values-oct-23-27-2017.html


David teaching at the Euclid Art Association - Cleveland, Ohio

April 24-27 – Green Country Watercolor Society, Tulsa, Oklahoma http://gcwatercolorokla.com/workshops/

The dominant emotional mood of any painting is created using mostly Middle Value Colors. In this workshop I train artist's eyes to see color values better & faster. I show them how artists of the 1800's, working without the aid of photography, developed heightened observation & evaluation skills. I train them in my Illusion of Depth method based on building any painting/subject with 3 essential planes of distance. And I train them in my most effective Gray Study Skill where we take any subject and create small quick studies using only Payne's Gray.

Bedouins by John Singer Sargent

Notice how John Singer Sargent created this painting, called "Bedouins", with 95% Middle Value Colors. But he then forces our eyes to focus on that one figure squatting in the middle with just a few strategic brushstrokes of Darkest Dark color.


May 20 – 27 - TexArt Workshop, Schreiner University, Kerrville, Texas - http://skbworkshop.com/

This will be the 2nd year of the TexArt Workshop, a unique collaboration between the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation and the Society of Animal Artists. And this year I will train artists in ways to use the unique qualities of Transparent Watercolor to paint birds & animals with style and charm.

My technique for creating quick little Gray Studies, using only Payne's Gray, gives artists a valuable and effective way to try out painting ideas, compositions, and spatial values... before committing to larger more complex finished paintings.

This tiny 6" x 6" Payne's Gray Watercolor Study helped me establish the correct values for this much larger watercolor I did for an international competition and exhibition tour.


June 2, 3, 4 – Euclid Art Association - “Essential Watercolor Skills Workshop” - http://euclidart.com

Oils and acrylics... allow artists to cover up a lot of mistakes... and just keep painting right over misapplied brushwork until hopefully getting it right. But in Transparent Watercolor... we actually have to know what we're doing from the very first brushwork. The fact is that many watercolor painters tend to by pass the careful development of many Basic & Essential Skills. And because of this... they can end up struggling with their results for years. My effort is to supply artists with very precise, time-tested, training methods that produce dramatic results in the very first 30 minutes. This is most dramatic in the training of correct methods for creating the wonderful visual effects that are so distinctive in Watercolor Washes.

Fraternal twins, Ashleigh & Shannon DeVito, at the age of 10, painting with David.

Here's an example from 16 years ago with our neighbor's daughters... Ashleigh & Shannon. My wife and I were babysitting them for the weekend. And I was painting outdoors. They of course wanted to do something as well. But neither had ever even held a real expensive watercolor brush or painted on expensive Arches watercolor blocks. But in doing so... and following my simple procedures for creating both an Even Wash and a Graded Wash... both girls were delighted to see that they could indeed create the proper visual effect... on their very first try. And so will you once I train you in the precise brush handling skills and procedures used to create 3-4 of the most wonderful wash effects in watercolor.

Watercolor & Gravity - Watercolor is the most reactive of all artistic mediums to the powerful effects of Gravity. The physical effect of the moon moves all of the water on planet earth up & down and in various ways... all day... every day. And nowhere is this more evident than in the creation of Watercolor's wonderful wash effects. I will train you in the very precise ways to use gravitational forces to create watercolor's best effects.

Basic Even Wash Procedures using a Gravity Bead and precise brushwork

The landscape on the right is actually one of my Training Recipes for painting an Even Wash... seen here in the sky. That same skill is also used in painting the background surrounding the Night Heron. Once you learn how to execute a watercolor skill effectively in a Training Recipes... you then practice putting it into various subjects. In this way you actually upgrade your existing skills rapidly.

These two swan paintings above use what I refer to as my Magical Wash Procedure. Both of these were demos I created during lecture/demos at various Watercolor Organizations. As you study them... make note that I used no Frisket in either of these paintings. Nor did I use any opaque gouache.... only good brushwork and a precisely executed recipe.


Sept. 17-23 – SKB Foundation Dubois, Wyoming Workshop http://skbworkshop.com/texart-details/

Gray Studies are quick little studies that an artist can do of any subject to test out the overall composition and value structure. My Gray Study Method has 3-4 very simple steps that will allow you to create stunning small watercolors using only Payne's Gray. This skill once learned can be easily used in plein air or the studio. And it creates an amazing self confidence in an artist's skill set.

Small Gray Studies done in about 20 minutes using only Payne's Gray Watercolor
Gray Study in Phung Nga region of southern Thailand - First determine where the Darkest Darks & Lightest Lights will be • Then use middle value gray to paint over and around everything but the lightest areas. • Then... Add the Darks •. 2 Steps • 20 minutes.

My Gray Study Procedures consist of just a few precise stages that can be applied to any potential painting subject. Once you learn this unique way of analyzing potential painting subjects you will begin to see & paint better values... with a far better illusion of spatial depth... and fuller richer emotional impact.


Oct. 23-27 – Cheap Joe’s, Boone, North Carolina - “Mastering the Emotional Power Watercolor’s Middle Values” http://www.cheapjoes.com/david-rankin-art-workshop-mastering-watercolor-s-middle-values-oct-23-27-2017.html

My primary focus when training watercolor painters is to help them become more expert in the use of and manipulation of the Middle Values in any painting. It's the Middle Values where the emotional impact of a painting resides...

...and this is the skill set that the artists of the 1800's used to create such master works as these above. Long before digital cameras, iPhones, iPads, tablets, and apps... these artists had trained themselves to see & utilize an expert observation of Color Values in Nature. They really knew how to build a painting, using correct values, to create masterful illusions of depth & space. And my effort is to help artists develop these very same skills using a few simple and effective methods.

Where this subject of Middle Values really comes home, is when you realize just how important the middle values are to the overall impact and success of a painting. You can see here below where I've extracted all of the darkest brushwork from the painting. Can you see how it lacks both depth and emotion when the middle values are not there to create the overall visual effect? It's when you see the full range of Middle Value colors that you get the full impact and emotion of a painting. That's the reason I encourage & train artists to pay more attention to these Middle Value skills.

Light in the Ganges Himalayas - David Rankin

So remember... the emotional power of any painting is in its middle value colors.

Moon Rise on the Ganges - David Rankin

The ability to see & paint better values is a skill that can be greatly enhanced with practice.

David Rankin painting on the banks of the Ganges River in the foothills of North India's Himalayas.
Created By
David Rankin


David Rankin Watercolors

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