Transparent Watercolor on rough paper is the best combination. © David Rankin
A few years ago an artist friend of mine asked me... "Why don't you paint in oils or acrylics? I answered... "because I can paint in Watercolor"!
John Singer Sargent was the highest paid oil painter in the world in the 1800's... but his greatest love... and the Art World's greatest appreciation... ended up being his watercolors... which now go for tens of millions of dollars and hang in every major museum in the world.
... spending my summers living and traveling throughout Kashmir from early June till fall, I slowly began to work on my ability to draw and paint directly from Nature... what they now call... Plein Air. I wanted to sketch and paint what I was experiencing. Those wonderful sights in Kashmir helped fuel my inspirations and artistic efforts up to this very day.
And it was David's comprehensive effort to create a focused artistic study of India's rich diversity of birds that then forced him to dramatically change the way he drew live subjects. Over a 10 year period from 85-95 David completely upgraded his entire skill set, what he now calls his "working method"... both in the field traveling all over India, as well as back in his home studio.
David created an amazing Artist Journal of this expedition, featuring over 250 of his watercolors detailing features from his travels throughout the Ganges Himalayas. No other artist medium travels as well as Watercolor. And no other medium allows an artist the kind of creative versatility that Watercolor does. He has posted 80+ pages from this lovely Watercolor Journal on Facebook. If you'd like to see more... click the link right below here...
David adds 21st Century Digital Medium: In 2010 Apple invented the iPad, and then, a couple years later the new "Paper by 53" app allowed David to bring his traditional sketching and painting skills into a brand new 21st century imaging technology that allows artists a whole new way to create images quickly.
David trains artists in Fast Sketching skills using both traditional artist mediums as well as using a stylus and the cool "Paper by 53" app on an Apple iPad in digital medium.
David has pushed the boundaries of this new digital medium.
Field iPad Sketches on My. Hood, Oregon
iPad Sketch of a Macaw in a pet shop
Ongoing studies of Snow Leopards
One of 380 Bird Sketches & Studies David did during 2013.
Male Peacock study, Apple iPad using the "Paper by 53" app
Today... David Rankin uses an amazing variety of imaging skills to develop his paintings and ideas... both in the field directly from Nature... as well as back in his home studio.
Traditional pencil sketches with watercolor... design & values studies drawn using the Paper by 53 app and a stylus on an Apple iPad... traditional small watercolors... and Gray Studies using only Paynes Gray watercolor... all of these methods yield David's distinctive results.