Watercolor Inspiration David Rankin's life as a Watercolor Painter - Workshop Schedule 2017

David Rankin's artistic interest in Watercolor began on his 16th birthday when his mother bought him his first watercolor book... "Ways with Watercolor" by Ted Kautzky.

Working with Kautzky's classic watercolor book not only gave David a unique working method that he soon excelled at, but it helped him achieve 3 scholarships to Art School ( The Cleveland Institute of Art ), numerous regional awards, and a National Art competition in Kansas City. But in 1970, David made his first trip to India to live & train in a small classic Yoga Ashram on the banks of the Ganges River, in the foothills of North India's Himalayas

David with his great Yoga guru, Shri Swami Rama - Haridwar, India 1970
It was during this initial stay of many months, that I was not only initiated into the ancient traditions of Yoga/Meditation... but into the amazing natural beauty of India... especially her wildlife.
Elephants used to come across the Ganges in the dead of night to steal ripe squash from the vines in the ashram.
The initial impact of India's amazing natural beauty inspired me to try and draw & paint what I was seeing. But my abilities to draw & paint directly from Nature were not very good yet.
It was however during 16 summers David spent living in India's northern state – Kashmir – that he began to work on improving his artistic skills in the field...
... spending my summers living and traveling throughout Kashmir from early June till fall, I slowly began to work on my painting and drawing skills. I wanted to try and paint what I was experiencing. Those wonderful sights in Kashmir helped fuel my inspirations and artistic efforts up to this very day.
Then, in 1985, after a series of profound spiritual experiences, I was inspired to refocus my entire artistic career into a complex professional effort to... Paint India.

David's decision to focus a concentrated creative effort on India began with India's tremendous diversity of birds.

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 completely upgrade the entire skill set of his working method... both in the field traveling all over India, as well as back in his home studio.

David realized that if he was to do justice to this effort... he needed to not just draw better... he needed to be able to actually "Sketch" live subjects and Paint... directly from Nature... not just from photographs.

It was during my efforts to sketch live birds in the New Delhi Zoo, that I actually stumbled into a profound breakthrough in my whole drawing process. I wasn't drawing "faster"... I was drawing in a different "way". I had begun to eliminate most of the details in my subjects, drawing only the most essential visual elements. And that was the key...
David's very first... of what he now refers to as... "Sketches"... done in less than 60 seconds each... using a 6B Kohinoor pencil in sketchbook.
My initial efforts... sketching live birds in the New Delhi Zoo, was the single most revolutionary advancement of my drawing skills... in my whole life, up to that point. I developed my skills very rapidly from that day onwards. And that alteration in my sketching skills...has continued to yield changes and additional skills up to this very day.
Quick field sketches done in India's famous bird sanctuary... Bharatpur - Keoladeo National Park using a 9B woodless graphite pencil in sketchbook.
Small quick live sketches of birds done in the Delhi Zoo using a Pentel Razorpoint Pen... shown actual size.
David's efforts to create an entire body of work focused on India's amazing diversity of birds catapulted his career into the very top competitive range of artists worldwide.
Morning in Bharatpur - 40" x 60" - Transparent Watercolor

As David gradually revised, expanded, and perfected his Working Method so that he could work creatively and effectively both in the studio as well as on location anywhere in the world... his efforts in India also expanded.

David painting on the banks of the Ganges River, North India.

Fast forward to present day. 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. And over the past 5 years David has worked with over 2000 artists in various workshops and training programs all over the United States, to help them incorporate this new digital medium into their own skill set.

iPad Magic Workshop in Dallas, Texas 2015 - How to utilize an iPad like an Artist
Live Working Session where artists work in real time with David's Sketching Techniques on their own Apple iPads.

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.

Tradition 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 distinct results.

David Rankin watercolor training workshops / 2017

David at Euclid Art Association Workshop

Today, David Rankin is one of the top Watercolor Instructors in America today. He actually refers to himself as a Watercolor Trainer, in that rather than you mostly watching him paint, David actually trains artists in very precise ways. Working closely with David he will help you rapidly upgrade and master the unique, and often magical skills, in transparent watercolor. Come & train with David.

David Rankin Workshop Schedule - 2017

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David Rankin Watercolors & Workshops 2017

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