Featured Artist Don Rankin

Artist Don Rankin prefers the unpredictable spontaneity and transparency of watercolors as he captures the mood and beauty of his subjects. See more by visiting his website.

 

“Milking Time” Watercolor, 26” x 15” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Milking Time” Watercolor, 26” x 15”

 

I am happy for the opportunity to share my work. I love watercolor. I love it for all of its possibilities.

 

“Ghost” Watercolor, 24” x 10” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Ghost” Watercolor, 24” x 10”

 

It can be light and ethereal or bold and dynamic, depending upon my needs. I always let the subject and my reaction to it dictate my approach.

 

“Last Leaves” Watercolor, 22” x 30” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Last Leaves” Watercolor, 22” x 30”

 

I’m not particularly hung up on any special way to paint. I let the subject dictate. However, I usually prefer to work with multiple glazes of transparent watercolor, allowing one wash to dry before another is superimposed upon the surface. The results can be most gratifying with all sorts of color nuance and implied texture.

 

“Abandoned” Watercolor, 22” x 15” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Abandoned” Watercolor, 22” x 15”

 

I use the term glaze since my editors at Watson-Guptill coined that term to describe my layering process in one of my books entitled, “Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor.” The first edition was published in 1985, but it was updated in 2011 to include new advances in watercolor paints. Like me, it is still alive!

 

“The Watcher” Watercolor, 22” x 30” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Watcher” Watercolor, 22” x 30”

 

At the time my first book came out, there wasn’t much written material available on the subject. As a result, the publishers touted my book as the first authoritative work.

 

“Through the Trees” Watercolor, 22” x 15” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Through the Trees” Watercolor, 22” x 15”

 

In 1975, I was one of the co-founders of the Southern Watercolor Society and I am very delighted that the society is alive and well and showcasing so many wonderful watercolor painters. As for me, I try to paint or sketch nearly every day.

 

“Paradise Bridge” Watercolor, 36” x 24” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Paradise Bridge” Watercolor, 36” x 24”

 

Most of my subject matter comes from direct observation. I also dig into my old sketch books and find inspiration that for one reason or another didn’t get fulfilled at the time. Unfortunately my travel is limited these days, but my sketches bring old memories to life and I translate them to paper.

 

“White Sentry” Watercolor, 22” x 30” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“White Sentry” Watercolor, 22” x 30”

 

I think this is a great time to be a watercolor painter, for we have so many wonderful toys from which to choose—new paints, new paper, and the like.

 

“Twilight” Watercolor, 21.5” x 15.5” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Twilight” Watercolor, 21.5” x 15.5”

 

I prefer to sketch with a pen or a brush instead of a pencil, and I am always playing with new brushes, including a host of Oriental brushes. I also love exploring new watercolor paints and new combinations. A lot of these experiments line the bottom of my wastebasket, but you never know what you will find if you don’t explore.

 

“Nixburg Church” Watercolor, 26” x 42” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Nixburg Church” Watercolor, 26” x 42”

 

After all of the exploration, I select those things that enhance or amplify my personal approach to painting.

 

“Bass Harbor Light” Watercolor, 25.5” x 19.5” by artist Don Rankin. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Bass Harbor Light” Watercolor, 25.5” x 19.5”

 

My parting words—especially to younger painters—is that regardless of your form of expression, paint your passion and never, ever give up!

 

Artist Don Rankin invites you to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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