Don Rankin was born near Birmingham, Alabama. He began drawing at a
very early age. Many of his first attempts won prizes in class
competitions and in the Alabama State Fair.
In the early 1950’s art school opportunities were extremely limited in Alabama. With his father’s support Don became one of the youngest students of the Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut. One of the questions asked was, “Can you take criticism?” The young student answered “Yes”. It was a good thing for Don received a great deal of constructive criticism. The work and influence of men like Norman Rockwell, Stephan Dohanos, and Harold Von Schmidt helped perfect Don’s drawing ability. The school stressed accuracy in drawing and introduced the young student to the concept of identifying shapes in various objects and nature. This foundation would prove to be most valuable later on.
Torn between music and art, Don played guitar and performed in various venues until he made a decision to pursue painting. Although he still plays for himself, he hasn’t been on stage as a player in over 50 years.
Don’s work can be found in many corporate and private collections. His work has been accepted into numerous regional, national and international juried exhibitions and has been featured in various magazines such as American Artist, Watercolor ’89, Northlight, Southern Living, Seasons, Birmingham Magazine and the French language publication 'IMAGINE revue d'art Numero 44, various newspapers and other publications.
During the 1980’s Don was a featured author with Watson-Guptill Publications in New York. His book, Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor was first published in 1985 and became an extremely popular edition. In fact it was promoted as the first authoritative book on the subject of watercolor glazing techniques. It was followed by Painting From Sketches, Photographs and the Imagination and Fifty Most Often Asked Questions About the Watercolor Glazing Technique. Some editions were translated into foreign language editions. Don’s work was also featured in Painting the Landscape, by Elizabeth Leonard and All You Ever Wanted to Know About Watercolor, edited by Marian Appelof. His work was also featured in the New York Art Review.
In 2011, due to popular demand, Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor, Volume 1 by Dr. Don Rankin was revised, updated and independently published. The old popular tutorials were retained with some new additions and the sections depicting paints and paper were updated.
At the age of 29 Don was one of the youngest artists to ever be listed in Who’s Who in American Art. He is also listed in Marquis Who’s Who and in Who’s Who in American Education. Don earned a Ph.D. from the Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a recent inductee and recipient of the Marquis Life Time Achievement award. This is one of the highest honors conferred by Marquis Who's Who. http://whoswholifetimeachievers.com/2017/03/06/don-rankin