FAS Alumnus: Don Rankin
Don is currently a full-time Assistant Professor of Art in the School of the Arts at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, teaching color theory, structure of design, painting and drawing.
He is the author of Mastering Glazing Techniques in Watercolor, Painting from Sketches, Photographs and the Imagination, and Answers to 50 of the Most Often Asked Questions About Watercolor Glazing Techniques. His work has been translated and published in foreign language editions as well as produced in video formats. Don’s paintings are found in many corporate and private collections.
Here’s what he has to say about his FAS experience:
“I began the FAS Course in 1955-56. I was enrolled in the Cartooning Course which had a heavy emphasis on drawing with pen and ink as well as pencil. I worked for four years almost exclusively in black and white with grey scale.This foundation served me well as I continued my studies in other art schools. Even today, I constantly tell my students they cannot really understand and manipulate color unless they understand its relation to grey scale. This fundamental, as well as accurate drawing, was nurtured by the faculty at FAS.
“That was 55 years ago. I remember well the comments and critiques I received from various artists at FAS. I don’t recall ever getting a critique from a faculty member who was not a master at drawing. Famous Artists School instilled in me a love of line with pen and ink. In fact I still use those skills today. A great deal of my preliminary work is done that way. While it is probably more convenient to have a mentor at your elbow, there is much to be said about anticipation and solitude while solving visual problems.
“FAS has given me a great foundation and lots of fond memories.”