David Rankin

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Images David didn’t Use

Here are some of the other images david developed along the way that were not utilized.








David’s Sketchbook

The Zoo has also asked David to include in his artistic efforts... all of the various species that will find a home in their new African Elephant Crossing habitat. And all of these additional Watercolors will then be shown in a special Fine Art Exhibition of David’s Watercolors at the zoo... opening at the same time as the new habitat.


And you will now be able to follow right along with David as he sketches and paints the amazing assortment of wonderful creatures that you will then see in this new feature at the zoo next spring.

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The Final Painting for the Special EDITION POSTER COMMEMORATING THE GRAND OPENING OF THE CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO AND IT’S NEW AFRICAN ELEPHANT CROSSING FACILITY.

Watercolor Elephants

“Over these past many months I tried out a large number of different ideas for this poster. The Zoo’s new multi-million dollar expansion of its African Elephant Crossing facility is very important to the overall message and educational effort that the Cleveland Zoo is known for, both in its world-class facility here in Cleveland... as well as its multi-faceted conservation efforts that it is engaged in and supports worldwide.


Rather than just creating a “painting of elephants”... I wanted to try to find a ubiquitous... even archetypal image of elephants that evoked something far deeper and more emotional. Elephants both in the wild and in zoos everywhere are one of the most magnificent creatures in the world. They are not only extremely intelligent, they create and maintain very unique “family” relationships. And elephants can be seen to express a wide range of emotions. And one of the most common expressions of affection and greetings... that visitors to zoos and observers in the wild can easily recognize... is the very special way elephants use their trunks in these greetings. Most of an elephants emotions can be easily seen and actually understood... if only you watch how they use their trunks. And one of the single most common things you’ll see amongst elephants, who are friendly towards each other, is how they affectionately wrap their trunks around each other’s trunks in greetings and affectionate communications.

David Rankin has recently completed work on his commissioned watercolor, entitled... “Affection”...  for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, in Cleveland, Ohio USA. This large watercolor measures 22” x 30” and will be used on the Special Edition Poster commemorating the Grand Opening of the Zoo’s wonderful new African Elephant Crossing facility... which opens May 5-8th, 2011.


This project took Rankin about 7 months to develop, trying out numerous ideas in sketches & studies. David Rankin is known for doing enormous amounts of artistic research and study when engaged in large projects of this kind. And yesterday, after presenting the finished painting to the Zoo’s Director, Steve Taylor and Marketing Director, Sue Allen, as well as many of their staff Rankin commented...

Something BIG is in the works!!