David T. Darling studied for a number of years in France at the Academie Libre in Nice, at the Grande Chaumiere in Paris and at the Academie Colarossi. In Rochester, New York he was invited to contribute to a joint exhibition of eminent watercolorists in the company of John Marin and George Innis at the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester. His work was favorably received and he was asked to submit work for an exhibition at the Art Center of New York where he won the praise of a number of critics.
Darling moved to Manhattan and held a solo exhibition at the Art Center of a new decorative watercolor that he called “Water-Graph”, made by a stencil process of his own invention. Using seven, eight, or more stencils, he obtained the well-defined outlines and transparent watercolor to produce the subtle gradations of tone. The effect is similar to a hand- colored woodblock print, but with richer tonal effects and more shading.
Darling gained a reputation as a painter and illustrator. He was Assistant Professor of Art at Marshall College in Huntington, West Virginia in 1930, teaching oils and etching. He exhibited his “water-graphs” at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. in 1932.