Erik Drudwyn is an American artist who produces extraordinary nude and erotic work primarily in charcoal and pastel. From an early age he was artistically compelled by the female form.
Drudwyn's road to a career in art was by no means without obstacle. Born in 1968 in Colorado and raised in Wyoming, he began taking a serious interest in drawing at age thirteen. His mother was an artist, so he certainly had a family environment that encouraged artistic activity, but the boy felt that Wyoming was not the ideal place for an aspiring young artist to develop.
In his youth, he spent time at the library reading about and studying the works of acknowledged "masters" and time at home drawing from adult and fashion magazines. It wasn't until later that his passion receive due attention. He felt that he was required to spend a lot of time drawing other, less interesting, subjects for school and family.
Erik blossomed when he entered the Colorado Institute of Art after high school. There he developed his understanding of anatomy and had the opportunity to draw from live models. This was more in line with his artistic ambitions than high school projects, and he felt that the first half year at art school was more educational than his entire previous experience. He graduated in 1989 with high hopes of a career in art but was frustrated at the difficulty of finding full-time work. Few people of influence took interest in his artwork and after years of restaurant work Erik joined the Marines.
The artist believed that art would be a simple leisure pursuit until a fellow Marine commissioned him to do a painting, which was shown around the base and led to more commissions. Still, it took a few years of post-Marine life enjoying the pleasures of rural Wyoming on his mountain bike to bring him completely around to the idea of dedicating himself to a career in art. As he describes it: "In 1998, I started back up with a new fervor to 'make beauty' and I have no plans of stopping ever again."
In this case "make beauty" is a direct reference to his teenage realization that such was the artist's exciting mission. And "making beauty" is certainly what Drudwyn has been successfully doing. His works are beautiful renderings of models in various erotic poses. He is capable of an almost shocking degree of realism with pastels and is a master of light and shadow. If commercial success were directly proportional to technical skill, it is questionable whether Erik would have ever spent time in the Marines.
In creating his art, Drudwyn references the work of several important photographers: Stephen J. Hicks, Martin Perrault and Mark Daughn receive special acknowledgment on his website. The list of models that have served as subjects includes many names that may be familiar to fans of erotica, including Allison Angel, Sandee Westgate, Angela Taylor, Aria Giovanni, Julie Strain, Eve Ellis and Roxanne Galla. Erik has managed to translate this beauty into a considerable number of pieces in the decade since he committed himself full-time to art.
A variety of influences have gone into the art that Drudwyn now produces. He mentions big names in the erotic art world such as Anthony Guerra and A.D. Cook as well as a host of others, including Charles Dearing, Sebastien Serrano, Ray Leaning, Barbara Jensen, Kris Hoglund and Lara Adams. Erik also gives a special nod to the work of Russian and Ukrainian artists like Nicolai Fechin.
A visit to the artist's website will reveal an excellent gallery of his pinup works, many of which are shown at various stages of completion. This gives a great sense of exactly how painstaking the process is and how he builds his realistic compositions up in layers. There are also a few non-pinup works that celebrate the rural landscape where Drudwyn has spent so much of his time. Prints of many of his works can be purchased through his website. The majority of these are published by Erik himself, although several have been published by Robert Bane Editions.
attended Colorado Institute of Art.