Nowadays, it seems that more and more people have been relaxing their attitudes towards the genre. This could be in part to a new generation of fans discovering the work and the fast pace at which media can now be shared through the internet.
The study I have conducted is based upon over five years of research while collecting data on various images which were posted on a fantasy art website. There are some discrepancies in the results due mainly to the subjective nature of different images but overall I believe the results are a good indication of which artists are currently the most popular.
Let's get right down to it!
10. Frank Frazetta
Frank Frazetta was born on February 9, 1928 and died May 10, 2010. He was an American fantasy and science fiction artist who was noted for comic books, paperback book covers, illustrations, posters, and album covers. Frank started working in the comic business in 1944 at age 16 doing pencil clean-ups. His body of work is immense and many consider Frazetta to be the father of modern fantasy art. Frank Frazetta was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1995.
9. Adrian Johnson
Adrian Johnson has been interested in illustration since the day he was born. After studying art at college, Adrian has continued producing portraits and figures of female nudes. He prefers to work in pencil but is always trying new techniques. Adrian's major influence is all of the art he sees whether modern or classic. Adrian often includes a lot of detail but also has a fresh style achieved with simple lines which always catch the character of the model.
8. Lorenzo Sperlonga
Lorenzo was born in 1969 in Rome, Italy. He began his career at the age of 16 as a graphic designer but soon realized that painting was his passion and began to focus on sci-fi, fantasy and erotic art. In 1995 his career turned towards being a pin-up artist. Lorenzo has an easily recognizable style and his painting have been seen in Playboy and Penthouse magazines. In 1998 Lorenzo moved to Los Angeles and did work for Larry Flynt Publications. His break came in 2000 when he started doing covers for Heavy Metal magazine.
7. Keith Garvey
Keith Garvey (Garv) has been creating art and private commissions for a very long time. Keith lives in New York and has a degree in art. His work is usually started in pencil and finished digitally. The coloring and imagery captures a unique blend of modern art and classic pin-up. When he was 10 years old he enjoyed drawing characters from comics. By age 12, he discovered Vargas in the pages of Playboy and this gave him a new appreciation of art. Looking at his work, you can clearly see the influence of other great artists like Vargas, Kirby, Sorayama and others.
6. Hajime Sorayama
Sorayama is best known for his unique techniques, which have a very refined look. He works with pencil, brush, and acrylic paints, then uses an airbrush for final details. The level of realism achieved is practically unparalleled in the industry. The most astonishing thing about his work is the level of realism although highly provocative and imaginative. The combination of real and fantasy heightens the level of fantasy. He is equally adept at fantasy and traditional pin-up but tends to lean towards overtly sexual imagery.
5. Erik Drudwyn
Erik Drudwyn is an American artist who creates his works primarily with pencil or charcoal. Born in 1968, he started taking an interest in art by age thirteen. He would spend time at the library studying the works of the masters. His skill was refined at the Colorado Institute of Art where he developed an understanding of anatomy. His works are primarily renderings of beautiful models in various poses with a style that has a shocking degree of realism. A variety of influences have gone into the art that he produces, including several big names such as Anthony Guerra, A.D. Cook, Barbara Jensen, and Lara Adams.
4. Olivia De Berardinis
Olivia is perhaps the best-known modern pinup artist. Many of her images are surreal with traditional elements. Her work has appeared in many magazines and are favorites of art fanatics worldwide. She was born in California, but bounced around the East Coast for most of her childhood. In her late teens Olivia went to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts. After graduating, she found regular work as a commercial artist, painting fantasy artwork for paperbacks and other periodicals. Over the span of two decades Robert Bane Publishing released over 200 limited edition prints of de Berardinis' work. She has had several gallery shows.
3. Boris Vallejo
Boris is widely known for his fantasy works. He set about drawing at the age of 13 and even presented sufficient talent to transform himself into a reputable illustrator by the age of 16. Boris immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 23 with only a few bucks in his pocket but a lot of proficiency. Success was achieved swiftly, and his artwork consequently graced movie posters, advertisements, and countless paperback book covers. He has a traditional creative sense and even recognizes the impact of other great illustrators which even include the artwork heavyweight Frank Frazetta. His significance appears to have been widely felt, with quite a lot of younger artists ranking him as their number one influence.
2. Alain Aslan
Aslan was born in France in 1930 and demonstrated brilliant talent at an early age. His skill allowed him get into the School of Fine Arts. He subsequently went on to study at the desirable Superior School of Fine Arts in Paris. The 1950s brought about a lot of work, including images for children's stories and advertising work for significant car producers which include Renault, Peugeot, and Fiat. His proficiency and appeal laid the foundation for what would end up being several his most acclaimed works between 1963 and 1981. The lifetime accomplishment of Aslan is undeniable.
1. Dorian Cleavenger
Dorian Cleavenger exploded onto the fantasy landscape in the later part of 1990s as he established a fanatical number of viewers for his designs of gothic horror and sexy heroes. A comic convention in 1997 changed his way of life. His skill was acknowledged by many leading comic book publishers. Instant success triggered the publication of quite a few immensely well-liked books. Cleavenger's work continues to be displayed in exhibitions and his classic works are collected everywhere around the world. Dorian's artworks have attracted side by side comparisons with a lot of leaders of the fantasy and erotic art domain like Boris as well as Olivia, not to mention Sorayama and Frazetta.
Stacy on September 05, 2014:
They should have included Nicole Brune