Drew Ernst

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oil on linen, 30x36"

Boxing Gloves

Boxing Gloves
oil on linen, 20x24"

Golden Train

Golden Train
oil on linen, 20x30"


Drew Ernst is a realist figurative painter. Ernst attended Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the oldest art museum and school in the United States. There, he studied under accomplished artists such as Sidney Goldman, Peter Paone, and Bo Bartlett. To learn the intricacies of the human form, Ernst also spent time at the Hannaman Medical School in Philadelphia, drawing cadavers.

Notable exhibitions of his works include The Butler Institute; the DC Art Center; Mansfield Art Center as well as a Painting in the Presidential Library. 

Drew Ernst’s work captures mixed, even conflicting, emotions and oppositional energies. The scale, generally large and sometimes monumental, allows the paintings to take on their own life. Their human size invites the viewer to become a part of the depicted universe, to step past the surface, to engage and explore the different layers hidden within the strong light that defines Ernst’s world.

His process, like the resulting work, is a complex thing, "contradictory, containing both positive and negative energy, a strange journey through the human psyche, bringing  inspiration and excitement." He works on each of these modern themed narrative paintings for months before completion, allowing the narrative to come to life in the work.

Ernst credits his creative drive and photographic precision to childhood experiences of observing his father, an image-maker. As a very small child, he would sit on the floor of his father’s dark room with a huge roll of white paper and finger paint. While his father developed photos, he would paint in the dark or hue of the red light.