Featured Artist Dennis Crayon

Enjoy the fascinating portfolio of artist Dennis Crayon and be sure to visit his website to see more of his work.


Blue Magdalene

“Blue Magdalene” Oil on panel, 8″ x 10″


Painting as a contemporary realist means my work is more accessible to viewers. In both subject matter and style, the paintings update the trompe l’oeil and still life genres, drawing on photographic processes and a “beat-up” look and feel.


Wave Fragment

“Wave Fragment” Oil on panel, 30″ x 20″


I paint on panel that I prepare myself with gesso, and the surface has to be just right. I build up a very smooth surface usually taking up to ten coats of gesso and sanding between each coat.



“Cowboys” Oil on panel, 24″ x 30″


I use Photoshop to move elements around until I find something I like. After that I print out the image and use that as the main source of my reference material.


Three Graces

“Three Graces” Oil on panel, 14″ x 18″


My rough sketches can start in Photoshop, where I pull in digital photographs and manipulate them to compose a still life or trompe l’oeil piece. From there, I build a reference with the torn edges and bent corners, usually on cardboard.


Ripped Grapes

“Ripped Grapes” Oil on panel, 10″ x 12″


As a contemporary realist painter I use modern composition aesthetics, but I paint in a classical painting technique. Each of my paintings features an extreme attention to detail, especially with regards to the way light interacts with an object or surface.


On a Day Such As This

“On A Day Such As This” Oil on Panel, 12″ x 12″


Painting provides me the opportunity to better understand the relationship of light with varying surfaces, and it helps convey my sense of wonder and intrigue. I recognize the value of craft in my painting and continually work to improve my technique and style.

In my most recent work, I juxtapose objects from my youth with contemporary objects to provide a unique vision or viewpoint.


Road Hard and Put Away Wet

“Road Hard and Put Away Wet” Oil on panel, 16″ x 20″


I depend upon the classical traditions of realism tracing back to the Renaissance masters I am especially inspired by Caravaggio and Vermeer. By adding rich, vibrant colors to this traditional structure, I enhance my paintings’ emotional impact. My interest in color is inspired by the paintings of Claudio Bravo and Scott Fraser.


Moving Day

“Moving Day” Oil on panel, 18″ x 18″


My passion for painting began when I was very young. I took private lessons in high school and got a BFA in Graphic Design from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


I'll Have Just One

“I’ll Have Just One” Oil on panel, 12″ x 12″


Later as an adult, I went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for painting. I am an active member of Washington, D.C.’s artistic community; my work has been shown at Gallery West, Spectrum Gallery, and Light Street Gallery.




  1. The art is so beautiful, creative, and neat! I really like it and wish I had studied art instead of English.

  2. Dennis – I really enjoy your work. Specifically your series of compositions where you’ve exhibited the illusion of separate images put together like a puzzle – love the torn edges and tape effects. When I was around 8 years old, I use to cut random images out of my dad’s illustration and stock photography books and create these decorative collages – I think this is why your art has struck such a chord with me.

  3. Thanks Matthew
    I really like making the torn edges it is my way of referencing the old fresco paintings that have cracked and broke unevenly. I hope you start making collages again even just to connect with your youth more.

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