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