The Crayon Art of Gene Rivas

About Gene Rivas

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Please scroll down for the most recent postings.

Once again, thanks for visiting the website. My hope is that it inspires you as well.


I am an artist who paints portraits, dancers, nudes and other subjects with rich colors in classic and modern themes. I primarily work with Caran d’Ache Neocolor II and Lyra Aquacolor artists' crayons, and Prismacolor colored pencils. I sometimes blend with the heat from a small hair dryer. Most of my larger paintings are rendered on thick illustration boards and the smaller ones are painted on Azure Blue Canford drawing paper.


I was raised in Lynwood, California, near Los Angeles, and am the grandson of the Mexican master muralist, Candelario Rivas. I learned my techniques in color and portraiture from the Rivas family. I especially learned from my aunt Carmen, and consequently, have never attended an art class in my life. Although I occasionally sell my art, I am a retired aerospace engineer and I paint for the joy of it, and the opportunity to meet the most remarkable people.


I work out of my home studio situated in the forested hills near Seattle, Washington and enjoy the peace and quite there. Like my grandfather, I enjoy painting portraits. Using a four tone coloring technique, like the self-portrait above, I have rendered many portraits of children, friends, celebrities, and various professionals. In 2000, I completed a set of thirty portraits of TV news anchors and lent the exhibit to various community centers throughout western and central Washington to assist them in fund raising. Called “Anchors Away”, the exhibit toured for over two years.  Three years later, I painted six portraits of high achieving Native American college students  that were displayed at the Yakama Nation Cultural Center.  Currently, nine of my portraits are on display at the Redmond Danceworks studio which show the instructional staff. Through the years, I have had the pleasure to show my art the Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, Washington and numerous galleries and business's in the greater Seattle area.


In 2007, I started the first of two series of Belly Dancer paintings. It was a great experience to work with accomplished Belly Dancers from nearby Seattle to model twenty-eight paintings, of which are all shown in the web site. In 2010, I completed my third large Mermaid painting, which I hope to add at least one more.


Working with my family, I have recently authored a book and website of my grandfather, Candelario Rivas, and I worked with the American Art Archive to complete a web site of my uncle, Jose Rivas,  also a renown artist in Mexico and California.


I am a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I retired early in 2008 and very much enjoy the time with my lovely wife and family, and with my activities in art, dance, music and science.


I can be contacted for sales on Facebook, or by emailing me at

Self Portrait


I pose with beautiful Amira of Seattle who modeled several of my Belly Dancer paintings.


Working on "The Blue Veil" on a large cold press board.


My grandfather Candelario Rivas paints Pancho Villa's wife in 1914.

My uncle Jose Rivas paints movie star Maggie McNamara in 1955.

I paint my beautiful wife Ann in 2011.

Pictured with Seattle’s popular  Hallie Kuperman, I have had the opportunity to show my art at her Loft studio in Seattle.

Here I complete a religious painting for my mother in 2002. Rendered on Canford Azure Blue paper, I use the edges to test colors before I cut out the painting.

I was fortunate to have my art featured in the Winter 2008 issue of Belly Dance.

I paint with my collection of Caran d’Ache Neocolor II and Lyra Aquacolor artists' crayons, and Prismacolor colored pencils.

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