Ray Denton was born in Lambeth, London but brought up in West Yorkshire. At the age of sixteen he won a place at Leeds College of Art. He gained an Intermediate Award in Arts and Crafts and graduated in 1960 with an N.D.D. in illustration. This was followed by a post graduate course in illustration. At this time Harry Thrubron was head of the School of Painting who had profound influence on the college, bringing in established painters as Patrick Heron, Terry Frost and Victor Passmore. In 1962 he returned to London to work as Company Designer for Ilford Films Ltd. With the responsibility for the design and implementation of the company image. In 1970 he moved to Longmans to work in educational publishing as a studio/production manager. In 1980 he changed to freelance book design and illustration, increasingly painting and by 1985 was working entirely in fine art. During this time he undertook some part time teaching at East Ham College, the local art school.

After many years of travel between London and Cornwall, following many years of fascination with Cornish land and seascapes, he moved to Cornwall in 1996 to be near the source of his inspiration.

He was a member of the Hesketh Hubbard Art Society at the Mall Galleries until moving to Cornwall.

In 1998 he was elected to membership of the Penzance Society of Artists and exhibits with their shows and is a regular exhibitor at The Round House, Sennen. He is a member of the Penzance Arts Club.