Snow, the Sutherland and Live Wedding Painting of Jeanie & Mark

Jeanie & Mark. Watercolor. 12×16.

Jeanie & Mark. Watercolor. 12x16.

After doing many indoor wedding and event paintings, I had the opportunity to paint a live wedding outdoors. With snow on the ground! Jeanie and Mark had their wedding reception at the Sutherland. The Sutherland is a beautiful historic venue in Wake Forest. I was working with Ashlee Adams and Jennifer Jones of the Sutherland.

It had really snowed the night before and part of the morning. So, everything was covered under a white snow blanket! The place looked beautiful- if I weren’t painting a wedding, I would have painted it Plein Air! The reception was outside the building, under a heated tent. I found ideal location to be in a corner behind DJ Jim’s setup. The heated tent was very comfortable. However, cold air would come in every now and then from under the corner. And standing in one place for a long period does not help. This is where the experience of painting Plein Air came in handy! I had my toe warmers in the bag (thank you, wife!).

I had decided to paint the first dance. Many times, I start drawing and painting immediately. In this case, I did a preliminary drawing but waited for the first dance, so, I could place  couple in an ideal position. The dance went by quickly- I had mere minutes to sketch the couple. Rest of the painting flowed in from there. The sunlight kept on coming in and out, so, I had to glaze the painting couple of times to get the depth.

I was painting on Arches Hot Pressed 140 lb block. Mostly to control the textural effects. I completed the painting in less than two hours after the dance started. As is my practice, I photographed it, and framed it.

Images below show my setup and view from my easel, before the reception had started.

– Tesh Parekh

I accept studio and live wedding & event painting commissions!

Event Painting for Triangle Wine Experience and ISES

Triangle Wine Experience 2010.  Watercolor. 11×14.  

Triangle Wine Experience 2010. Watercolor. 11x14.

The Raleigh-GT chapter of ISES, in Raleigh, NC,  put together a great event for the Frankie Lemmon Foundation called Triangle Wine Experience on February 6, 2010. The Foundation invited me to paint live for the charity auction. The ISES team created a beautiful ballroom, full of fabulous wine, food and friends.   As usual, my challenge was indoor lighting: not enough light, color temperature of the available light and shadows on my setup! I snapped couple of photos to show how dark it was inside the venue. The first one below shows my easel in the right hand corner at the bottom. The next image shows completed painting: the light on my painting is from my hand-held off-camera flash. 

Maybe I should eat more carrots! Thankfully, I was helped by videographer’s light during the initial stages. He did a time-lapsed recording of my painting- I hope to see it! 

I picked 11×14 format due to the schedule. I used Archies Hot Pressed block. It is good to paint on different surfaces. Each one has different characteristic. 

I love painting at Weddings and Events because I love painting from life. It also challenges me to find solutions for problems I face with location painting. I am never satisfied with the final result- that is a reason good enough for me to keep painting. 

It was good to see all my friends from ISES. I thank all who stopped by and shared kind words. Someday, I will carry portable lighting (in addition to easel, backpack, portfolio to carry paper and framing supplies, camera bag…). 

Well, I am off to eat some carrots- see you at the next event! 

– Tesh Parekh 

I accept commissions for studio and live paintings…

Evening at Solas- Event painting

Evening at Solas

Evening at Solas. 9″x12″. Watercolor.

Noreen Allen of NCMA Contemporaries (  had invited me to display my art at a wine tasting social at Solas. The North Carolina Museum of Art Contemporaries group is composed of young Triangle professionals whose goal is to promote the Museum and increase membership by sponsoring lively social and educational fundraising events.

Earlier, I had done event paintings for Contemporaries’ Derby Day event. So, I decided to do one for this event as well. Derby Day event was on the Solas terrace during daytime. This event was on January 19, on the second floor and in the evening. Normally, indoor lighting is bit challenging with live event paintings. However, thanks to Amanda Manares of Solas (, I had couple of track lights pointing directly at my display as well as my easel!  The color temprature of indoor lighting is a problem but this was huge help!

As with any event, things change quickly, people move and time flies! So, drawing and painting from memory is your best option. Not to mention working quickly! I was painting on Archies CP block. I still use Winsor and Newton watercolors on location, but I am in the process of switching brands for location work. I am considering Holbein as an alternative.

I accept commiossions for studio paintings as well as live Wedding and Event paintings. You can see my wotk at:

Here is my setup and work-in-progress shots:

– Tesh Parekh

My paintings in Halle Cultural Arts Center’s “A Sense of Place” Juried exhibition

It has been busy last few days! Although I have not been able to paint much, I have been really busy promoting my Wedding & Event paintings. My wife and I own IWP Photography ( We had a booth at Forever Bridal Show for both photography and painting. I received lot of interest in the Wedding paintings and so we will be including that as a part of our wedding packages. If someone already has a photographer (too bad!) or already married (congratulations!), I will accept commission for live or studio paintings. If you are not familiar with my Wedding and Event paintings, I have earlier blogs which I had posted on some of my paintings. I also have samples on my website:

This month I am working on couple of studio commissions- a large family group portrait and a wedding painting. I am also planning on entering couple of competitions.

My two plein air watercolor paintings have been accepted into Halle Cultural Arts Center’s “A Sense of Place” Juried exhibition (Apex). The first painting is “Fall evening, Cary” and the second painting is “State Capitol, Raleigh”. Different cities, different downtowns and different views!  Both were painted on location. “State Capitol, Raleigh” was also juried into 2009 NC State Fair. I had written about that painting earlier. I painted “Fall evening, Cary” on Academy Street after my shift at Cary Gallery of Artists where I am a member. I love the view of Academy street from Chatham. The street is always busy with traffic and cars parked on the side. The church adds the visual interest. I may paint there again. What I remember about that painting is the clean crisp fall air, with traffic passing by as I painted. There were some passerby, but not as many as when I painted “State Capitol, Raleigh”. Opening reception is on January 15.

Both paintings are available for purchase.

– Tesh Parekh

Live Event painting for ISES/ NACE/ Triangle Bridal Holiday party

ISES, NACE and Triangle Bridal hosted their annual holiday party on December 8 at Marriott in Raleigh. As a professional photographer (, I am a member of ISES- International Special Events Society ( I did a live watercolor event painting at this party. Carrie Peele of Blue Diamond Limo won this painting in a raffle! This was a great event. Although I painted for the most part, I enjoyed meeting many wonderful professionals. I also had the opportunity to photograph my painting process:

Here I have setup my easel and I am ready to start. I was painting on a 12×16  Arches CP 140 lb watercolor block. This blank rectangle piece of paper can be terrifying! Especially, when you look at what is in front: semi dark room filled with decorations and guests who are constantly moving. The lights are constantly changing. A bright red beam of DJ’s lights danced on my paper every few minutes and blinded me!

I use a French easel. I have modified it for my use. I do not find it easy to setup and would be happy to build my own someday. I paint on watercolor paper of different brands (Arches, Fabriano, etc.), textures (cold-pressed, rough, smooth), sizes and weights (140 lb, 300lb). I use single sheet as well as blocks. I keep an old fruit jar for water. I use Weber’s leakproof palette (this is a recent upgrade from my $2 palette!). I use mop brushes as well as synthetic brushes. I also use Sword liners- with these brushes I can paint really fine lines. It is important for me to have the brushes which can hold their point, as I “draw” with my brushes when I paint. I use Winsor & Newton watercolors. I probably have more colors than I need!

My next step was to analyze the scene and decide what I was going to paint. I spend enough time planning my process: what I am going to include, what I am going to leave out, what color scheme I will be using, what is the tonal scheme going to be, which parts will be painted wet-in-wet, which parts will be painted wet on dry, and so on. I do not start the painting until I have made at least some of these (if not all) decisions in my head. The next step was drawing. I use any pencil which is in my backpack and is sharp enough: HB, B, 2B, etc. (I do not use harder one- H, 2H, etc.). Drawing is very important to me. Success of my kind of painting depends on good drawing. This is one of the reasons I constantly practice drawing. Sorry, there are no shortcuts here! Here is my completed drawing. I am ready to use colors now.

I started with thin washes of colors. Lights were brightly colored, coming from many directions and changing constantly so the popular theory of “cool light, warm shadows” was useless here! I had to observe the scene long enough and make mental notes and memorize color schemes. It is difficult for me to describe my choices of colors.From Joseph Zbukvic I have learned to think of colors as: light or dark, cool or warm. When I am painting, tone is more important to me than colors. It took me around 90 minutes to complete the entire painting. I had the opportunity to chat with many nice folks (try that standing next to DJ’s fancy music system! However, that was not as bad as being on stage with Salt-N-Peppa snapping photos at G105’s Second Chance Prom! I had serious ringing in my ears after that!).

One good thing about watercolors is the drying: painting was ready for framing almost immediately! I matted and framed the painting and handed over to raffle folks. Here is the completed painting.

If you would like to commission me for your Wedding or Event, please email me: (this also makes a great gift!) .I also work with Event planners. You can see samples of my work at:

Happy Holidays!

– Tesh Parekh

Wedding painting at St. Mary’s Chapel

Leigh and Tony. 16×12 Watercolor. Painted live at St. Mary’s Chapel in Raleigh, NC.

This is my latest wedding painting. I was working with Cara Zuehlke of A Southern Soiree. St. Mary’s Chapel is beautiful. It reminded me of All Saints Chapel where I had done a wedding painting earlier.The chapel was decorated beautifully, both inside and outside (if I had time, I would have painted outside as well!).

I arrived 90 minutes before the ceremony. The spot where I could setup my easel was between the last pew and the heating unit. I had to keep twisting for two hours to look at what I was painting and to reach my watercolor block and painting supplies! At this time of the season, it gets dark quickly. So, the only source of light was the overhead indoor lights: beautiful, but not bright enough for painting. Getting accurate tone and color temperature was not easy! But, that is the fun of painting on location!

When you look at any wedding scene, mere thought of painting so many details, and people can be terrifying. I like to plan ahead, say my prayers and then dive-in! I do my work with complete faith. At one point, I felt I was not going to have enough time to finish the painting. Talk about the stress! But, I am also a professional photographer ( and familiar with the stress! So, I kept on painting! I work quickly and the only thing important to me is capturing the romance of bride and groom uniting in front of their beloved family and friends. It is a beautiful thing!

I completed the painting few minutes after the ceremony was over. I photographed it, framed it and delivered to Cara in time for the reception. The reception was at Hotel Umstead.

I had the opportunity to meet Rev. Barbara Lodge ( and Anne Duncan (St. Mary’s). Nice ladies- I look forward to working with them again.

If you are interested in commissioning me for this unique service, please email me at: (this makes a great gift to bride and groom!). You can see my work online at:

– Tesh Parekh

My paintings in NC State Fair

My oil painting “A Matter of Time” and Plein Air watercolor “State Capitol, Raleigh”  have been juried into NC State Fair (images of both were posted on my blog earlier). I sent in my entry at the last minute and was pleasently surprised! “A Matter of time” is also a winner in Jerry’s Artarama’s Lukas contest. My work is also on display at Cary Gallery of Artists (where I am a member), as well as Wake Forest Art & Frame and Wake Forest Coffee Company. Please check out!

– Tesh Parekh

Second Annual Cary Gallery of Artists’ Plein Air Paint Out

Mark your calendar! Cary Gallery of Artists will be hosting second annual paint out on October 24, 2009.

As a member of the gallery, I won’t be able to participate in the paint out. But, I might paint along and volunteer!

This event is open to all artists, for all two-dimensional media except photography. Registration forms are available at the gallery: 200 S. Academy Street, Suite 120, Cary or on our website:

Monetary awards will be presented at the wine and cheese reception on October 30. This paint out is sponsored by The Heart of Cary Association and will be judged by Gayle Stott Lowry (