An Alla Prima Painting in Oil- “Flowers of Fresh Affairs” by North Carolina Wedding Painter

“Flowers of Fresh Affairs”. Oil on Canvas. 18″x24″. Artist – Tesh Parekh

"Flowers of Fresh Affairs". An Alla Prima painting by Tesh Parekh. Oil on Canvas. 18"x24"

This is a fun painting I did at the Fresh Affairs in Raleigh. Lyn Graves had kindly invited me to paint live at the Tabletop Extravaganza. I have seen and captured the work of Fresh Affairs team many times- it is simply spectacular!

It was a HOT day in Raleigh and I was glad to be painting indoors! The light inside was dim with many little spot lights highlighting beautiful floral arrangements and table top displays. I noticed this beautiful arrangement and decided to paint it. Of course, that meant setting up in a small space and painting in semi-darkness! But, I enjoyed it! I enjoyed meeting many of my friends from ISES and many brides-to-be.

This was a quick painting. When I paint live at weddings and events, I paint people. However, in this painting I wanted flowers to be the focus. After all, those are works of art too…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Photographer



A Landscape Painting in Oil- “After The Storm, Pine Knoll Shores” by North Carolina Fine Artist

“After The Storm, Pine Knoll Shores”. Available. Oil on Linen. 20″x30″. Artist – Tesh Parekh

"After The Storm, Pine Knoll Shores". Oil on Linen. 20"x30". Artist - Tesh Parekh

I worked on this painting for a long time. That is quite a change from my live wedding paintings in watercolor and oil. Those commissions are completed on the same day. I also painted this during busy time of wedding photography and wedding painting commissions. There are some pictures which you have to make!

I experienced this beautiful scene during one of my recent trips to North Carolina’s beautiful coast. I had just finished photographing a family portrait session on the Pine Knoll Shores beach. The session was threatened by quick-moving storms. We stayed with our plan and were lucky to get the beautiful light. Normally, I prefer to paint from life. But, I had no time and carried no painting equipment due to the rain. So, I snapped some photos. I used the photos as a reference but, most of the painting is my interpretation.

This painting is also different from my other paintings in couple of ways. Apart from bristle brushes, I used watercolor brushes, mop brushes, paper towels and so on to apply the paint (the paint layer has brush hair which are now part of the painting). And one of the lessons I learned was that paints and tools are just that- tools. I am guilty of believing that only certain brands and brushes can do the job. In the end, your elbow grease and imagination matter as much!

I started the painting with broad washes of paint rubbed in. I used limited palette and painted in layers. Many glazes, scumbles and impastos. I used very little white paint.

I am working on other landscape paintings, both in watercolor and oil. My inspiration comes from walking in the little park in my neighborhood. While not full of awe-inspiring vistas like exotic places, I love this park just as much. I am not sure if it just a coincidence, but, I am also enjoying the works of Isaak Levitan. If I ever make a trip to Russia, it will be to admire his paintings…

– Tesh Parekh

Artist, Photographer and Live Wedding Painter



Wedding Painting of a Grandover Resort (Greensboro) Wedding { Aneka + Solomon } – by North carolina Wedding Painter

Aneka and Solomon’s wedding at Grandover Resort in Greensboto NC. Wedding Painting. Oil on Linen. 16″x20″.

Aneka and Solomon. Wedding Painting. Oil on Linen. 16"x20". Artist- Tesh Parekh

I did this painting for Sue McCain of Bella Wedding & Event Planning. The wedding took place at beautiful Grandover Resort in Greensboro (NC).

I was at the location two hours before the outdoor ceremony. It stormed just when I started to work! It stopped raining before the ceremony started. However, this put me behind the schedule. And since I had an engagement later on, I made sketches during the ceremony and snapped some photos to use as reference. I completed the painting in my studio.

I paint in both oils and watercolors. Both mediums have their own unique appeal. My previous live ceremony painting was in watercolor. I used oil paints of different brands for this painting. I use quality linen for all of my commissions.

I will be doing a live wedding painting as well as a live event painting for Wish Upon A Wedding in Chapel Hill next month. I am available to capture your wedding or event….

– Tesh Parekh

Wedding and Event Painter



Kate and Jeff’s Live Wedding Painting in Greensboro – by North Carolina Live Wedding Artist

Kate and Jeff’s Wedding Painting in Greenboro North Carolina. By Live Wedding Artist Tesh Parekh

Kate and Jeff. Live Wedding Painting at the Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro NC. 16×20 Oil on Linen. Artist – Tesh Parekh (, 919-622-5399, email:

Kate and Jeff. A live wedding painting in Greensboro, NC. 16x20. Oil on linen. Artist - Tesh Parekh (


This was my second live wedding painting in March. Earlier this month, I had painted Lauren and Joseph’s wedding at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh. I had a very short notice to paint Kate and Jeff’s commission! Anne (Kate’s mother) discovered my wedding painting service less than a week before the wedding! She really wanted a live oil painting for Kate and I am glad that I could create this unique gift for her.

Anne wanted me to paint at the reception. So, I suggested painting bride and groom dancing. I am thankful to Anne for giving me the creative freedom. This was a surprise gift. So, I setup in a corner where I had a good view of the dance floor.

I arrived at the Starmount Club, a beautiful venue in Greensboro NC, couple of hours before the reception. I decided on the composition and started the underpainting (below).

Sketching underpainting before the reception. Artist - Tesh Parekh

By the time the guests arrived, I had my underpainting finished (below). Then it was time to wait for the first dance.  I photograph professionally, and also take photos as I paint. However, I do not use photos for reference when painting live (unless there are constraints that force me to use photos).  So, it was a challenge to capture the bride and groom during couple of minutes of first dance! I make quick pencil sketches for reference as I paint. I also sketch guests and other details. I will be publishing those pencil sketches in a later post.

Waiting for the first dance. Artist - Tesh Parekh
I kept on painting, as the party went on and the guests celebrated Kate and Jeff’s wedding. There were many guests who stopped by to admire the painting and I thank everyone for their kind words!
When the painting reached its finished stage (below) , I invited Anne to review the painting. Kate, the beautiful bride, was amazed at her painting! Anne and I put painting on the easel and then it was time for me to head back to Raleigh…
Finished painting on the easel. Artist - Tesh Parekh

I like the tonal scheme of this painting. When painting live, I have to balance realism with the need to paint details which make every event unique. The atmosphere inside the club was warm and romantic and that is what I have captured in this painting. Each event is unique, so, I use process which best serves the painting.

As I mentioned above, I sketch in pencil (or colored pencil) when I paint. Drawing is very important to me. While drawing is necessary with watercolors, oil painting also benefits from the drawing. Whether used as reference, in underpainting or achieved in the finished painting with brushstrokes.
I will be painting an Indian wedding for my portfolio next. I want to display that as a sample at Indian Bridal Expo in Atlanta next month.
I am available to paint your wedding, event or special occasion anywhere in the world- almost anywhere…
– Tesh Parekh
Live Wedding Painter

Wedding Painting at the Sacred Heart Cathedral – by Raleigh Wedding Painter

What can be more exciting than doing a wedding painting for an artist bride?! When Celia called me to paint at her artist daughter’s wedding, I was honored! I paint in both watercolors and oils.This was going to be an oil painting. I paint oils on linen. While wedding painting is a unique service, each painting itself is unique as well! I was working with a very tight schedule and had to use my drawing skills to complete this commission. I had to overcome some of the usual and certain unusual challenges. I thank Celia for giving me the artistic freedom and supporting my painting process.

The Sacred Heart Cathedral, the smallest Roman Catholic cathedral in the country, is beautiful! I wanted to capture the beauty of this cathedral and the beauty of the wedding, together in my painting. I would get less than an hour at the Cathedral before the wedding ceremony started. So, I had started the painting in my studio. I sketched in pencils during the ceremony. This was going to be a surprise gift, so, I had setup my plein air painting box on a tripod, at the far end of the Church. For the most part, I sketched with my sketchbook in hand, to get a better view of the ceremony. I made several small sketches before and during the ceremony (I will be posting those later). One of the perks of painting and photographing professionally, is being part of special moments! I enjoyed both the ceremony and my sketching. When Lauren and Joseph walked as husband and wife for the first time, friends and family cheered, and it was time for me to get back to my oil painting!

I finished the painting in my studio. I delivered the painting to Celia at the Carolina Inn reception. The streets of Chapel Hill were busy with Tar Heels fans who were out to enjoy the ACC title game! My lovely wife helped me get to the reception on time! At the reception, we carefully put painting on the easel. Oil paintings stay wet for at least 2-3 days, before painting surface become dry to the touch. The paints will continue to dry below surface for 4-6 months, after which the painting will benefit from a coat of varnish.

As Tar Heels fans celebrated the ACC title victory, it was time for me to get some sleep! My reward for the night was creating a lasting memory for the bride and groom..

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter



Lauren and Joseph. Oil on linen. 16x20. Wedding Painting by Tesh Parekh

– Tesh Parekh

Triangle Wine Experience 2011- A Live Event Painting by Raleigh NC Live Wedding and Event Artist

This was my second year painting live for the Triangle Wine Experience. Last year, I had done a 11″x14″ watercolor. This year, I decided to do an oil. I visited the location in advance to checkout lighting and find a good spot. ISES team had really transformed the inside of a warehouse! I used 16″x20″ linen. I also carried my studio floor lamp. Indoor events are difficult to paint! Especially formal events with subdued lighting! Oil painting is especially challenging because of the glare.

I started the painting by toning the linen. I painted rough under-painting in Transparent Red oxide. It was still early so most folks were not yet sitting at the table. My solution was to do pencil sketches of people in action while I waited for the under-painting to dry little bit. Then it was painting in full color. Of course, in such environment, it is hard to judge hue, value and intensity! You have to find a way to create depth in the painting. One advantage of oils is the slow drying. Watercolors will dry faster (but, not fast enough when you need!). However, it is easier to lay quick washes with watercolor! Not so with oils! Filling up linen with details and brush-stroke was a long process! I really sweated with this painting!

I had the painting finished, photographed and framed in time for the auction. My hope is that it will get a good price for the Frankie Lemmon Foundation. I am glad to be part of this event to support a great cause.

I am keeping busy with painting and photography! I have many inquiries for painting live at weddings and events. I hope to travel more this year for commissions. I am constantly learning. And that is a good thing…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding and Event Artist



Painting your Wedding and Event live in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, North Carolina and beyond…


This is part of the scene I painted! Photographer- Tesh Parekh


Triangle Wine Experience 2011. Live Painting. Oil on Linen. 16"x20". Painted live on location in Raleigh NC. Artist- Tesh Parekh


Finished painting on the easel- ready for the auction! Photographer- Tesh Parekh

Double honors for my paintings- Raleigh NC Artist

Farmers Market at North Hills. 18×24. Oil on Canvas. First place in North Hills Quick Paint Plein Air competition.

Concert at North Hills. 13×19. Watercolor on Paper. Best in Show- North Hills Plein Air Competition.

This was a good Fathers Day Weekend for me! On Saturday I found out that my plein air painting “Concert at North Hills” had won Best in show award!  I had written about this painting in one of my previous posts. This award was quite an honor since I was in the company of many fine local plein air artists, including members of Paint NC group, Dough Strickland, Dan Nelson and Dan Lee. The competition was held during months of May and June. The paintings were on display at the Commons this weekend. When I reached North Hills in the morning for Quick Paint competition, I was pleasantly surprised to see Best in Show ribbon on my painting!

The Quick Paint competition was held on Saturday 10 AM- 1 PM. This coincided with the Framers Market. It was a hot morning! I walked around looking for a good spot. I liked the busy Farmers Market scene. Unfortunately, the spot from where I painted was in the direct sun! I practically fried myself standing in the sun for two hours! 

This was my largest plein air painting- 18×24. Since I had done watercolor earlier, I decided to paint in oils. The intense heat made the oils soft like watercolors!  I started by staining the canvas in brown tone. This was the only time I used OMS to thin the color. Next, I did a fairly loose underpainting in brown, keeping the paint thin without using OMS. This helped me finalize the composition, drawing and tonal scheme. I used the biggest brush for this part. I use this process sometimes for oil painting. The rest of the painting flowed smoothly and was expedited by the feeling of being a barbecue skewer on a hot summer grill! I finished the painting in two hours. I enjoyed meeting and talking to many nice folks while I was painting.

I also met nice folks with North Hills Events. Katherine Knott and her team did a great job.

The Quick paint results were announced on Sunday during the award ceremony. I came to North Hills from the Fathers Day brunch with my family. I was surprised to win the Quick paint as well! After the award ceremony, I headed to Raleigh-Durham Airport for a photo shoot! Under the hot Carolina skies…

–          Tesh Parekh



Memorial Day 2010- An original oil painting by Tesh Parekh

Memorial Day 2010. 16×20. Oil on linen.

I did this painting for Jerry’s Artarama’s Lukas paint competition. I had done one painting earlier for this competition “The Cloud”. It is currently on the display for sale at Cary Gallery of Artists.

I love the way evening light falls through front door of our home. My son Ian loves to stand there and watch the world outside. Originally I wanted to do his watercolor painting. So, I did a pencil sketch couple of days ago. The weather has been cloudy for last few days, so I could not make an exact sketch of what I wanted to paint. I also had paintings due for Jerry’s as well as North Hills competitions. I did a Plein Air watercolor for North Hills last week (see my earlier post). I wanted to do an oil as well, but, couldn’t get out to paint (North Hills competition is Plein air). So, I decided to work on at least one more painting for Jerry’s.

The painting was due today. And when I was being run over by the day yesterday, I finally saw the sunlight! I tried having Ian pose the way I wanted. Hmmm… Try that with a two-year old! So, I gave up and snapped few photos to use as reference.

I used linen as a support. Although I paint on both canvas and linen (sometimes on board), I prefer linen. Lukas paints are different from other brands I use. Those are all good paints and I enjoy discovering characteristics of each brand. I started to paint at 10:30 PM and stayed up to finish it this morning at 2 AM. When I was finished, I didn’t care if I will win anything. I enjoyed my little painting. One thing was certain: I will have dozen brushes to wash next day and Ian will be up in the morning! He did get up at 3 AM! And I still have brushed to wash!

Ian’s middle name is West. His grandfather was James West Hadnot. A fine fighter pilot and Col. in the US air force. World War II veteran. Today, when I remember him (he passed away in 2007), I remember many war stories he had shared with me. Some of those can make hair on your arms stand up. And here I was. Worried about little things. I had a very upsetting and bizarre incident involving one of my professional photography clients yesterday. Kept me busy all day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I painted. And there are some fine folks who are sacrificing their lives for this country. There is no secret message in my painting. It is a little painting done on the Memorial day. May be Ian will grow up to be like Col. James West Hadnot.

– Tesh Parekh


“Parrot Store” wins 3rd place in Kinston’s annual paint out- a watercolor by Tesh Parekh

Parrot Store. 13×19. Watercolor. Plein Air. Winner of third place in Kinston CCA paint out, 2010.

This watercolor won third place in Kinston CCA’s annual paint out.  I completed four paintings during two days (images of other paintings are below).

The Kinston Community Council for the Arts (Kinston CCA) is a non-profit organization that promotes art in Lenoir County. Kinston CCA’s annual paint out is held each year as a part of the BBQ festival on the Neuse.  This year the paint out was for three days in downtown Kinston, beginning April 28 through April 30th. Paintings were juried and then were for sale as the art gallery next to Mother Earth Brewery during the Festival on the Neuse. They will be on sale at The Arts Center, 400 N. Queen Street, Kinston for the month following the festival.

I painted on Wednesday and Friday. I drove in the early morning from Raleigh on Wednesday. The weather was beautiful for plein air painting! I started my first painting right at the gazebo where Mary Page (Kinston CCA) was accepting registrations. I saw couple of artists painting and decided to paint them! This is a 16×20 oil painting on linen. This is a fairly big size painting for plein air work! I worked fast, too- it took me around 3 hours to complete the painting- “Kinston Paint Out 2010”:

The next painting below- “Parrot Store” is one of my favorite watercolors. I did this painting on the Heritage Street in the afternoon. I loved the way light was falling on the Parrot Store. I had a great time working on this watercolor! Since I painted it on Wednesday, there was no rush to finish it. The only problem was the wind! I had to hold the painting with left hand while I painted! My fellow artists Bernie Rosage Jr. and Mitchell, both members of OOPS, came by while I was painting. I met Bernie and OOPS artists last year. Nice folks to know and to paint with! Bernie’s painting won second place.

I did not paint on Thursday as I was in Wilmington to sign the limited edition prints of my painting “Building Dreams”.

On Friday morning, I did an oil painting on the Neuse River.  Before I started the painting, I had different composition in mind. I wanted to paint the bare tree hanging over the river. But, once I started to paint, I changed my plans. This painting is 16×20 oil on linen as well- “Kinston Nature Center”:

My last painting of the competition was a watercolor. On the Heritage Street again, but, on the different side of the street from where I had painted earlier. This was not an easy painting! There was stress to finish it before the 5 PM deadline! And I had to photograph and frame my paintings before then! I did not enter this painting in the competition, but, the owner of the Mother Earth Brewery bought it on the spot- “Mother Earth Brewery”:

I have really enjoyed both the paint outs in Kinston- folks are very nice! Last year I had sold all four of my paintings there. I hope this year will be as good! This competition is very artist friendly- Sandy Landis and her team does great job! I am looking forward to next year already!

– Tesh Parekh



In memory of Kyle Byrd- an oil portrait

Kyle. Oil on linen. 16x20. NFS.

Kyle. Oil on linen. 16″x20″. NFS.

First, let me introduce Kyle. I never got the opportunity to meet this young soul. All I know about him is from the people who love him. And there are so many! I asked his mom Karen Byrd to share Kyle’s story. It brought tears to my eyes:

“I would love to tell you about Kyle — he was a great kid!  Kyle was such a good baby; happy and fun and absolutely adorable.  As a toddler and little boy, he was so full of energy — he kept us on our toes ALL THE TIME!  That part never changed . . . Kyle was always what I like to call “outside the box.”  He was never a bad kid, but he always kept me hopping.  As a teenager, he was really smart.  He never had to study or work very hard, but always made excellent grades; it just came easy to him.  You just had to keep him focused so that he used his power and energy for good and not evil : )  He dabbled in about every sport at some time in his life — baseball, basketball, soccer, football, hockey . . . but his passions were wheels and music.  Kyle could drive anything with wheels and he could almost instantly play any musical instrument that he picked up.  When he was 2 years old, he couldn’t tell you the difference between a football and basketball or a horse and a cow, but he could drive a go cart with unbelievable skill and name all 40+ NASCAR drivers and sing the National Anthem . . . Kyle had a passion for people and for our community.  His entire life, he volunteered along side Jimmy and I at Jaycee events and charity projects — he worked on projects, coached kids’ t-ball, worked with needy kids and so much more.  Kyle also had a passion for the YMCA; he planned to be a YMCA counselor in high school.  Kyle accepted Jesus in March of 2007 at a youth retreat at our church; and he dedicated his life to God at that time, becoming very active in our youth group and with the youth puppet team.  Kyle adored his little sister and he looked after her, even though she drove him totally crazy.  Kyle was also very popular.  He was known by his friends as “The Byrdman.”  He had a beautiful girlfriend, Julieann, who is still and will always be a part of our life.  He was famous for his “neon hair” and his love of pink.  He wore pink clothes and had a pink calculator, pink notebooks and a pink ipod.  One of Kyle’s YMCA counselors said during Kyle’s funeral services “who else but Kyle could get this many ‘manly men’ to all wear pink” referring to all the men and teenagers in pink that day.  The most defining trait of Kyle would have to be his sense of humor.  He could have me so mad that I would be ready to ground him for life (or much worse) and then he would say something so totally off the wall that I would just bust out laughing…He’d do anything for a laugh.  One time, he wanted a funny Halloween costume.  That particular year, he was playing football and he had a football game that day; then he came home all sweaty from football and changed into his costume forHalloween . . . as a cheerleader.  He was so “pretty” that we had people asking us about our “daughter” — people had no idea he was a boy; and he went out with his peers like that . . . no one could believe he had such guts, but for Kyle. . . anything for a laugh.  Tesh, I miss him ever single second of every minute of every day . . . he was just a ray of sunshine, my waller monster, who loved to waller on me and hug me, unlike most teenagers, he was never embarrassed to hug and love me.  This world is a better place because of his short time here and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Kyle is blessed for the experience.  Kyle James Byrd 1/6/93 – 6/23/07 Beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin & friend . . . Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God ~ Matthew 5:8″

Thank you Karen, for sharing this and for giving me the opportunity to paint Kyle.

I started Kyle’s portrait about a year ago. I was working from a digital photograph shared Karen. This was one of her favorite photos. It was taken at Kyle’s concert under indoor lighting. Kyle, being cool, had his shades on!

I wanted to do an oil portrait and wanted to do a direct painting. I could not finish my first painting while the initial stages were still wet. I decided not to paint over dried layer of paint.

So, I started a new one yesterday. And below you can see the stages of my progress. I started by painting free hand with neutral color. My plan was to follow John Howard Sanden’s system. However, since his system is for painting from life, I had to make changes as I went along. The main challenges which I faced were the quality of light in the photo and the fact that I could not see Kyle’s eyes. However, it was very rewarding doing this portrait and it was like spending time with Kyle, getting to know him.

– Tesh

My work is online at: