Live Wedding Painting : first dance of Katherine and Manny by Raleigh NC Live Event Artist

What an amazing weekend! One of the busiest for sure. On Saturday I was honored to paint live at Katherine and Manny’s wedding reception. The reception was at the beautiful North Ridge Country Club (NRCC) in Raleigh NC. The club is not too far from where I live. I have been traveling for assignments, so, this was a good change. This was my third wedding painting commission with A Southern Soiree. Many amazing vendors made this wedding reception absolutely beautiful.

Katherine had a certain vision for this painting. My aim was to create a painting that will meet her expectation while allowing me the artistic freedom. This commission was originally of 16×20 size. When I arrived at the location I decided to paint bigger size of 18×24. This size allowed me to create a composition that captured what Katherine had in mind. And I was able to incorporate elements that described the venue, event and most importantly couple’s very special moment- their first dance, in sufficient detail.

I arrived at the location three hours prior to the first dance. A Southern Soiree team had already suggested a location that will be appropriate for me to setup. As with many of my live painting commissions, my painting was created from the vision I had and not the actual view from where I was setup. To achieve that I move around and create reference sketches. My aim always is not to create a literal painting but work-of-art that captures the special moments.

I started with a blank canvas and then toned it to create warmth of the ambience. I sketched the composition away from my easel, directly on the linen. Here is the sketch:

Live wedding painting in progress at the North Ridge Country Club
Live wedding painting in progress at the North Ridge Country Club. I have finished toning the linen and sketched my composition.

There was plenty of natural light inside so I was able to paint without using additional lighting. The next step was to work out the value design. The challenge being, the light! The light will continue to change. But, painting is all about solving problems. So, I created a value design based on this understanding. I painted broadly even as I started the color stage. And then it was time for the real moment. The first dance! Unlike wedding ceremony which may last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, the first dance is usually 1 to 3 minutes. And depending on the song, couple will move slowly or quickly. As is my practice, I made pencil sketches of the couple as well as the wedding guests. I also snapped couple of photos for insurance. This was helpful for checking the likeness and other features. I do not always use photos for this purpose and rely on my sketches and memory. But, when painting on this scale, it was important to have correct visual information. I painted the couple and then painted the guests. Most important part of my painting was the couple. I painted guests and then tightened the painting and added details. Many guests stopped by to admire the painting. By the time I was finished, it was pretty dark inside as the dance floor was open. So, I used my own lighting. Here is my finished painting still on the easel:

Live Wedding Reception painting at NRCC
Here is my finished live painting of the first dance on easel.

I informed Megan of A Southern Soiree that the commission was complete and can be presented to the couple for approval. I was fortunate to have Chrisobal of Azul Photography present when painting was presented to Katherine and Manny. The couple was simply amazed! And so were the family members and wedding guests. I look forward to seeing those amazing images!

The party was still in progress so Megan was able to display finished painting on an easel. The painting was started prior to the reception and was finished prior to end of the reception. It was time to head home. The next day was Father’s day. But, I was scheduled to work from 7 AM- midnight (welcome to the life of self-employed artist!). I will be blogging about that day on my professional photography blog. Be sure to check that out in few days. Here is the finished painting:

First dance of Katherine and Manny. Painted live at NRCC
First dance of Katherine and Manny. Live wedding painting at the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh NC. 18×24. Oil on linen.

My next commission will be in VA. And a studio wedding painting commission from very popular and beautiful local venue is very likely soon. So, if you are already married or are looking for a gift for someone who is already married- think of commissioning me to do a studio painting from wedding photos.

If you like my work, please be a fan of my Facebook page. To paint, all I need is painting materials. To paint for living, I need all the fans and patrons I can get…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

All Saints Chapel Ceremony – Watercolor Wedding painting { Kathe + Todd }

This is my second wedding painting of the beautiful All Saints Chapel (Raleigh NC) in last few days! Last week I had painted Ashley & Chris’s wedding live there. Kathe and Todd’s painting is a studio commission. I used reference photos to create this painting. However, the painting is not a copy of photo! I looked at many images to create the composition that best captures beautiful wedding ceremony. Once I had worked out the composition, I made a very detailed pencil drawing. I painted in multiple sessions and  finished the painting in many layers. This is different from when I paint live at the weddings. When painting live, I have to work quickly. So, although there are layers of paints, brush strokes are more important when painting live. My aim is simple: to create a beautiful painting that is one-of-a-kind and that captures the story.

While I love painting live, studio commissions are important as well. There are occasions when I am not available to paint live, or the wedding happened in the past.

Next month I will be painting live at the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh NC. That will be live oil painting of a first dance…

– Tesh Parekh

Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

Kathe and Todd. Wedding Painting of All Saints Chapel Ceremony. 20x16 Watercolor Studio Commission.
Kathe and Todd. Wedding Painting of All Saints Chapel Ceremony. 20×16 Watercolor Studio Commission.

– Tesh Parekh

Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

All Saints Chapel Raleigh – Live Wedding Painting { Ashley + Chris }

One of my first live wedding paintings was at the beautiful All Saints Chapel in Raleigh. That was a watercolor painting of ceremony back in 2009. So, this historic chapel is very special to me! And I was excited to be commissioned by Ashley’s parents to paint live there again. This was a live wedding painting commission of ceremony in oil.

I arrived at the Chapel early to start painting. I setup in the balcony. It was quite uplifting to paint the Chapel. A century old historic venue. Having earlier access to Chapel allowed me to finish painting the background. Here is my painting in the earlier stage:

Live wedding painting of ceremony in progress at the All Saints Chapel in Raleigh NC
Live wedding painting of ceremony in progress at the All Saints Chapel in Raleigh NC

Once the ceremony started, I made pencil sketches for my reference. It was a beautiful ceremony with very large wedding party! I sketched 21 people to include in the painting. The other ceremony with such large wedding party was when I had painted Rod & Amy Brind’amour’s wedding. One of the questions that I get asked often is if I paint from the photos. The answer is- no. A painting is different from photograph. Hence, I paint from life and rely on my reference sketches. I do take photos as kind of insurance and to check important features. But, my aim is not to copy photographs. This is true even for my studio commissions. Here is a sketch I made during the ceremony and later used as a reference for my painting:

Ceremony sketched live in pencil. I use my sketches for reference.
Ceremony sketched live in pencil. I use my sketches for reference.

Once the ceremony was over, I went over to The Stockroom. This was the reception venue. So many talented vendors had worked to make it look amazing! I love Raleigh downtown. I have done many plein air and studio paintings of Raleigh downtown. So, I especially enjoyed view from The Stokroom windows. I setup near a window to finish the painting. I worked from my references and memory to paint the wedding party. Many guests were able to stop by and look at the painting. Here is my painting, almost finished:

I finished my wedding painting at the Stockroom in Raleigh NC
I finished my wedding painting at the Stockroom in Raleigh NC

Once the painting was finished, I presented it to Ashley’s parents with help of Shawn Schindler of Your Special Day Weddings & Events. It was a pleasure working with Shawn! We have worked together before, but, this was my first time painting at one of her weddings. Ashley’s parents loved the painting and approved it for presentation to the couple. The finished painting was displayed for wedding guests to admire. Here is the finished painting:

Ashley & Chris. Live Wedding Painting at the All Saints Chapel and the Stockroom in Raleigh NC. 16x12. Oil on linen.
Ashley & Chris. Live Wedding Painting at the All Saints Chapel and the Stockroom in Raleigh NC. 16×12. Oil on linen.

This painting was pure oil. I do not use acrylics or any other mediums to dilute oil paints. I do not use toxic materials. I use artist-quality materials and supports. Professionally framed and carefully displayed painting should last for many decades. The same is true for my watercolors. Since I offer live painting in both oils and watercolors, clients often ask me which one is my favorite. The answer is- both! Oils are a traditional medium. Medium of old masters. Watercolors are unique in their own way. Both mediums offer excitement and challenges. It is a personal choice.

Another question I get asked is: if I accept studio commissions that are done from the photos. The answer is – yes. If you are already married, or are not able to secure my live wedding painting service, please know that I do accept studio commissions. I work from reference photos to create the paintings. In fact, I am currently working on a watercolor commission of another All Saints Chapel ceremony!

I am hoping that my process above will help you understand my pricing. A good painting is not an accident! My aim as a full-time visual artist is to create paintings that my clients will treasure forever. I approach each live wedding painting as a commission rather than pure entertainment. I do my homework, and use the best materials. I spend hours working on each live commission. And I create paintings that my clients will proudly display and enjoy everyday. This is not an expense but investment in creating a unique memory of your very special day…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

Asheville Live Wedding Painter – Camp Wayfarer First Dance Painting { Ashley + Ben }

This was a special commission for many reasons. The venue was beautiful Camp Wayfarer in Flat Rock NC (outside of Asheville). I was commissioned by Ashley’s parents to paint the first dance in watercolor. I thank Amy Wood and Shay Brown of Shay Brown Events for introducing my service to the Strickland family. This was also my birthday weekend and I got to spend it doing what I love- painting!

This was going to be an outdoor wedding. But, the weather turned South so, ceremony and reception took place inside dining hall of the Camp. I arrived couple of hours ahead of the reception to set up. The venue was setup for the ceremony. I love those flags and chairs!

Asheville NC Live Wedding Painting
Camp Wayfarer dining hall was setup for the ceremony when I arrived.

After the ceremony was over, the hall was transformed into reception venue. I found a spot that will give me the best composition and set up my easel.

Asheville Live Wedding Painter. First dance.
Setup and ready to paint Ashley and Ben’s first dance.

There was a change in the schedule- the first dance took place later in the reception. So, I kept on painting. I keep my painting setup and process flexible. It was cold! And it was raining hard outside, raising the humidity. Being a plein air artist, I enjoy the challenge of painting on location. Every element makes location paintings special.

Live wedding painter asheville nc
Live painting of wedding reception in progress.

I sketched Ashley and Ben’s first dance in pencil. I make sketches and then use those as reference for my paintings. I also sketched wedding guests enjoying the first dance. Below is the first dance sketch which I made in few seconds.

Live event artist asheville nc
Pencil sketch of Ashley & Ben’s first dance.

I had approximately an hour to finish my painting. By now, the dance floor was open. Everyone was having a great time dancing to the live band. I kept on painting next to the dance floor. Many guests stopped by to look at the painting-in-progress. Once the painting was finished, Amy Wood of Shay Brown Events helped me present it to the Strickland family. Bride loved her painting! And that is my ultimate reward. I matted the painting and it was displayed on an easel.

asheville nc live wedding painting live wedding painter
Ashley & Ben. 16×20 watercolor. Live wedding painting at the Camp Wayfarer in Flat Rock NC

Back home, I am working on a studio commission of Kathe & Todd’s All Saints Chapel ceremony. That will be a watercolor painting. And another live painting commission this weekend: Ashley & Chris’s wedding ceremony. That will be an oil painting and another All Saints Chapel ceremony! What more can an artist ask for…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

Raleigh Wedding Painter – Carolina Country Club Wedding Painting { Jordan + Brent }

Jordan and Brent. A Carolina Country Club Wedding. 18×24. Oil on linen.

I did above painting for the beautiful Carolina Country Club in Raleigh NC. Brenda Whitley  (Social Director with the club) had invited me to paint Jordan and Brent’s wedding reception. Couple of years ago I had painted Rod and Amy Brind’Amour’s wedding ceremony and delivered the finished painting to the Carolina Country Club. But, this was my first time doing painting of the club event.

I often get the question about painting from photos. Sometimes the question is from the bride who did not know about my live wedding painting service and sometimes the question is from family members looking for a special gift. The answer is- yes, I do accept studio commissions that are done from the reference photos. The painting above was done from the photos that I captured. Due to my schedule, I did not paint live at this reception. I arrived ahead of the first dance and made some pencil sketches and snapped reference photos before the guests arrived. Once the reception started, I stayed close to the stage where The North Tower Band was playing live. I captured the first dance photos for my reference. I am a professional photographer (check out my photography website) and the first dance happens to be one of my favorite wedding day moments to photograph!

Back in the studio, I reviewed my reference images. I decided to paint in oil on 18×24 linen. I execute all of my oil commissions on the linen. I also paint in watercolors- those are executed on paper. I liked below image as a general reference.

The First Dance. Reference photo for the Carolina Country Club wedding painting.

The purpose of a painting is to tell a story. To capture a moment. So, my aim as an artist is to convey this visually using various elements, while being faithful to what I observe. I liked composition of the original image and kept it in the painting. I changed few things to keep emphasis on the couple. I liked the warmth of this moment. So, I toned the linen with warm colors to convey this. My approach to oil paintings is very different from my watercolors. I start my watercolor paintings with a very good pencil drawing (check out my earlier live commission of this year). I start oil paintings by placing larger shapes of the composition. I also create very rough tonal design. Rest of the painting process consists of refining the painting to add details, colors and achieve the tonal balance. All this time, my goal is to keep the focus on my main subjects,  in this case- the couple. The couple is also painted in more detail. I worked on this painting over several days. I am happy with the finished painting. It does tell story of the couple’s beautiful first dance.

I had also liked below image, but, that will be a subject of another painting some day.

The First Dance. Another reference image for the Carolina Country Club wedding painting.

– Tesh Parekh

Artist and Live Wedding Painter


Live Wedding Painting Commission – “Jennifer and Ben” by NC Wedding Painter


Jennifer and Ben. Live Wedding Painting Commission. 16x20. University United Methodist Church (Chapel Hill NC). Wedding Painter - Tesh Parekh


My latest live wedding painting is of Jennifer and Ben’s beautiful wedding in Chapel Hill! Earlier, I had done a live event painting in Chapel Hill at Top of the Hill Restaurant. That one was an oil on linen for the launch of Wish Upon a Wedding NC. Jennifer and Ben’s wedding was at the gorgeous University United Methodist Church. The reception was at the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill- a beautiful venue. Angie Wright of Chic Details Weddings and Events was the wedding planner for this fantastic event.

I arrived at the Church couple of hours before the ceremony. I setup my easel at back of the balcony. But, I really liked the view from the front. But, there was not enough space to set up the easel. So, I just sat in the front with my drawing board in the lap. Being flexible allows me to create compositions I want. I sketched the Church interior first. Normally, I would start laying in some of the washes. But, Jennifer wanted me to paint at the reception. So, I made reference sketches of some of the details while I waited for the ceremony to begin. I carry a separate sketch book with me when I paint. Here I am drawing the Church:

Here I am sketching from the balcony next to videographer's camera. I liked the view from front of the balcony. Since there was not enough space to setup an easel I sketched with drawing board in my lap. On my right is my sketch book.

One of the questions which I frequently get asked is: “do you use photos for reference?”. The answer is: it depends. I prefer to sketch and paint entirely from life. But, there are situations when use of photography is necessary (e.g. the venue has certain restrictions). I also take photos for my future reference, blog and as precaution. I did not use photos as reference for Jen and Ben’s painting. I made sketches during the ceremony. Below is one of the sketches:

I made several reference pencil sketches before and during the reception. I love these sketches as much as I love finished paintings. These sketches are from the direct observation. I use these as reference when I finish the painting.

When I sketch I do not focus on what will go in the final painting. I make that decision after I analyze my sketches. This is what makes my painting process different from other live event artists. For me, drawing is the foundation of my paintings whether I am painting in oils or watercolors. Another aspect is the composition. I like to spend some time composing a wedding painting just as I would for any other painting or commission (one exception is the plain air sketches: more on that below). This makes my process little longer. But, as John Ruskin once said: all art is delicate.

This is the sketch I liked the best to use for my painting:

I liked this sketch and used it in the finished painting.

The ceremony was beautiful! And once it was over, I finished my drawing. Then it was time to set up at the Carolina Club. The Church was bright and I was able to draw without additional lighting. I used my video light at the Carolina Club. I enjoyed talking to many guests while I painted. Here is finished painting on easel next to the dance floor:

Jennifer wanted me to finish her painting at the Carolina Club reception in Chapel Hill. Here is the finished painting on my easel next to the dance floor. I enjoyed talking to many guests as I painted.

I framed the finished painting and presented it to Jen and Ben. The couple was thrilled! Having a live painting of your event is unique! Like photography and video, a painting becomes part of your wedding memory.

Painting from life is big part of my art. I love plein air painting. I go out to paint almost everyday. Here is one of my recent plein air watercolor sketches of early North Carolina spring:

Painting from life is big part of my art. This is one of the recent plain air watercolor sketch.

Painting en plein air is like taking a snapshot with your camera. Most of the times, I am more focused on capturing the essence of what is in front of me. Careful composition and rearranging of things is possible but optional. Sometimes the sketch stays as a plein air piece and sometimes I would use it as a reference for studio work.

I also love to draw. My son Ian is my favorite subject! What can give you better practice in quick drawing than sketching a 4 y/o?! As Ian has grown, so have my drawing skills. And I have a collection of his precious drawings. Here are some of my attempts to capture him:

My favorite subject to sketch is my son Ian! I have made numerous sketches of him. This has trained me to sketch fast!

This week I will be painting live at Preston Bailey and Stacie Francomb’s Inspire Smart Success Experience in Durham. I look forward to it…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding and Event Painter

Live Wedding Painting at The Pavilions at the Angus Barn { Drake + Dash } – by North Carolina Live Event Artist

Drake and Dash. Live Wedding Painting. Watercolor. 13×19. Venue: The Pavilions at the Angus Barn (Raleigh, NC). Artist: Tesh Parekh

Drake and Dash. Live Wedding Painting (The Pavilions at the Angus Barn, Raleigh, NC). Watercolor. 13x19. Artist - Tesh Parekh

This was my first time painting at the Pavilions– a beautiful venue! I thank Drake for giving me the opportunity to paint this special occasion! I also thank Kelly Joslin of the Angus Barn for her help before and during the event.

I paint in both oils and watercolors (see my portfolio). Drake’s preference was a watercolor. She also wanted me to paint the reception. Her special request was to also paint wedding guests dancing.

It was unusually cold outside. But, inside of the Pavilions was nice and cozy! The reception was scheduled to start at 7:30 PM. I arrived earlier to find a good spot. I carried a portable light with me since the ambient lighting was dim inside.

My setup. It was darker inside once the reception had started. Artist - Tesh Parekh

I made reference pencil sketches before the reception started.. The view inside was not only dark for a painting, but also complicated! It took me bit of planning to work out the composition. I painted the ceiling with big ass fan (yes- that is the name of the fan!).

When the first dance started, I made pencil sketch for my reference. And when the guests started to dance, I made additional pencil sketches. I love these reference pencil sketches as much as I love finished paintings! My subjects are always in constant motion, so, I have to sketch quickly. So, my pencil sketches have the energy which is not always visible in the paintings. I practice to work quickly with a pencil when I sketch my 3 y/o son! Good drawing is the foundation for my paintings.

I was glad to show the work-in-progress to Drake and Dash. I heard  nicest things about this couple, while I painted. I had many guests who stopped by to look at my work and offer kind words. And the Angus Barn team frequently checked on me.

I did a pencil sketch during the first dance and then painted that in. Artist - Tesh Parekh

I finished the painting before end of the reception. I framed and photographed the painting. Drake was pleased with the painting. The finished painting was displayed on the easel.

I was able to finish, frame and display the painting by end of the reception. Artist- Tesh Parekh

Twenty-One Films has captured my painting process on the video- I look forward to watching their beautiful work.

I used Holbein paints, Winsor & Newton/ Isaby/ Creative Mark brushes, and Arches 140 lb CP paper for this painting. I had broken my old easel during previous live painting! So, I used Cheap Joes new Signature Field Easel. This easel is similar to the Joseph Zbukvic easel. But, it is small and flimsy for my kind of use. So my search for good easel continues!

I did not rely on the photos for this painting (although sometimes it is necessary).

I love the challenge of painting live! With the God’s blessings, I will continue to learn new ways of painting and my techniques will get better. But, my prayer is to always have the most important ingredient- my faith…

– Tesh Parekh



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



Wedding Painting of Jenny and Kory at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh – by North Carolina Live Wedding Painter

My latest live wedding painting: Jenny & Kory. Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh. 12″x16″ watercolor.

Jenny & Kory - Live Wedding Painting. Watercolor. 12"x16". Artist- Tesh Parekh

This is one of the longest live watercolor wedding painting I have done! Edenton Street UMC is a beautiful Church. I was fascinated by the details and I wanted to get all of that in my painting.

This was my second live wedding painting for A Southern Soiree wedding. Last July, I had painted Rod and Amy Brind’Amour’s wedding. That was a watercolor painting as well. I have done live oil commissions earlier this year. And I look forward to other watercolor commissions later this year.

The ceremony was scheduled at 5 PM. Thanks to Megan Gillikin of A Southern Soiree, I was well prepared! I arrived at the Church at 2 PM. I had visited the Church earlier and already decided to paint from the balcony. I setup and got right to work. As you can see from the ceremony photo below, it was dark in the balcony (the camera capturing the ceremony belongs to Heart Stone Films)!

Wedding Painting in progress during the ceremony. Artist- Tesh Parekh

I was glad to have my video LED light (below) with me!

Pencil sketch for the live wedding painting. Artist- Tesh Parekh

I like to keep the composition simple and clear. I did a pencil sketch (above) and then toned the paper. I kept working on the painting as much as possible, before the ceremony started. It was just magical! Working alone in the magnificent Church. Praying and painting at the same time!

Once the guests started to arrive, it was time for me to do some pencil sketches for reference. Although I snapped some images, those were more for security than any real use. I did several pencil sketches during the ceremony. I would say rather feverishly! You see, folks do not pose for me during the ceremony, which lasts only few minutes! Everything is in constant motion. And I love my pencil sketches as much as I love my finished paintings. There is purity and freshness in those pencil sketches. A very first-hand impression of what I am witnessing. One of these days, I am going to post my reference sketches on this blog.

Once the ceremony was over, I started working on the painting again. This time, using one of my pencil sketch as a reference.

After a while, I decided to finish the painting outdoors. I did not plan to paint at the Umstead, where the reception was. So, I parked in a McDonald’s parking lot. And continued to paint in the front seat as a storm gathered overhead! By the time I was finished with the painting, it was pouring! Somehow, I manged to photograph and frame my painting.

I met Megan at the Umstead. We presented the painting to Jenny and Kory. It was priceless to see Jenny and Kory’s reaction! Shane Snider photographed this moment and I look forward to seeing some of those images!

I headed out in the storm to meet my family for dinner. I used Holbein watercolor paints and Winsor & Newton brushes. The paper was Arches 140 lb CP.

– Tesh Parekh

Live 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