Sasha Souza at the Cobblestone Hall- a live event painting by Tesh Parekh

Sasha Souza at Cobblestone Hall. Live Event painting. Watercolor. 11×14.

Sasha Souza is one of the premiere event designers and a top innovator in the wedding industry. She is one of only a handful of wedding designers who have been named a Master Bridal Consultant, the highest designation given by the Association of Bridal Consultants. Souza is the recipient of numerous awards including the Special Events Magazine Gala Award winner for “Best Dining Tabletop Design”, Event Solutions Magazine “Designer of the Year” and three ISES Westie Awards

The Greater Triangle North Carolina Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) hosted “Emerging Trends with Sasha Souza ”

This event was held at the Cobblestone Hall in Raleigh. This is a brand new venue- ideal for weddings and events.

ISES had invited me to paint live at the event. Earlier in the day, I had photographed Sasha’s lunch with ISES and TWCE members at 18 Seaboard Restaurant. We will be posting images of that event on our photography blog: iwpphotography.wordpress.com

Sasha was scheduled to present at 7 PM. I setup earlier to get started with the drawing and composition. Due to the length of the event, I decided to use 11×14 format. I used Holbein watercolors, Saunders Waterford 140 lb rough surface paper, and mostly Escoda brushes- my new favorites!

Image below shows completed drawing.

As with many indoor events, the difficult part is the lighting. In the beginning I had outside light on my setup. Once the Sun went down, there were many sources of light- each with different color temperature! But, live event painting is like a roller-coaster ride: once you are buckled-up and rolling, all you can do is have fun!

I enjoyed meeting my friends at ISES and many nice folks who stopped by to see me work. I wouldn’t say this was the easiest painting, but I think I have captured Sasha well- see the image above! This painting was presented to Sasha at the end of the event. She shared many kind words. I enjoyed listening to her while I was painting.

We have her latest book “Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design”- I look forward to reading it!

This has been a good week for painting. Today I drove to Kinston for the Kinston CCA annual paint out. I did two paintings: 16×20 oil on linen and 13×19 watercolor on paper. I will be posting those later.

Tomorrow I will be in Wilmington to sign limited edition prints of my painting “Building Dreams”. This watercolor was selected for the 2010 Parade of Homes magazine cover. Check my blog later for more information on this painting.

As an artist, I enjoy painting all subjects: portraits, still life and landscape. However, I love painting from life the most. Both plein air painting and live wedding & event painting offer me the opportunity to do just that! I accept commissions and I travel!

– Tesh Parekh

919-622-5399

www,teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

Live Wedding Painting of Christine and Bob

Christine and Bob. 12×16. Watercolor.

This is my second painting at the Sutherland in Wake Forest this year. Ashley Adams of the Sutherland had invited me to paint at this Wedding which was sponsored by NACE. The Sutherland is a beautiful venue. The ceremony was outside. It was a gorgeous evening. The light was still fading fast, as you would see from the series of images below. Fortunately, there were spot lights- a luxury which is not always available to me! The tree in the back, with the white drapes, provided a beautiful backdrop.

I arrived at the venue at 5 PM, an hour before the ceremony. The image below shows my setup. I chose to compose so the couple will be off the center and I could capture the beautiful tree.

 I used Archies 140 lb rough paper block for this painting, The reason I used rough  surface was to capture the texture of outdoor subjects. I used Winsor and Newton paints. I still use French easel and really wish that I can find an easel that is easier to setup and use! I recently purchased Escoda brushes and love those! I also use Harmony Squirrel mop brushes for laying the washes.

I always start my watercolors with a drawing. Although I sometimes paint without the drawing, I would be lost without a drawing when painting a live event like wedding! I completed most of the drawing (below) and waited for the ceremony to start.

Here you can see my drawing and composition. I keep drawing of the middle ground light, since I will be sketching in bride and groom and the wedding party during the ceremony. I did not draw people in the foreground. To me, background is important since it provides the context and the visual interest. However, I try to not fuss too much with the background since the painting is not about the background! The same applies to the foreground where mostly you have friends and family. To me, the most important part of the wedding painting is the Bride and the specific moment- either during the ceremony or the reception that I want to capture.

Image below shows the completed painting.

Once the ceremony started, I quickly sketched in the wedding party. I made mental notes of colors and tones. I start my painting process with the broad washes. I use mop brushes to cover my painting quickly. Once, I had the washes completed, I refined the colors and tones of various parts. I normally repeat this process until I am happy with what I see. At this stage, I switch to my pointy Escoda brushes, so I can draw and paint at the same time!

I finished the painting with final details. Christine came and peeked at her painting once while I was in the process of finishing it. It was after 7 PM, when I matted and framed the painting! As you can see from the below image, it was completely dark, except for the spots!

Here you can see that the light is gone! Chairs are folded and stacked up! In the ideal world, you have the same light on your subjects and the easel. In the real world, it is on one or the other! But, I was honored to have captured the wonderful moment in Christine and Bob’s life. Now, framed and behind the glass.

I delivered the painting to Jennifer Jones (the Sutherland) for display at the reception. I had the opportunity to meet many NACE members and even some press folks. Many shared their kind words.

Christine was very thankful and that is my reward.

If you are a bride, or an event planner, I would love to hear from you. I accept commissions for both live and studio paintings. I am almost finished with a large studio commissions which I will be writing about next.

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com