One Amazing Live Wedding Painting by Tesh Parekh

Rod and Amy. Watercolor. Painted live. 16×20 on Saunders 140 lb rough paper.

I did this painting yesterday at the White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. What could be a better way to spend my day than painting?!

When I received an email from Cara  Zuehlke of A Southern Soiree about painting live at a wedding for a guest of the Bride and Groom for a unique gift, I was excited! This was just 2-3 days ago! A friend of the Groom wanted to give the painting as a gift to the very special couple.  So, after discussing the details,  it was left up to me to decide on the final size and format of the painting.

I went a day in advance to check out the church.  Based on the interior of the church, I decided to use 16×20 format, which worked out to be perfect size for the painting.  For me, the biggest decision was which paper to use.  I paint on variety of papers.  Given the current weather conditions, (steamy and hot!), I decided to use Saunders 140 lb paper.  I also used Holbein paints and my usual mop and Escoda brushes.

After completing the painting, I  matted and framed the completed painting and delivered it to the reception.   I also like to carry extra supplies in case there is a quick fix need.   So, I asked my wonderful wife to help me!  She was my attentive assistant while I painted.

The wedding start time was 6 PM. We arrived at the church at 3 PM. I setup in the balcony, next to Toni and Chris of Barton Creek’s videography setup. Shane Snider was the photographer and I look forward to seeing the shots he took while I was working. Beautiful flowers were provided by Lyn Graves, owner of Fresh Affairs.

The church is spacious with lot of little architectural details. The amount of time I had and the format of the painting allowed me to capture it all! I setup immediately and sketched the background in pencil. Painting interiors is not always easy – especially when your main subjects are yet to arrive! So, I painted some of the background and details in light washes and waited for guests to arrive. The ceremony began right on time and lasted around 20 minutes! The wedding party was big and I had to sketch everybody in quickly!

After the ceremony was over, I kept on painting. I completed the painting after 8 PM. We photographed, framed and delivered the painting to the Carolina Country Club.  The friend of the Bride and Groom loved the painting and signed it on the back, wishing the Bride and Groom well.  I am certain that they will enjoy this special gift.

The church was spacious and well-lit: a luxury for me! However, my easel was a step below me, so, I had to constantly bend as I painted! I will be on the road for couple of days, photographing a wedding ceremony.  So, I was ready to go home to rest and enjoy some family time.

I look forward to painting live: could it be your special event?

– Tesh Parekh

Artist and Photographer

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

www.teshparekh.com

iwpphotography.wordpress.com

919-622-5399

email: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com

The Raleigh Big Garden Party- a live event painting by Tesh Parekh

The Raleigh Big Garden Party. 13×19. Watercolor on Saunder’s Waterford 140 lb rough paper.

Last year I had done a plein air watercolor painting of Raleigh Rose Garden (see one of my earlier posts). When I heard that Tobi Gowen was looking for artists to paint live at the Raleigh Big Garden party, I was excited!

The Raleigh big garden party was organized to promote Raleigh little theatre, the Raleigh rose garden, Raleigh little theatre productions and the Raleigh garden tour.  The theme of the party was Italian. Many artists painted live at this event: Heather Robinson, Rebecca Worters, Laura Azzi and Winnie-Ferguson. I also had the opportunity to meet Nancy Stolfo-Corti. Nancy is the author of the book “The Other Side of Tuscany”. The live music was provided by Mebanella.

It turned out to be a beautiful evening! The weather cooled down and it did not rain. Many folks stopped by to see my painting. My good friend Robert Johnson kep me company. Robert Johnson is the Principal of Triangle Public Strategies, LLC.  He assists organizations with fundraising, advocacy, and grant writing services.

Watercolor is my preferred medium for painting live weddings and events. I like it for couple of reasons. I like painting people: watercolor allows me to paint people quickly. I am also able to paint on sizes 11×14 and bigger. I am perfecting my oil painting techniques and will eventually paint live events in both watercolors and oils (I do plein air paintings in oils).

I used Saunder’s paper, Holbein paints and Escoda brushes. Although the painting looks colorful, I had used mostly muted colors. I will be donating this painting to Raleigh Little Theatre.

If you are looking for a live event artist for your wedding or event, please contact me!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

www.raleighweddingpainter.com

919-622-5399

email: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com

First Friday at Raleigh City Museum- A Live Event Painting by Tesh Parekh

First Friday at Raleigh City Museum. 11×14. Watercolor. Painted live.

Raleigh City Museum is hosting an exhibition of Plein Air paintings. This is a juried exhibit which includes paintings of different parts of the Capital city. My two watercolors are part of this exhibit- “State Capitol, Raleigh” and “Raleigh Downtown”. The “State Capitol, Raleigh” was also earlier juried into 2009 NC State Fair and Halle Cultural Center’s  juried exhibit in Apex.

The museum’s curator- Ladye Jane Vickers had requested artists to paint live for the First Friday opening reception. I volunteered to paint but had no idea what I was going to paint! I arrived at the museum around 6 PM. The museum is on Fayetteville Street which was busy. There were many folks out for the First Friday. It was a beautiful evening which I would have loved to paint outside. Inside, I had the opportunity to see and admire works of my fellow artists. One other artist was doing a still life painting demonstration.

I decided to paint the musicians who were providing evening entertainment. I used 11×14 Saunder’s 140 lb Rough Waterford paper. Nowadays I exclusively use Holbein watercolor paints and Escoda brushes. Although I paint on different papers. I have learned this system from Joseph Zbukvic and it works well for the location work. It took me around 90 minutes to finish the painting. Many folks stopped by, and I also met Rick Bennett. Rick is a watercolorist and heads Visual Art Exchange’s Plein Air group.

It is a nice little painting. I am going to frame it and give it to the museum store.  I have enjoyed plein air painting for last few days. I did a small painting on the Mother’s Day and a half sheet painting today. I will be posting those on my blog as well.

I accept commissions for live wedding & event paintings and studio work. And I travel!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

919-622-5399

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