Live Painting at Mims House by Live Wedding Painter

Live Painting at Mims House

I painted this live at the opening reception of Mims House in Holly Springs, NC. This beautiful historic home was built in 1840 and is now an elegant venue for Weddings & Events. I made a pencil drawing outside in the light drizzle and then finished painting it indoors during the event. As a fine artist, I paint variety of subjects in Watercolors and Oils. I love painting architecture of historic and modern buildings, as much as I love painting live at the weddings. Next month I will be in South Boston, VA to paint live at a Berry Hill Resort wedding reception. I look forward to it…

– Tesh Parekh

Fine Artist

Live Painting of Mims House
Live Painting of Mims House

Bar Mitzvah Portrait in Watercolor by Raleigh NC Fine Artist

Bar Mitzvah Portrait

This is one of the fastest portraits I have ever done! I created Jovon’s Bar Mitzvah Portrait in watercolor in my studio between his Bar Mitzvah ceremony and reception. I had photographer his Mitzvah portraits at the Beth Meyer Synagogue. I liked one of those images and used it as a reference. Originally, I had planned to do an oil painting but that did not work out due to my schedule. So, I painted this watercolor. I am used to working quickly when painting live at weddings and events. But, this was portrait, so likeness was important. I loved the challenge. Jovon and his family loved the painting. You can get more information about my live wedding and event painting services on my new website:  A painting like this can make a unique gift and add a touch of elegance to your special occassion.

– Tesh Parekh

Fine Artist

Bar Mitzvah Portrait. Watercolor painting on paper.
Bar Mitzvah Portrait. Watercolor painting on paper.


Courtroom Painting by Raleigh NC Fine Artist

Courtroom Painting.

One of the several commissions I did last year. This one was a surprise Christmas gift! I was commissioned by the attorney’s wife to capture him presenting closing arguments in a case.  She had originally contacted me to paint live at her wedding. That commission did not work out. But, she had liked my work and so thought of this unique surprise gift after she had gotten married. This was my first time sketching in the courtroom. I carried minimal painting supplies and had to be inconspicuous. Of course, painting live is not easy. Live events are not staged and people are not posing or stationary. I had to work with limited space and had to keep up with what was going on and anticipate what may happen next. But, this challenge is what keeps me painting live! It was also interesting listening to the closing arguments from both sides as I sketched. I made couple of pencil sketches. This one I liked the best. I finished it back in the studio.  So, if you are looking for a unique gift for wedding or special event- think about live painting or studio commission. While I will continue to post my live paintings on this blog, please check out my new website: There you will find all the relevant information for live paintings.

– Tesh Parekh

Fine Artist

Courtroom painting. Watercolor commission on paper.
Courtroom painting. Watercolor commission on paper.


Live Wedding Paintings – my new website is launched!

I am excited to announce the launch of my new live wedding paintings website . This new site is focused on my live wedding painting services and portfolio. This current site will continue to showcase my fine art work. The new site was designed by my wife and manager- Mica Parekh to provide clear and detailed information on my painting process, and commissions. If you have subscribed to my current site to get updates on my live paintings, I suggest you please register with the new site to get latest updates.

– Tesh Parekh

Fine Artist and Live Wedding Painter

Live wedding painting in Apex NC by Tesh Parekh
Live wedding painting in Apex NC by Tesh Parekh


Live Event Painting – Ayesha Mian at the Hyatt House in Charlotte NC

Here is a live event painting I had done at Charlotte NACE’s “My Big Fat Indian Wedding”:

Ayesha Mian at Hyatt House for Charlotte NACE's "My Big Fat Indian Wedding". Live Event Painting. 16x20. Watercolor on Paper.

I frequently travel to Charlotte for photography assignments. This year I have photographed corporate events in Charlotte and also photographed an Indian wedding in Rock Hill SC (right outside of Charlotte). And I will be back in Charlotte to photograph another Indian wedding at the Ballentyne Resort. So, it was fitting to paint live at Charlotte NACE’s “My Big Fat Indian Wedding”!  As a professional photographer, I often photograph multi-day Indian weddings.

The event was Charlotte NACE’s monthly meeting at the Hyatt House. Ayesha had decorated the banquet room for this event. The food was catered by the Bombay Grille. This was a fun and educational event. Ayesha talked about various Indian wedding customs and explained many of the traditional terms. Her team participated in the event as well. There were also dance performances. Ayesha also answered many questions from NACE members.

I did this painting as a watercolor due to the short duration of the event. I kept the painting size at 16×20. I enjoyed talking to many NACE members as I painted. Mica had travelled with me for this event. We gave away 2 prints of this painting. I finished most of the painting on the location. But, due to the time-constraint, I applied finishing touches back in my studio. I will be producing the prints and look forward to sharing those with the NACE members.

Below is my setup before I started the painting. I sketched the background first and then laid some of the initial washes.

My setup for the live event painting at the Hyatt House in Charlotte NC

Since part of the event was by the pool outside, I had to wait before sketching in event guests. When Ayesha made her presentation, I sketched her directly on the painting. Normally, I make reference sketches. But, I had to work differently here because of the schedule. The rest was easy. Almost, easy! Working in the full color and completing many of the details.

Live event painting in progress. The light has changed!

Here I am with Ayesha. I enjoyed meeting Ayesha and her husband (glad to meet another husband & wife team!). I look forward to working with her at weddings and events.

Me with Ayesha Mian.

April was a busy month for live paintings! I did a live wedding painting commission in Chapel Hill (previous post) and also did another live event painting at a Stacie Francombe and Preston Bailey event in Durham NC. I will be posting that painting next.

I have several inquiries for both live wedding paintings and live event paintings. I am hoping to get some more commissions. I also paint from reference photos.


– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painiter



Event Painting for the launch of NC Wish Upon A Wedding – by Raleigh Live Event Artist

North Carolina Wish Upon A Wedding, Live Event painting. 22x28. Oil on linen. Live event artist - Tesh Parekh

It was quite an honor doing a live event painting for the launch of North Carolina Wish Upon A Wedding. The launch party was held at Top of the Hill restaurant in Chapel Hill (the Great Room). WUW supports such an amazing cause! I met so many wonderful people at this event (I had the privilege of knowing many of them prior to this event). I thank the NC chapter of WUW for giving me the opportunity to participate. I look forward to working with this non-profit- for live painting as well as for photography.

This was a  large live painting- 22×28. Oil on linen.  I paint live in watercolors as well. The event was from 6 PM – 9 PM. I arrived at the venue an hour early to setup. Deciding what to paint and how much to paint are two of the most important decisions. Most weddings have a window of 5-8 hours during which I paint either ceremony or reception. The size of the painting is one of the factors that decides the amount of time needed. Bigger painting in shorter time meant that I would be working quickly. Here is my setup:

My setup for live event oil painting at the Top of Hill restaurant in Chapel Hill. Live event painter - Tesh Parekh

I toned the linen and then started blocking in major shapes and tones. Live painting is an alla prima painting. So, all the concepts of all prima apply when you are painting live. This is similar to painting en plain air. The difference is that many of the weddings and events are indoors (you almost always have to carry your own light for the easel).  Also, most plein air paintings are landscapes or cityscapes, with human subjects being of lesser importance. Wedding paintings (at least the ones I paint) are focused on the bride & groom. Events are different. Some of the events do not have a well-defined subject. So, having the event program was a big help (one of the benefits of working with wedding planning professionals!).

I painted some of the background before event guests started to arrive. Once the attendance was full, I made pencil sketches for my reference. I make quick pencil sketches when I paint live. I use some of those in the finished painting. When the chapter president Veronica Foster spoke briefly, I captured that in the painting. I enjoyed talking to many event guests and fellow wedding professionals while I painted. The photographers and videographers of the event have captured my painting progress- I look forward to seeing those images and video clips. I tightened up and finished the painting before end of the event. Here is the finished painting on the easel:

Finished live event painting on the easel. Notice how the ambient light has changed. Wedding and Event painter - Tesh Parekh

The painting is now with NC WUW. I look forward to donating my live wedding paintings to WUW.

I used variety of artist oil colors and brushes for this painting. I currently do not use any chemicals or additivies when I paint live. This keeps the painting process odor-free, toxin-free and the paintings chemically sound. I know some artists use paint thinners like OMS. Just because OMS is odor-free does not make it less toxic! And while it is possible to create giant paintings quickly by thinning the paint, the long-term stability of such paintings is doubtful (not to mention that the paint will look flat soon). I want my patrons to enjoy their commissions for a very long time as heirlooms. So, I strive to use the best materials. That is one of the reasons I use quality linen as a support.

My next project is to create painting for a competition…

– Tesh Parekh

Artist & Photographer

Be a fan of my work:


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



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

Live Event Painting for ISES/ NACE/ TBA Holiday Party at Crabtree Marriott- by Raleigh NC Live Wedding and Event Painter

 Leon Jordan’s Continentals Orchestra, Live Event Painting, 12″x16″, Watercolor on Arches 140 lb CP paper.

This was my second year doing live painting for ISES, NACE amd TBA annual holiday party. The party was for Toys for Tots benefit.

As always, I enjoyed meeting my fellow professionals. The party was held at Crabtree Marriott Hotel . My friend Jule Lee is a Sr. Exec at the hotel. The food was fabulous!

Last year I had picked different composition. This year I decided to paint the orchestra. There were quite a few musicians! I had about 30 minutes to do a pencil sketch. Below is my setup before I started the painting:

As with any indoor live painting, the challenge is always the lighting! But, I was fortunate to find a spot with decent light on my watercolor block and palette. I also carry portable light, but, it can be a distraction to the well-designed party lighting. So, I avoid it, if possible.

Of corse, the orchestra folks were in constant motion and were off the stage well before I finished the painting! So, painting from memory was a necessity. I had the painting finished and framed, in time for door prizes. Taylor Pittman of Taylormade DJ Services won it! Below is my finished painting in the easel (orchestra had returned to the stage):

I am excited about 2011! I have received many inquiries about live wedding paintings and also started booking brides. If you are a bride who is looking for something unique, a live wedding painting is worth considering! Most of the wedding budget is spent on guests, while a live painting not only captures the wedding through artists’s eye, but also lasts forever!

I have also been doing plein air work. Below is one of my favorite recent watercolor sketch:

Tesh Parekh

Professional Artist and Photographer



“Concert at North Hills”- A live event painting by Tesh Parekh

Concert at North Hills. 13×19. Watercolor on Saunder’s Waterford 140 lb Rough paper. Painted live.

I had dreaded about making this painting! I frequently paint live at weddings & events, however, what worried me here was the complexity! I painted this as a part of North Hills plein air competition. The competition has now been open for two months. And for me, it has come down to almost last two days to get couple of paintings done. I hope to do an oil painting as well.

I had done three paintings last year, for the same competition. One painting had even won top prize in one of the categories (it was a rarity, considering that it was a watercolor!). Today, while scouting for a painting location, I met James Park. James, who is a General Manager at Mura Restaurant, had purchased one of my paintings last year. He shared a wonderful story related to my painting! Last year I had painted fountains. This year, I wanted to paint something different that would capture what goes on at North Hills. My original plan was to go out and work on couple of paintings for a week. North Hills competition is different from other competitions in that, you can paint anytime and as many times during the competition. This can potentially allow you to refine your paintings (or cheat, if you are into that sort of thing!). However, I had many other obligations which kept me from my lofty ideals. In fact, the title of this post should have been “life comes at you fast, paint faster”!

This was my first time at the Thursday evening concert. It was packed! Let me just say that people were having a good time! I had many folks who stopped by to admire my work (thank you, all!). Couple of folks even showed interest in buying it. This was not an easy painting for couple of reasons. First, the scene in front of me was really complicated. I liked the view from the other side, but, I did not like the composition that way. The light was also fading quickly. It took me around two hours to paint it and I enjoyed the experience.

I used Holbein paints with mostly subdued palette. There are no strong warm colors.

I am still working on a commissioned family oil portrait and also hope to finish couple of oil paintings for competitions. In next couple of days. Wish me luck!

– Tesh Parekh