My Live Wedding Paintings featured on the We Tie The Knots blog

The 2015 has started well! Many exciting paintings coming this year! I will be off to many new plein air adventures and will be doing new stuff in the studio. While I draw a lot, this year I have been doing many tonal drawings: both studies and finished pieces. I look forward to sharing those.
I will be painting live at the beautiful Berry Hill Resort in May. This will be my second live wedding painting commission there- both commissions being for the Anderson family!
I wanted to thank Sarah Beth Thie of the We Tie The Knots for including my live wedding painting on her blog. You can read her blog post here:
I will also be painting live at new venues this year.
Here is a live painting I did recently at the opening party of Mims House (Holly Springs NC).
– Tesh Parekh
Fine Artist
Live Painting of Mims House
Live Painting of Mims House

Wedding Painting at the Hudson Manor for the Southern Bride & Groom

Wedding Painting at the Hudson manor

I painted this for a Southern Bride & Groom style shoot. The theme of the shoot was New Orleans Wedding inspiration. I have been an SB&G vendor for awhile: just lovely people to work with. I highly recommend them. You can check out more information of this shoot on their blog.  I had started this painting on location and then finished in my studio. The Hudson Manor is a beautiful venue. I wanted to paint something different from what I normally paint at the weddings. So, I had the couple pose in front of this scenic view with the chapel.

Here is the team of talented vendors for this shoot:

Stylist Erin McLean Events  |  Venue The Hudson Manor  |  Photographer Brian Mullins Photography  |  Fashion Savvi Bridal and Savvi Formalwear  |  Bowties Natty Neckware  |  Florist Blossom Artistry  |  Live Wedding Painting Tesh Parekh  |  Jewelry Diamonds Direct  |   Musicians John Brown Entertainment Group  | Market Lights, NOLA Themed Accents and Hedge backdrop ThemeWorks  |  Linens, China & Table Settings American Party Rentals  |  Invitations & Menus Paperbuzz  |  Cake Sugarland  |  Masks Table of Contents  |  Bride & Groom Elevate  |  Wedding Party Models for Charity  |  Hair & Makeup Erin Doak and Danielle Duarte for Douglas Carroll Salon  |  Behind-the-Scenes Video Twenty-One Films

I accept commissions to paint live at weddings. I also accept studio commissions that are done from the photos (with photographer’s permission). You can contact me via this website and also check out my new website:

– Tesh Parekh

Fine Artist

Wedding Painting at the Hudson Manor. Watercolor on paper.
Wedding Painting at the Hudson Manor. Watercolor on paper.
Wedding painting at the Hudson Manor.
Wedding painting at the Hudson Manor. Image courtesy of Brian Mullins Photography


Live Wedding Painting at the Bradford by Raleigh NC Fine Artist

Live Wedding Painting

I painted this as part of a style shoot at the Bradford. Many thanks to Brent Deitrich of Live View Studios for reaching out to me for participating in the French Provincial Watercolor Wedding style shoot. The Bradford is a lovely venue in New Hill NC. One of the many benefits of style shoot is meeting amazing wedding vendors. When you are working at live events, you do not always get the opportunity to meet fellow vendors. Here is the vendor team of this style shoot:

Venue: The Bradford / Event Design & Furniture: Farm & Filigree / Floral Design: Serendipity Designs / Hair & Makeup: Karen Michelle Clark / Stationery: Crafty Pie Press / Calligraphy: Serendipity Designs / Cake: Edible Art / Pastries & Macarons: La Farm Bakery / Film Lab:Photovision / Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic / Live Event Painting: Tesh Parekh / Dress: Kirstie Kelly / Veil: Girl With A Serious Dream / Shoes: Nina Fontane / Jewelry: Glitz & Love

I wanted to do something different to add to the uniqueness of live painting. When I arrived at the venue, our beautiful model Danielle’s photo session was in the progress. I liked how she was posing, so decided to paint her. She was kind enough to hold the pose for me while I painted quickly. Brent captured me painting- thanks to him and his lovely wife Anna for sharing the images. This was an event painting, but, it fairly captures Danielle’s likeness. You can contact me for your live wedding painting or studio commission. You can also check out my new website for more information.


– Tesh Parekh

Fine Artist

Live wedding painting at the Bradford. Watercolor on paper.
Live wedding painting at the Bradford. Watercolor on paper.
Danielle checking out her live painting
Danielle checking out her live painting
Finished painting on my easel.
Finished painting on my easel.
Live painting in progress at the Bradford.
Live painting in progress at the Bradford.

Live wedding painting at The Oaks at Salem in Apex North Carolina by Raleigh Artist

I finally had my opportunity to paint live at the beautiful  Oaks at Salem in Apex NC! I have known owner April Maness for awhile. In fact, when I had painted my first ceremony painting at the All Saints Chapel in Raleigh, April was the photographer for that wedding. I did not have the opportunity to meet Allie before the wedding. What a beautiful bride! Joslin Rodely (Director of Event Coordination) was very helpful and I enjoyed working with her.

I arrived before the ceremony. It was a beautiful day. The cloud cover kept changing while I painted the background, but when the ceremony started, it was gorgeous! Allie had wanted the Oak tree in the painting so I used horizontal composition. This was an 18×24 oil painting on linen (canvas). I painted the background before the ceremony. When the ceremony started, I made several reference sketches in pencil. I used those sketches for reference when finishing the panting. I took some photos to check details later, but, most of my painting was done from the life and memory. I sketch a lot. I carry sketchbook, pencil and painting supplies with me most of the time. And I sketch at every opportunity (there are no shortcuts to painting live!). After the ceremony, I continued to work on the painting. It was time to add all the figures. Once that was done, I applied finishing touches. Allie and Tyler were very happy with the painting! So, Joslin and I set it up on a display easel for the wedding guests to enjoy. A beautiful live painting- started and finished at the wedding!

"Allie & Tyler". Live wedding ceremony painting. Oil on linen. 18x24.
“Allie & Tyler”. Live wedding ceremony painting. Oil on linen. 18×24.
Tyler and Allie with live painting of their ceremony.
Tyler and Allie with live painting of their ceremony.

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Artist

Live wedding painting commissions: what are the prices?

I get number of inquiries for live wedding painting: from Toronto to Miami and from LA to NY and even some international inquiries. The number of inquiries have gone up recently and hence I decided to share my pricing information online. If you like my work and understand my pricing, the next step will be to check on my availability for your event. If you like my work, but, are unsure about investing in my service, then read below. If price is your only concern, you are in luck: more and more artists are offering live painting and you are sure to find something that suits your budget.

First, some clarifications on what I do:

I am a fine artist and I approach live wedding paintings as commissioned work. I am not an entertainer nor a  caricaturist: if you are looking for those services or are expecting those prices, I am not your artist! My work starts with consultation, and includes regular communication with my clients as well as planners and/or venues. I also make site visits when it is feasible, to plan and prepare for my commissions. And my painting process may take anywhere from 5-7 hours depending on the size, medium, event and other factors. The work that I produce is expected to be professionally framed and displayed for years to come.

Is it worth to you?

Brides who hire me are looking for commissioned work-of-art. Wedding planning and budgeting is a complex subject, and best left to many of my talented wedding planner friends. However, from what I know: wedding budgets are spent on many items, not all of which will stay with you. Framed painting will! You may even pass on the painting to your next generation. If you are not sure, just make a list of each budget item, with cost and longevity next to those.

What are some of the unique aspects of my service?

There are many talented artists who paint live. Each artist has his/ her own unique style, process and pricing. Here is what is different about what I do:

* I offer live wedding painting in both watercolors and oils. I am one of the few artists to offer live painting in watercolors! And of course, oils are a classic medium.

* I am a full-time visual artist. My life is centered around art. My service is a legitimate business. I am dedicated to learning my craft and improving my work. I am constantly drawing and painting. If you like my work, it is the result of this dedication. I have been an artist all of my life and have been painting live professionally since 2009.

* I use artist-quality materials. This often gets overlooked! I user archival-quality supports and paints. I do not use toxic mediums or cleaners, not even odorless kind (those are still toxic!). Professionally framed and appropriately displayed planting should last for many years.

* I bring every element of fine art to my commissions: composition, drawing, value design, color scheme and brushwork. My aim is not to paint 50 chairs or 100 guests. My job is to distill the visual information in front of me, and capture the essence of that special moment on my paper or canvas.

* My process is self-contained and flexible. I do not rely on other vendors or venues for help. I carry everything I need to do my job. I can setup in a far corner and still paint what I have in mind even if the view from my vantage point if different.

* Most of my work is done from life. I use photography in some cases, but for the most part, I rely more on what I see and make my own reference sketches.

* I finish my paintings at the events. It is live painting after all, isn’t it?! If a frame is provided to me, I can even frame the finished watercolor for you (oil paintings take longer time to dry).

What about travel?

I am based out of Raleigh NC. So, for commissions outside of the Triangle area: I am no different from any other vendor you may be flying in for your event. Travel expenses may include mileage/ flights, hotel, transportation and per diem expenses. The expenses may be little or lot depending on where your event is. A painting commission in Asheville or Wilmington may cost differently from commission in Atlanta. I currently only charge for the actual travel expenses and reasonable per diem expenses, although my time investment in travel may be significant at times. All this may be worth to you, if you like my work, and are willing to look at this as investment rather than expense.

I hope this information will be helpful to you in deciding if I am the right artist for your wedding.

For my current prices, please check out the pricing page.

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

South Boston VA Live Wedding Painting { Lauren + Brad }

This was my first time painting live at the Berry Hill Resort in South Boston, Virginia. What a beautiful venue! And it was a perfect day for Lauren and Brad’s wedding. I was commissioned by Lauren’s parents. Lauren had requested 18×24 watercolor painting of the couple’s first dance. I enjoyed working with Nicole Conder of Premier Party Planners. This wedding was filmed by Amanda Pagano of Isabel’s Corner Videography and photographed by Abbie Franklin of Elite Carter Photography. I look forward to seeing their beautiful work.

I arrived well ahead of the scheduled first dance. I setup next to the live band- GrooveTown Band. Live painting next to the live music! The weather was beautiful. I had a good view of the dance floor but did not like that as a composition. So, I walked around to find a better composition. Here is my setup- I stayed in this spot but painted a different perspective. This being an outdoor reception, the light will continue to change.


This being a watercolor, I stated with the drawing. I sketched in the background while waiting for reception to start. Once the guests arrived, it got busy! The reception was on the schedule. I made reference sketches during the first dance and also snapped couple of photos for the reference. I also made reference sketches of guests enjoying the first dance. Then it was time to combine all the visual information on my painting. I tightened my drawing. The next phase was color washes. I enjoyed chatting with guests while I painted. Here is my painting in progress. As you can see, the light has changed dramatically! But, I maintained the view as I remembered during the first dance.


The painting continued to evolve. Lauren and her parents stopped by to review the painting and were very pleased! I enjoyed meeting all of them in person. I thank Steve Anderson for giving me opportunity to paint at Lauren’s wedding and I appreciate his kindness and generosity.

The light continued to change. Below image was provided by Amanda Pagano of Isabel’s Corner Videography:


I applied final touches to finish the painting. Here is my finished painting on the easel.


I photographed the painting and presented it to Nicole for safe-keeping.  And then it was time to head back to Raleigh.

Lauren & Brad’s First Dance. 18×24. Watercolor on paper. For a representational style of alla prima painting, this was a rather large commission. I enjoyed the challenge.


My next live painting will be in Charlotte on September 4. That will be a live event painting. I have been invited by Carrie Sims of American Furniture Rental to paint live at the AFR Design & Inspire showcase and networking event. I look forward to meeting amazing industry professionals…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist


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 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

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