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 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 Marci and Brian- Raleigh, NC Wedding Painter

Marci and Brian. 12×16. Watercolor on Arches 300 lb CP paper.

This is my recent studio wedding painting. I had photographed Marci’s wedding last year (when I am not painting, I do professional photography- Marci was a wonderful bride. Many brides have their Bridal portraits photographed prior to the wedding. Marci opted to do the portrait session of her daughters. I did that on location at the Pullen Park. These portraits were presented to Brian as a surprise at the reception. Marci was very kind to us and has become a good friend. So, I decided to do this wedding painting for her.

The painting is done from one of my photos of the ceremony at the Meredith College Chapel. The ceremony was special since Marcy’s father walked her down the aisle and was also ministered the wedding! Marcy loves her family and so I decided to paint this scene which captures most of her family.

I did this watercolor painting on Arches 300 lb CP watercolor block. The 300 lb paper has its own characteristics. I have noticed that the washes dry little flat as compared to 140 lb paper. However, I enjoy painting on different surfaces. This is my first painting using Holbein watercolor paints. I am trying those because one of my favorite watercolorists- Joseph Zbukvic uses those. I love the effects which Zbukvic creates in his paintings. So far so good- I am happy with what I have learned.

Below is my initial sketch of the painting. As a practice, I always start my watercolors with a pencil drawing.

I painted this watercolor fairly tightly and over a period of few days (rather late nights!). That is something I won’t do on location!

I presented this painting to Marci as a surprise: she absolutely loved it!

If you are a bride, wedding planner, event planner or a family member, looking for a unique keepsake or gift, I would love to hear from you!

– Tesh Parekh

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

Exhibition of my Plein Air paintings at Cary Gallery of Artists

Fall music. 12×16. Watercolor.

I will be the featured artist at Cary Gallery of Artists ( in December. I will be exhibiting my Plein Air oil and watercolor paintings. My new work includes “Fall Music”. I saw this young man playing guitar at the boat house of Durant nature park. I first did his pencil sketch and then this watercolor. I have also done new oil paintings. I recently bought a pochade box and have been using it for oils outdoors. It is much lighter to carry than the French easel. My latest oil painting was with the Paint NC group at Prairie Ridge- I did a painting of my fellow artist Winnie Ferguson.

I had people ask me if I teach painting. I currently do not teach. However, if you have any questions on painting, I will be glad to answer those. Also, if you would like to paint with me, please contact me. I paint outdoors frequently, but, do not have a set schedule.

My opening reception at Cary Gallery of Artists will be on November 27 (Friday) 6 PM- 9 PM. The reception is open to everyone. Light refreshments will be provided. Cary Gallery of Artists is located at 200 S. Academy Street (inside Ashworth Village).

See you then!

– Tesh Parekh