Plein Air Watercolor Paintings and Sketches – Raleigh NC Fine Artist

I am catching up on posting my finished paintings of 2011! Here are my plein air watercolor paintings and sketches. I am enjoying painting on locations. Helps me when I have live wedding painting commissions! Originals and prints are available. Enjoy…

– Tesh Parekh

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Don Cesar Hotel. 10x14 plein air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. Last year, I did photography and video assignment for the Lotus Survival Foundation. The foundation's first retreat for the breast cancer survivors was in St. Petersburg, Florida. I worked most of the time, but, managed this sketch one evening. I loved the golden sand and the beautiful building. I hope to do a live wedding painting there someday soon...
Raleigh Rickshaws. 12x9 plein air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. I started this piece as a pencil sketch and finished in the studio from memory.
Joyner Park afternoon. 10x14 plein air watercolor on paper. Joyner Park in Wake Forest is my favorite location for portrait sessions. A plein air painting this time. I liked the light of the day.
Kites, Lake Crabtree. 10x13 plein air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. I was looking for something to paint. I walked around the Lake Crabtree park and couldn't settle on anything to paint. It was really windy too! I was tired when I saw people flying kites. I loved kites when I was a kid. I have done several paintings of kites. I grabbed what I could find in my car, and made this sketch.
NC State Capitol- view from New Bern Plaza. 11x13 plein air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. You can't paint Raleigh Downtown without painting the NC State Capitol!
The Wishing Tree. 9x12 pencil drawing on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. Few weeks ago, Mica and I had photographed a family at the Shelly Lake. We liked this tree and captured several images around it. Later, I returned to make a pencil sketch. It is a reference sketch for one of the paintings I am working on. I liked using very sharp pencil on a smooth surface. I love to draw.
Castaway. 10x15 plein air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. My last plein air piece of 2011! Another windy and chilly evening! I had seen this lonely tree couple of times before. It was a little bit of hike to get to it. I travelled light and was happy to finally paint it.
Upper Lake Evening. 10x15 plein air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. Painting en plein air is like learning a visual language. You have to find ways to paint things quickly. I like how I could abstract distant foliage. Quite different from painting every little detail. Watercolor is amazing that way.
Still Thirsty. 9x12 plein air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. Another favorite from last year. I started this sketch while the light was fading. I had very little time. I finished the painting in my studio. I like how I was able to capture the light. This is my third painting of this tree! My first one was a plein air watercolor and the second one was a plein air oil.
Evening shadows. 11x14 Plein Air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. One more of my Durant park paintings. I liked the light and shadows on leaves on the ground,
NC State Capitol- from the Bicentennial Plaza. 10x14 Plein Air watercolor. Artist - Tesh Parekh. One of my favorites from the last year! I was visiting one of the museums prior to a corporate event photography assignment. I liked the fall colors and the beautiful light, It was really windy, so, I painted this standing and holding my sketchbook.
Pine Knoll Shores morning, 9x11 Plein Air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. I did photography sessions on the beach last summer. I painted this in the morning in the blinding Sun! I also did an oil painting of Pine Knoll Shores (After The Storms) in my studio.
Sandling Beach, Falls Lake. 9x11 Plain Air Watercolor. Artist - Tesh Parekh. Sandling Beach was busy over the Memorial Day weekend! I managed to start this sketch while playing with Ian. Finished in my studio later, to add few details.
Homestead Christmas Tree 2011. 12x16 Alla Prima watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. I did this alla prima painting during my recent visit to the Homestead resort in Hot Springs VA. I worked on this painting for couple of nights. I hate to use the masking and did not want to use Gouache, so, I painted around all the trimmings. Lesson in the patience! I hope to do a live wedding painting at this beautiful venue.
Fletcher Park. 9x12 Plein Air watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. This is my second plein air sketch of the Fletcher Park in Raleigh. I painted it first for Local Color Raleigh's (Art Gallery) Plein Air Competition. It was cold when I did this sketch. And windy.
Lower Lake Afternoon. 9x12 Plein Air Watercolor on paper. Artist - Tesh Parekh. I did this sketch in 2010 but did not publish it earlier. As you may have noticed, Durant Nature Park in Raleigh is one of my favorite locations to paint! What I like about this place is more trees and less people...
Rain and Raleigh Downtown. 14x5 Plein Air Watercolor. Artist - Tesh Parekh. What can be more fun than painting a watercolor when it is raining?! It started to rain while I was in the middle of sketching. I stayed under a tree and continued to paint. That is the Museum of Natural Sciences...

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



Memorial Day 2010- An original oil painting by Tesh Parekh

Memorial Day 2010. 16×20. Oil on linen.

I did this painting for Jerry’s Artarama’s Lukas paint competition. I had done one painting earlier for this competition “The Cloud”. It is currently on the display for sale at Cary Gallery of Artists.

I love the way evening light falls through front door of our home. My son Ian loves to stand there and watch the world outside. Originally I wanted to do his watercolor painting. So, I did a pencil sketch couple of days ago. The weather has been cloudy for last few days, so I could not make an exact sketch of what I wanted to paint. I also had paintings due for Jerry’s as well as North Hills competitions. I did a Plein Air watercolor for North Hills last week (see my earlier post). I wanted to do an oil as well, but, couldn’t get out to paint (North Hills competition is Plein air). So, I decided to work on at least one more painting for Jerry’s.

The painting was due today. And when I was being run over by the day yesterday, I finally saw the sunlight! I tried having Ian pose the way I wanted. Hmmm… Try that with a two-year old! So, I gave up and snapped few photos to use as reference.

I used linen as a support. Although I paint on both canvas and linen (sometimes on board), I prefer linen. Lukas paints are different from other brands I use. Those are all good paints and I enjoy discovering characteristics of each brand. I started to paint at 10:30 PM and stayed up to finish it this morning at 2 AM. When I was finished, I didn’t care if I will win anything. I enjoyed my little painting. One thing was certain: I will have dozen brushes to wash next day and Ian will be up in the morning! He did get up at 3 AM! And I still have brushed to wash!

Ian’s middle name is West. His grandfather was James West Hadnot. A fine fighter pilot and Col. in the US air force. World War II veteran. Today, when I remember him (he passed away in 2007), I remember many war stories he had shared with me. Some of those can make hair on your arms stand up. And here I was. Worried about little things. I had a very upsetting and bizarre incident involving one of my professional photography clients yesterday. Kept me busy all day. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I painted. And there are some fine folks who are sacrificing their lives for this country. There is no secret message in my painting. It is a little painting done on the Memorial day. May be Ian will grow up to be like Col. James West Hadnot.

– 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

Backseat painting: pages from my sketchbook

One of the joys of being both a father and an artist is being able to draw and paint my son. Of course, he is active even when he is sleeping! So, I have to wait for the right moment to capture his precious childhood. I made quite a few sketches of him when he was a new baby. Mostly, becuase he slept a lot! I recently did this watercolor sketch when we were driving around to go to a pumpkin patch, and he had fallen alseep in his car seat. Of course, my wife was driving and I was in the backseat. I used a watercolor pen to do this sketch and it was quite fun! In the past, I have done his pencil, charcoal and even ballpoint pen sketches in the backseat of a moving car, but, this is my first watercolor sketch. I guess if I quit backseat driving, I will be able to paint more…

– Tesh Parekh

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