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

All Saints Chapel Ceremony – Watercolor Wedding painting { Kathe + Todd }

This is my second wedding painting of the beautiful All Saints Chapel (Raleigh NC) in last few days! Last week I had painted Ashley & Chris’s wedding live there. Kathe and Todd’s painting is a studio commission. I used reference photos to create this painting. However, the painting is not a copy of photo! I looked at many images to create the composition that best captures beautiful wedding ceremony. Once I had worked out the composition, I made a very detailed pencil drawing. I painted in multiple sessions and  finished the painting in many layers. This is different from when I paint live at the weddings. When painting live, I have to work quickly. So, although there are layers of paints, brush strokes are more important when painting live. My aim is simple: to create a beautiful painting that is one-of-a-kind and that captures the story.

While I love painting live, studio commissions are important as well. There are occasions when I am not available to paint live, or the wedding happened in the past.

Next month I will be painting live at the North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh NC. That will be live oil painting of a first dance…

– Tesh Parekh

Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

Kathe and Todd. Wedding Painting of All Saints Chapel Ceremony. 20x16 Watercolor Studio Commission.
Kathe and Todd. Wedding Painting of All Saints Chapel Ceremony. 20×16 Watercolor Studio Commission.

– Tesh Parekh

Wedding Painter and Fine Artist

Raleigh Wedding Painter – Carolina Country Club Wedding Painting { Jordan + Brent }

Jordan and Brent. A Carolina Country Club Wedding. 18×24. Oil on linen.

I did above painting for the beautiful Carolina Country Club in Raleigh NC. Brenda Whitley  (Social Director with the club) had invited me to paint Jordan and Brent’s wedding reception. Couple of years ago I had painted Rod and Amy Brind’Amour’s wedding ceremony and delivered the finished painting to the Carolina Country Club. But, this was my first time doing painting of the club event.

I often get the question about painting from photos. Sometimes the question is from the bride who did not know about my live wedding painting service and sometimes the question is from family members looking for a special gift. The answer is- yes, I do accept studio commissions that are done from the reference photos. The painting above was done from the photos that I captured. Due to my schedule, I did not paint live at this reception. I arrived ahead of the first dance and made some pencil sketches and snapped reference photos before the guests arrived. Once the reception started, I stayed close to the stage where The North Tower Band was playing live. I captured the first dance photos for my reference. I am a professional photographer (check out my photography website) and the first dance happens to be one of my favorite wedding day moments to photograph!

Back in the studio, I reviewed my reference images. I decided to paint in oil on 18×24 linen. I execute all of my oil commissions on the linen. I also paint in watercolors- those are executed on paper. I liked below image as a general reference.

The First Dance. Reference photo for the Carolina Country Club wedding painting.

The purpose of a painting is to tell a story. To capture a moment. So, my aim as an artist is to convey this visually using various elements, while being faithful to what I observe. I liked composition of the original image and kept it in the painting. I changed few things to keep emphasis on the couple. I liked the warmth of this moment. So, I toned the linen with warm colors to convey this. My approach to oil paintings is very different from my watercolors. I start my watercolor paintings with a very good pencil drawing (check out my earlier live commission of this year). I start oil paintings by placing larger shapes of the composition. I also create very rough tonal design. Rest of the painting process consists of refining the painting to add details, colors and achieve the tonal balance. All this time, my goal is to keep the focus on my main subjects,  in this case- the couple. The couple is also painted in more detail. I worked on this painting over several days. I am happy with the finished painting. It does tell story of the couple’s beautiful first dance.

I had also liked below image, but, that will be a subject of another painting some day.

The First Dance. Another reference image for the Carolina Country Club wedding painting.

– Tesh Parekh

Artist and Live Wedding Painter


Live Wedding Painting Commission – “Jennifer and Ben” by NC Wedding Painter


Jennifer and Ben. Live Wedding Painting Commission. 16x20. University United Methodist Church (Chapel Hill NC). Wedding Painter - Tesh Parekh


My latest live wedding painting is of Jennifer and Ben’s beautiful wedding in Chapel Hill! Earlier, I had done a live event painting in Chapel Hill at Top of the Hill Restaurant. That one was an oil on linen for the launch of Wish Upon a Wedding NC. Jennifer and Ben’s wedding was at the gorgeous University United Methodist Church. The reception was at the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill- a beautiful venue. Angie Wright of Chic Details Weddings and Events was the wedding planner for this fantastic event.

I arrived at the Church couple of hours before the ceremony. I setup my easel at back of the balcony. But, I really liked the view from the front. But, there was not enough space to set up the easel. So, I just sat in the front with my drawing board in the lap. Being flexible allows me to create compositions I want. I sketched the Church interior first. Normally, I would start laying in some of the washes. But, Jennifer wanted me to paint at the reception. So, I made reference sketches of some of the details while I waited for the ceremony to begin. I carry a separate sketch book with me when I paint. Here I am drawing the Church:

Here I am sketching from the balcony next to videographer's camera. I liked the view from front of the balcony. Since there was not enough space to setup an easel I sketched with drawing board in my lap. On my right is my sketch book.

One of the questions which I frequently get asked is: “do you use photos for reference?”. The answer is: it depends. I prefer to sketch and paint entirely from life. But, there are situations when use of photography is necessary (e.g. the venue has certain restrictions). I also take photos for my future reference, blog and as precaution. I did not use photos as reference for Jen and Ben’s painting. I made sketches during the ceremony. Below is one of the sketches:

I made several reference pencil sketches before and during the reception. I love these sketches as much as I love finished paintings. These sketches are from the direct observation. I use these as reference when I finish the painting.

When I sketch I do not focus on what will go in the final painting. I make that decision after I analyze my sketches. This is what makes my painting process different from other live event artists. For me, drawing is the foundation of my paintings whether I am painting in oils or watercolors. Another aspect is the composition. I like to spend some time composing a wedding painting just as I would for any other painting or commission (one exception is the plain air sketches: more on that below). This makes my process little longer. But, as John Ruskin once said: all art is delicate.

This is the sketch I liked the best to use for my painting:

I liked this sketch and used it in the finished painting.

The ceremony was beautiful! And once it was over, I finished my drawing. Then it was time to set up at the Carolina Club. The Church was bright and I was able to draw without additional lighting. I used my video light at the Carolina Club. I enjoyed talking to many guests while I painted. Here is finished painting on easel next to the dance floor:

Jennifer wanted me to finish her painting at the Carolina Club reception in Chapel Hill. Here is the finished painting on my easel next to the dance floor. I enjoyed talking to many guests as I painted.

I framed the finished painting and presented it to Jen and Ben. The couple was thrilled! Having a live painting of your event is unique! Like photography and video, a painting becomes part of your wedding memory.

Painting from life is big part of my art. I love plein air painting. I go out to paint almost everyday. Here is one of my recent plein air watercolor sketches of early North Carolina spring:

Painting from life is big part of my art. This is one of the recent plain air watercolor sketch.

Painting en plein air is like taking a snapshot with your camera. Most of the times, I am more focused on capturing the essence of what is in front of me. Careful composition and rearranging of things is possible but optional. Sometimes the sketch stays as a plein air piece and sometimes I would use it as a reference for studio work.

I also love to draw. My son Ian is my favorite subject! What can give you better practice in quick drawing than sketching a 4 y/o?! As Ian has grown, so have my drawing skills. And I have a collection of his precious drawings. Here are some of my attempts to capture him:

My favorite subject to sketch is my son Ian! I have made numerous sketches of him. This has trained me to sketch fast!

This week I will be painting live at Preston Bailey and Stacie Francomb’s Inspire Smart Success Experience in Durham. I look forward to it…

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding and Event Painter

Raleigh Event Painter – Live Event Painting for ISES, NACE and Triangle Bridal Holiday Mixer at the Sheraton Downtown Raleigh

"Elevate Dancers". Live Event Painting. Watercolor. 16x20. Arches 140 lb CP Paper

I have been painting the ISES, NACE & TBA Holiday mixer for past three years now and have really enjoyed it. This event benefits Toys for Tots. I get to paint and meet my friends! That is a good change since when I paint plein air, I am mostly alone. I have done quite a few plein air paintings and sketches during past few weeks. And also some work in the studio. And while I have been busy with professional photography, I haven’t had the opportunity to photograph my very own recent work!

I chose watercolor medium for this event due to the amount of time- around 2 hours. 16×20 watercolor is a decent size for live watercolor painting, especially given just couple of hours.

This year’s event was at the Sheraton Hotel (downtown Raleigh). I started around 6 PM. When I arrived, first thing I saw were the beautiful dancers from Elevate. Mica and I have photographed Valerie Curran’s dancers at the Mitzvahs and Birthday parties. Before I even setup, I pulled out my sketchbook and attempted quick reference sketches in pencil. Of course, the dancers were moving fast! And apart from the movement, they were also contorting their bodies! Quite amazing to look at, but, hard to draw! But, thanks to my 3/o son, I have training in sketching people who move at 100 mph!

Below is my setup. Just before I started the painting. I used Cheap Joe’s easel. For my plein air paintings, I have been using Winsor & Newton’s Bristol easel due to its light weight (sitting on the ground to paint is also very userful!). I used Holbein paints, Isaby mops and Creative Mark Rhapsody Kolinsky brushes. The paper I used was Arches 140 lb CP.

Live event painting setup. Blank paper awaits. Artist - Tesh Parekh

I started with a pencil drawing. And by this time the dancers were gone. So, I used my reference sketches to complete the drawing. Rest of the painting was mostly from the memory. I worked fast and furious. My mops, sables and lovely wife Mica were huge help! Below is your truly, painting.

Tesh Parekh - Live Event Artist at work.

The finished painting was given away in the raffle. Here I am with the lucky winner Joye Speight (right) of Virtue Event Planning & Consulting, Inc.

Joye Speight (right) won live event painting in the raffle. Artist - Tesh Parekh

I am loving the painting journey. While the biggest reward is the learning and being able to create what I enjoy, I am also thankful for my live event and wedding painting commissions.

– 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 of a Grandover Resort (Greensboro) Wedding { Aneka + Solomon } – by North carolina Wedding Painter

Aneka and Solomon’s wedding at Grandover Resort in Greensboto NC. Wedding Painting. Oil on Linen. 16″x20″.

Aneka and Solomon. Wedding Painting. Oil on Linen. 16"x20". Artist- Tesh Parekh

I did this painting for Sue McCain of Bella Wedding & Event Planning. The wedding took place at beautiful Grandover Resort in Greensboro (NC).

I was at the location two hours before the outdoor ceremony. It stormed just when I started to work! It stopped raining before the ceremony started. However, this put me behind the schedule. And since I had an engagement later on, I made sketches during the ceremony and snapped some photos to use as reference. I completed the painting in my studio.

I paint in both oils and watercolors. Both mediums have their own unique appeal. My previous live ceremony painting was in watercolor. I used oil paints of different brands for this painting. I use quality linen for all of my commissions.

I will be doing a live wedding painting as well as a live event painting for Wish Upon A Wedding in Chapel Hill next month. I am available to capture your wedding or event….

– Tesh Parekh

Wedding and Event Painter



Wedding Painting of Jenny and Kory at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh – by North Carolina Live Wedding Painter

My latest live wedding painting: Jenny & Kory. Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh. 12″x16″ watercolor.

Jenny & Kory - Live Wedding Painting. Watercolor. 12"x16". Artist- Tesh Parekh

This is one of the longest live watercolor wedding painting I have done! Edenton Street UMC is a beautiful Church. I was fascinated by the details and I wanted to get all of that in my painting.

This was my second live wedding painting for A Southern Soiree wedding. Last July, I had painted Rod and Amy Brind’Amour’s wedding. That was a watercolor painting as well. I have done live oil commissions earlier this year. And I look forward to other watercolor commissions later this year.

The ceremony was scheduled at 5 PM. Thanks to Megan Gillikin of A Southern Soiree, I was well prepared! I arrived at the Church at 2 PM. I had visited the Church earlier and already decided to paint from the balcony. I setup and got right to work. As you can see from the ceremony photo below, it was dark in the balcony (the camera capturing the ceremony belongs to Heart Stone Films)!

Wedding Painting in progress during the ceremony. Artist- Tesh Parekh

I was glad to have my video LED light (below) with me!

Pencil sketch for the live wedding painting. Artist- Tesh Parekh

I like to keep the composition simple and clear. I did a pencil sketch (above) and then toned the paper. I kept working on the painting as much as possible, before the ceremony started. It was just magical! Working alone in the magnificent Church. Praying and painting at the same time!

Once the guests started to arrive, it was time for me to do some pencil sketches for reference. Although I snapped some images, those were more for security than any real use. I did several pencil sketches during the ceremony. I would say rather feverishly! You see, folks do not pose for me during the ceremony, which lasts only few minutes! Everything is in constant motion. And I love my pencil sketches as much as I love my finished paintings. There is purity and freshness in those pencil sketches. A very first-hand impression of what I am witnessing. One of these days, I am going to post my reference sketches on this blog.

Once the ceremony was over, I started working on the painting again. This time, using one of my pencil sketch as a reference.

After a while, I decided to finish the painting outdoors. I did not plan to paint at the Umstead, where the reception was. So, I parked in a McDonald’s parking lot. And continued to paint in the front seat as a storm gathered overhead! By the time I was finished with the painting, it was pouring! Somehow, I manged to photograph and frame my painting.

I met Megan at the Umstead. We presented the painting to Jenny and Kory. It was priceless to see Jenny and Kory’s reaction! Shane Snider photographed this moment and I look forward to seeing some of those images!

I headed out in the storm to meet my family for dinner. I used Holbein watercolor paints and Winsor & Newton brushes. The paper was Arches 140 lb CP.

– Tesh Parekh

Live Wedding and Event Painter



Kate and Jeff’s Live Wedding Painting in Greensboro – by North Carolina Live Wedding Artist

Kate and Jeff’s Wedding Painting in Greenboro North Carolina. By Live Wedding Artist Tesh Parekh

Kate and Jeff. Live Wedding Painting at the Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro NC. 16×20 Oil on Linen. Artist – Tesh Parekh (, 919-622-5399, email:

Kate and Jeff. A live wedding painting in Greensboro, NC. 16x20. Oil on linen. Artist - Tesh Parekh (


This was my second live wedding painting in March. Earlier this month, I had painted Lauren and Joseph’s wedding at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh. I had a very short notice to paint Kate and Jeff’s commission! Anne (Kate’s mother) discovered my wedding painting service less than a week before the wedding! She really wanted a live oil painting for Kate and I am glad that I could create this unique gift for her.

Anne wanted me to paint at the reception. So, I suggested painting bride and groom dancing. I am thankful to Anne for giving me the creative freedom. This was a surprise gift. So, I setup in a corner where I had a good view of the dance floor.

I arrived at the Starmount Club, a beautiful venue in Greensboro NC, couple of hours before the reception. I decided on the composition and started the underpainting (below).

Sketching underpainting before the reception. Artist - Tesh Parekh

By the time the guests arrived, I had my underpainting finished (below). Then it was time to wait for the first dance.  I photograph professionally, and also take photos as I paint. However, I do not use photos for reference when painting live (unless there are constraints that force me to use photos).  So, it was a challenge to capture the bride and groom during couple of minutes of first dance! I make quick pencil sketches for reference as I paint. I also sketch guests and other details. I will be publishing those pencil sketches in a later post.

Waiting for the first dance. Artist - Tesh Parekh
I kept on painting, as the party went on and the guests celebrated Kate and Jeff’s wedding. There were many guests who stopped by to admire the painting and I thank everyone for their kind words!
When the painting reached its finished stage (below) , I invited Anne to review the painting. Kate, the beautiful bride, was amazed at her painting! Anne and I put painting on the easel and then it was time for me to head back to Raleigh…
Finished painting on the easel. Artist - Tesh Parekh

I like the tonal scheme of this painting. When painting live, I have to balance realism with the need to paint details which make every event unique. The atmosphere inside the club was warm and romantic and that is what I have captured in this painting. Each event is unique, so, I use process which best serves the painting.

As I mentioned above, I sketch in pencil (or colored pencil) when I paint. Drawing is very important to me. While drawing is necessary with watercolors, oil painting also benefits from the drawing. Whether used as reference, in underpainting or achieved in the finished painting with brushstrokes.
I will be painting an Indian wedding for my portfolio next. I want to display that as a sample at Indian Bridal Expo in Atlanta next month.
I am available to paint your wedding, event or special occasion anywhere in the world- almost anywhere…
– Tesh Parekh
Live Wedding Painter

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