I am accepting Holiday commissions! Please contact me for painting of people, pets, homes, weddings and boudoir. I can work with the photos and also schedule a photo session. An original commissioned painting will make a great gift for you or a friend/ family member. I offer commissions in watercolors, oils and pencil.
– Tesh Parekh
Award-Winning Fine Artist & Live Wedding Painter
Available for People, Pet & Home Portrait commissions
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 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:
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: www.liveweddingpaintings.com
I am excited to announce the launch of my new live wedding paintings website www.liveweddingpaintings.com . 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.
I painted this for Apara Pochiraju of LadyBird Events as a part of her Styled Shoot. The event took place at the Cypress Manor in Cary NC. The theme was South Asian wedding. Each year I photograph several Indian weddings and so I know the excitement of being part of those! I start and finish my live paintings at the weddings. That is a challenge and Indian weddings bring added complexity. So I had looked forward to this Styled Shoot. The shoot was scheduled for two days, first day being the ceremony. I painted the reception next day. My wife Mica was a big help with this painting. She took care of everything else, so, my job was to simply paint! We arrived ahead of the shoot so I can find good location. The venue looked beautiful. I had decided on doing a watercolor on paper. I worked on my drawing and painting in some of the background while waiting for the models to arrive. I finished the painting in my studio. This was due to my schedule and schedule of the shoot. I finish my live paintings at events.
It was nice meeting many vendors at this shoot and my painting was made possible by their talents and services. The beautiful outfits were from Posháác by Prem. I look forward to working with owner/ designer Premal Bdiani at future events.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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 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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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 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:
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.
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.