When booking entertainment for your wedding, you’ve no doubt considered hiring a live band or a DJ, renting a photo booth, and maybe even reserving a food truck for the night, but what about hiring an accomplished artist to capture the day on canvas?
Live Wedding Painting by Tesh Parekh is a unique service that results in a one-of-a-kind wedding keepsake for the bride and groom and, since he paints on-site at your wedding or reception, it has the added bonus of being live entertainment for guests who get to see the entire work of art come to life! A live painting offers a unique take on the occasion and is perfect for the artistic bride!
Tesh Parekh is a professional artist based in Raleigh, NC. Originally from India, he came to the US in 1996 and found a love for painting weddings after meeting his wife, Mica. He paints in both oil and watercolors, and is one of the very few artists to offer representational live paintings in watercolor. Learn more about him in our exclusive Q&A below.
SB&G: How many years have you been an artist and what inspired you to start painting weddings?
I learned to draw and paint when I was a small child and have been painting professionally since 2007. I began painting en plein air (on location) in 2006. I always loved painting people and real life. Initially, I did landscape paintings, but then I became inspired to paint events and people in action. This led to painting live at weddings.SB&G: What makes LIVE wedding painting such a special/unique service?
My live painting service is unique in many ways: it is a special element of weddings in that I have one chance to create the painting and finish it before the end of the reception. Since my paintings are created live they are started, finished, and presented at the weddings. I use artist quality materials and paint from direct observation and my own sketches. I occasionally use photos for reference and to check details, but I never paint from a photo, so what you get in the end is a real live “snapshot” of your special day. I offer couples the choice of watercolor painting or oil painting and a variety of sizes starting at 16X20.SB&G: How does a typical wedding day go from start to finish?
I like to do my homework before the wedding, gathering as much information as possible about the location and the timeline. I arrive 1-2 hours before the schedule. Once I find a good spot to setup, I work on my composition and start working on the background.
I can do a live painting of the ceremony or the reception – and painting both is possible as well! If I am painting the ceremony, couples usually ask me to finish painting at the reception so guests can enjoy the painting process. Couples usually display the finished paintings on easels for everyone to enjoy! There are certainly challenges with painting on location (including painting on a schedule), but it’s part of what makes the service so different and interesting each time.SB&G: Where’s the farthest you’ve traveled for a live painting? And what was the most interesting/unique wedding or venue you’ve painted?
I have traveled all over the Southeast and have been fortunate to paint many beautiful weddings and venues. One of my recent interesting commissions was at the Berry Hill Resort in South Boston, VA. I had painted the bride’s sister’s wedding at the same location two years before! It was very fun to paint the weddings of both sisters and I enjoyed the challenge of creating a beautiful painting that was similar, yet still different.SB&G: What is one of your favorite wedding moments to capture on canvas?
I love painting both the ceremony and/or reception and each offers challenges that I enjoy as a live artist. Many couples have large wedding parties, so I have to paint a lot of people when painting ceremonies. I keep observing and sketching the ceremony as it happens then decide on the best moment to capture on canvas. When I paint the reception, it is typically the first dance that I like to paint. However, once the first dance is complete, I have limited time to finish the painting.
Once the painting is complete, you and your spouse will enjoy the anticpated unveiling of the finished piece, symbolizing the love you share and a day you will celebrate and look back on for many years.Photos courtesy of Tesh Parekh