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Live Event painting for ISES/ NACE/ Triangle Bridal Holiday party

ISES, NACE and Triangle Bridal hosted their annual holiday party on December 8 at Marriott in Raleigh. As a professional photographer (www.iwpphotography.com), I am a member of ISES- International Special Events Society (http://www.ises-gt.org/). I did a live watercolor event painting at this party. Carrie Peele of Blue Diamond Limo won this painting in a raffle! This was a great event. Although I painted for the most part, I enjoyed meeting many wonderful professionals. I also had the opportunity to photograph my painting process:

Here I have setup my easel and I am ready to start. I was painting on a 12×16  Arches CP 140 lb watercolor block. This blank rectangle piece of paper can be terrifying! Especially, when you look at what is in front: semi dark room filled with decorations and guests who are constantly moving. The lights are constantly changing. A bright red beam of DJ’s lights danced on my paper every few minutes and blinded me!

I use a French easel. I have modified it for my use. I do not find it easy to setup and would be happy to build my own someday. I paint on watercolor paper of different brands (Arches, Fabriano, etc.), textures (cold-pressed, rough, smooth), sizes and weights (140 lb, 300lb). I use single sheet as well as blocks. I keep an old fruit jar for water. I use Weber’s leakproof palette (this is a recent upgrade from my $2 palette!). I use mop brushes as well as synthetic brushes. I also use Sword liners- with these brushes I can paint really fine lines. It is important for me to have the brushes which can hold their point, as I “draw” with my brushes when I paint. I use Winsor & Newton watercolors. I probably have more colors than I need!

My next step was to analyze the scene and decide what I was going to paint. I spend enough time planning my process: what I am going to include, what I am going to leave out, what color scheme I will be using, what is the tonal scheme going to be, which parts will be painted wet-in-wet, which parts will be painted wet on dry, and so on. I do not start the painting until I have made at least some of these (if not all) decisions in my head. The next step was drawing. I use any pencil which is in my backpack and is sharp enough: HB, B, 2B, etc. (I do not use harder one- H, 2H, etc.). Drawing is very important to me. Success of my kind of painting depends on good drawing. This is one of the reasons I constantly practice drawing. Sorry, there are no shortcuts here! Here is my completed drawing. I am ready to use colors now.

I started with thin washes of colors. Lights were brightly colored, coming from many directions and changing constantly so the popular theory of “cool light, warm shadows” was useless here! I had to observe the scene long enough and make mental notes and memorize color schemes. It is difficult for me to describe my choices of colors.From Joseph Zbukvic I have learned to think of colors as: light or dark, cool or warm. When I am painting, tone is more important to me than colors. It took me around 90 minutes to complete the entire painting. I had the opportunity to chat with many nice folks (try that standing next to DJ’s fancy music system! However, that was not as bad as being on stage with Salt-N-Peppa snapping photos at G105’s Second Chance Prom! I had serious ringing in my ears after that!).

One good thing about watercolors is the drying: painting was ready for framing almost immediately! I matted and framed the painting and handed over to raffle folks. Here is the completed painting.

If you would like to commission me for your Wedding or Event, please email me: tesh@teshfineartphoto.com (this also makes a great gift!) .I also work with Event planners. You can see samples of my work at: www.teshparekh.com

Happy Holidays!

– Tesh Parekh

www.teshparekh.com

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