What an amazing weekend! One of the busiest for sure. On Saturday I was honored to paint live at Katherine and Manny’s wedding reception. The reception was at the beautiful North Ridge Country Club (NRCC) in Raleigh NC. The club is not too far from where I live. I have been traveling for assignments, so, this was a good change. This was my third wedding painting commission with A Southern Soiree. Many amazing vendors made this wedding reception absolutely beautiful.
Katherine had a certain vision for this painting. My aim was to create a painting that will meet her expectation while allowing me the artistic freedom. This commission was originally of 16×20 size. When I arrived at the location I decided to paint bigger size of 18×24. This size allowed me to create a composition that captured what Katherine had in mind. And I was able to incorporate elements that described the venue, event and most importantly couple’s very special moment- their first dance, in sufficient detail.
I arrived at the location three hours prior to the first dance. A Southern Soiree team had already suggested a location that will be appropriate for me to setup. As with many of my live painting commissions, my painting was created from the vision I had and not the actual view from where I was setup. To achieve that I move around and create reference sketches. My aim always is not to create a literal painting but work-of-art that captures the special moments.
I started with a blank canvas and then toned it to create warmth of the ambience. I sketched the composition away from my easel, directly on the linen. Here is the sketch:
There was plenty of natural light inside so I was able to paint without using additional lighting. The next step was to work out the value design. The challenge being, the light! The light will continue to change. But, painting is all about solving problems. So, I created a value design based on this understanding. I painted broadly even as I started the color stage. And then it was time for the real moment. The first dance! Unlike wedding ceremony which may last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, the first dance is usually 1 to 3 minutes. And depending on the song, couple will move slowly or quickly. As is my practice, I made pencil sketches of the couple as well as the wedding guests. I also snapped couple of photos for insurance. This was helpful for checking the likeness and other features. I do not always use photos for this purpose and rely on my sketches and memory. But, when painting on this scale, it was important to have correct visual information. I painted the couple and then painted the guests. Most important part of my painting was the couple. I painted guests and then tightened the painting and added details. Many guests stopped by to admire the painting. By the time I was finished, it was pretty dark inside as the dance floor was open. So, I used my own lighting. Here is my finished painting still on the easel:
I informed Megan of A Southern Soiree that the commission was complete and can be presented to the couple for approval. I was fortunate to have Chrisobal of Azul Photography present when painting was presented to Katherine and Manny. The couple was simply amazed! And so were the family members and wedding guests. I look forward to seeing those amazing images!
The party was still in progress so Megan was able to display finished painting on an easel. The painting was started prior to the reception and was finished prior to end of the reception. It was time to head home. The next day was Father’s day. But, I was scheduled to work from 7 AM- midnight (welcome to the life of self-employed artist!). I will be blogging about that day on my professional photography blog. Be sure to check that out in few days. Here is the finished painting:
My next commission will be in VA. And a studio wedding painting commission from very popular and beautiful local venue is very likely soon. So, if you are already married or are looking for a gift for someone who is already married- think of commissioning me to do a studio painting from wedding photos.
If you like my work, please be a fan of my Facebook page. To paint, all I need is painting materials. To paint for living, I need all the fans and patrons I can get…
– Tesh Parekh
Live Wedding Painter and Fine Artist