Monday, March 6, 2023

"First Dance" - Live Painting A Wedding

I was asked to live paint a wedding near Houston last month, and this is a detail of the completed piece.

I find that live painting an event can be both exciting and stressful. There's the energy of the event, but also the knowledge of how important this moment is for the couple and their families. Luckily, I was able to draw upon all of my wife's experience as a wedding photographer for information about what to expect, and how best to prepare. 
I set up early in the reception hall, prior to the guests’ arrival, and decided on my overall composition based on the layout of the room. I know that a lot of seasoned wedding painters will begin rendering the details of the hall prior to the start of the event, but I chose not to. I didn't start painting until the reception began, after the sun had set and the room was full of people. This way, I based my painting on the correct values and colors from the start, giving it a more consistent feeling of an evening event.
For three hours, I painted and repainted various guests throughout the room, but most of my attention went to the bride and groom as the focus of the piece. I had a steady stream of wedding patrons who wanted to chat and learn more about what I was doing, but I never found any of them to be a distraction, as everyone was very respectful.
"First Dance” Detail • Oil on Linen • 8" x 8" Detail of a 16" x 20"
• Private Collection

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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