Now that digital technology makes documenting and sharing every wedding detail simple and expected, couples who crave a classic touch hire live event painters to capture celebrations on canvas in real time. Of course wedding paintings actually predate photography. In many cultures, couples sat for formal portraits which became family heirlooms. Today’s live paintings are sure to be just as cherished.
The event painting trend began to emerge about a decade ago, gathered speed due to social media, and grew exponentially after a piece in the New York Times.
Painters meet first with the couple to understand their taste and preferences. As anyone working in the wedding industry knows, customization is vital. That said, individual painters each have their own style. Some artists depict realistic detail and color, while others produce more stylized work. My personal favorites leave faces and tables somewhat blurred, capturing the happy rush of the dance floor, and let recognizable glimpses emerge: a bridesmaid’s posture, or the play of candlelight against floral centerpieces in glass.
Two artists we like in the New York City area are Katherine Gressel, and Anne Watkins, a Manhattan artist who paints series of small, evocative watercolors. Stop by our Pinterest board Live Event Painting at Weddings to see work by artists around the country.
This art form is an exclusive niche; it takes a rare set of talents to work quickly, catch accurate mood, and produce beautiful end results. Sought-after event artists manage all this in the midst of an inquisitive crowd. Everyone wants to peer over the artist’s shoulder.
Guests are charmed and fascinated to see an event artist, working away at their easel, at a ceremony or reception. It adds to the sense that the wedding is a truly special occasion. And… makes for a great photo op.