Live Event Painting 101


January 2, 2022

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picasso, the million dollar napkin and live painting
I create timeless heirloom paintings for couples looking for an original and intentional way to capture their wedding day, and I do it live.

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They all raised their eyebrows when I unloaded my easel at that first wedding…

…but then I started painting…

And hey couldn’t get enough of seeing the sweet couple love story come to life through watercolor live event painting…

And this blog I am sharing the most important things you need to know about live event painting so let’s go.

wedding painter at the range stillwater

Why live event painting?

With a photograph or with a group of photos you get beautiful details, and you get to relive those moments over and over.

But with a painting, you get a treasure that you don’t just take out every once in a while. The painting is an heirloom that can be passed down for generations.

It can hang in your house for your whole life and be a conversation starter — a beautiful way to remember the way your beautiful love started even on the most challenging days. Live Wedding Painting, or live event painting, is so much more than just a painting.

Live wedding painting captures the essence of your day, the magic of your love story, and the feelings of your happiness so that you can relive that magical moment for the rest of your life.

Because the details are lovely — but it’s not the details that make you remember why you married your person. While they’re beautiful, it’s the love and connection it’s that deeply rooted love that makes all the difference in your life and love story.

It’s also one of the most happening ideas to add to your wedding day according to Brides, Southern Bride, and Brides of Oklahoma.

Live painting is a personalized and unique piece of art that captures the emotion and energy of your wedding day in a way that traditional photography cannot. It adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your wedding, and creates a beautiful and meaningful heirloom for years to come.

Grab your free fine art wedding guide today!

What is your painting style?

“Impression — I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it … and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that seascape.” — Claude Monet

I think of myself as a modern impressionist. I have always loved classical art and I have loved learning about the master painters and when I look at the impressionist I feel like my work falls squarely into that category.

There are lots of different styles of art, and if you want a super realistic painting then that is not what I do. Instead with impressionism what you get is the feeling of the moment the essence the impression if you will of the moment in time you get your moment frozen in time.

And the best part about it is it doesn’t have a shelf life because styles come and go but impressionism has stood the test of time And continues to be a popular painting style.

How does the live painting process work?

The process of live painting is a beautiful and unique experience that captures the essence of your wedding day. From the initial sketch to the finished painting, the artist works to capture the emotion and energy of your special day. Behind-the-scenes photos and videos give you a glimpse into the process of live painting, and showcase the beauty and uniqueness of this art form.

How do I choose a size? 

OK choosing a size is so much fun! The thing most people do wrong when choosing artwork is getting something too small for your space. For a piece of art like this? You want to display it prominently in a place of honor, and you definitely don’t want it too small.

All of my packages are completely customizable so you can measure your space and have the perfect size for your have now (and the one you’ll have in the future!)

What if you make mistakes? Do you panic? 

Honestly, if I were working in acrylic or oil I could fix my mistakes. BUT the beauty of watercolor (and part of the reason I fell in love with it was) is that there aren’t fixes — it’s a one shot wonder.

You only have one shot to get it right, and that’s what I think makes watercolor the most impressive of all the mediums (or ways to paint). There’s no way to outsmart it or fix mistakes. As someone who loves competition and the thrives under pressure, knowing that it has to be perfect the first time makes me excited! 

Here’s the other thing: I have 3 kids 6 and under and have painted with them in tow for the last 6 years. One of my superpowers is working quickly in a time crunch while under pressure and intense scrutiny. 

What’s your favorite part of your job? 

Without a DOUBT my favorite part of painting weddings is seeing the look on my clients faces when they see their wedding day come to life through watercolor.

It’s a memory they will cherish their whole life long, and seeing their faces lights me up. 

How do you choose what to paint? 

I work with the bride and groom to choose the *perfect* moment to paint. Sometimes that means pulling together a few different ideas to make the painting just right. Remember, your photographer takes care of the detail shots. 

A painting isn’t as much about the details as it is about capturing the deep love you share.  I have the ability to bring in people who may not have been front and center on the scene, to rework a moment to make it perfect, or to paint it exactly as a moment frozen in time.  

Whatever you choose, your painting doesn’t have a shelf life, so you can rest assured that it will not only last for generations, but that the story you tell about your wedding day will age like a fine wine and get even better every time you see the painting and remember your day. 

Do you ever paint more than one painting in a night? 

Honestly, that’s completely up to the couple, the size, and the time allotted for the painting process.  

I want to be sure that the *main* painting is perfect and finished by the end of the night, so adding more would be possible, but would likely be completed in the studio. 

However, painting different moments for an entire wedding weekend (rehearsal dinner, brunch, wedding) would be totally reasonable and can be part of your custom collection. 

Does the couple have to stand still while you paint? 

Absolutely not! I take videos throughout the first look (if you have it, but I highly recommend it), the ceremony, and the reception. Impromptu video helps me to get different poses that I might not normally see in my camera roll. 

I mean, if you want to go classic, by all means you can stand there the whole time in the same pose, but we may want to do that on a day that isn’t your wedding day 😂

Can you sneak a lost family member into the painting? 

Absolutely. Let me know before the painting and we can work out the finer details. 

Do you travel for weddings? 

Yes! I go wherever your love story takes you. Anywhere in the world, let’s paint your wedding.

Do you paint LGBTQ+ weddings? 

Yes! My calendar is open to anyone, but I serve only a few couples a year on a first come first served basis, so getting on my calendar early is key to securing your spot. 

Vail wedding painting of two brides in beautiful white dresses, based on photo by Jose Villa

Do I need to know my date and venue before contacting you? 

Because I only serve a few brides a year, there is some flexibility, but yes, in order to secure your date you will need the actual date and venue before your spot can be booked.   

For travel and logistics to schedule your live wedding painting, I need to know the date and location before we can sign a contract. 

How much do your paintings cost? 

All live painting packages begin at $5000, and I only take on a few clients a year so I can serve you beautifully. Booking your spot early is key to making sure you have your date reserved

Grab your free fine art wedding guide today!

What’s one piece of advice for couples interested in a live event painting or live wedding painter? 

Choosing the right live painting artist is crucial to ensuring a successful outcome. Researching their portfolio and style, reading reviews, and meeting with them in person are all important steps to finding the right artist for your wedding day. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and communicate your vision to ensure that the artist can capture the emotion and energy of your special day.

If you want to hire a live painter, plan for it early. Live painting is a phenomenal and timeless addition to your reception. There aren’t many of us—we book our available dates early and quickly.  

Also, be sure you love the style of the artist painting your wedding. You’ll be living (and loving) this painting forever, so you want to love the style.  For example, if you want hyper-realistic painting, don’t choose an abstract artist as your painter. Or if you want a watercolor look, don’t choose an oil painter.

Look at their portfolio, ask questions, and choose the best fit for you. 

Your wedding day is a celebration of love, and you want to capture every moment in a way that reflects your unique style and personality. One way to do this is through live wedding painting, a beautiful and unique addition to your special day.

Why is live wedding painting a valuable heirloom?

Live painting is a beautiful and meaningful heirloom that captures the beauty and emotion of your wedding day.

It serves as a reminder of the love that was shared and the memories that were made.

Displaying your live painting in your home adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your decor, and creates a beautiful conversation piece for years to come.

Do you have any stories from couples you’ve worked with?

Couples who have had live paintings at their weddings share stories of how it added to their special day.

One couple said, “Our live painting captured the essence of our wedding day in a way that traditional photography could not. It’s a beautiful and meaningful reminder of our love and the memories we made.”

Live painting artists also share their thoughts on the beauty and value of this art form.

Live artistry is a unique and beautiful way to capture the emotion and energy of a wedding day.

It’s a personalized and meaningful piece of artwork you’ll cherish and share with your grandchildren.

Live painting is a unique and memorable addition to your wedding day that captures the beauty and emotion of your special day in a way that traditional photography cannot. With the right artist, you can create a personalized and meaningful piece of art that serves as a beautiful heirloom for years to come. So why not consider live painting for your wedding day and add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your celebration of love?

Now that you know the benefits of live painting, how to choose the right artist, the process of live painting, and the value of live painting as a heirloom, it only makes sense to connect with me to discuss how live painting can add a unique and memorable touch to your wedding day. Don’t forget to share, subscribe, and save this post if you found it helpful!

Live wedding painter in black dress paints a styled shoot at The Mansion at Woodward Park, Tulsa

Bringing your wedding day to life, thrilling your guests with a show-stopping live wedding painting experience, and creating a timeless keepsake that honors your sacred bond and will warm your heart every time you look at it – it’s what I do best.

Hey, I'm Courtney.

From behind the easel, I serve timeless brides who still embrace the unexpected by creating heirloom painting experiences that are immersive, one-of-a-kind, and thrilling to watch.

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Live wedding painting: an awe-striking guest-experience unlike anything else in the wedding industry tied with a stunning heirloom to be treasured for generations