Live Event Painting > The Live Painting Process

SEE A VIDEO of me painting at a wedding in August 2009 at Osborn Castle in Garrison, NY, by Nathaniel Armstrong, to see the process in action!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What type of paint/materials do you use?
A: I paint with high quality water-based acrylic paint on pre-stretched canvas. The paint is non-toxic and extremely quick-drying, allowing for easy clean-up and transport of the painting after an event.

Q: Does the painting come framed?
A: The painting is on a stretched canvas which can be hung right away without a frame. I do not make my own frames but can consult with you about framing options, and can also frame the painting for you for an additional fee plus the cost of framing.

Q: How many people can I request to include in the painting?
A: I do not have a set limit or charge more per person, but I recommend not requesting more than 10-12 specific recognizable people as it can be difficult to get more than that many in during a typical event. Additional people/details can sometimes be added after the event though. If you are looking for a great deal of detail in faces other than the bride and groom, I charge a little more for the extra detail. Most people can be identified in my paintings by key features such as hair color and clothing.

Q: What type of set-up or materials does the event site need to provide?
A: The setup is minimal and usually does not require assistance from event staff. I supply my own portable easel. The site only needs to arrange for a small painting area in advance of my arrival, which need not take up more than approximately 4' X 6', inside or outside, and a small table to hold the painting supplies. The site also needs to have a nearby power outlet for my lamp, and water source and place to dump painty water such as a slop sink. I need to set up in a spot that gives me a good view of whatever scene I am painting.

Q: My venue will only let you start setting up an hour before my party. Will you have enough time to set up?
A: Though arriving 3-4 hours in advance is ideal, I only need about 20 minutes to get everything set up to start painting. I have been able to produce finished-looking paintings over the course of a 4-hour party with less than an hour to set up. However, if I can arrive earlier, then guests will be able to see a background that is almost finished by the time they come into the room, and I will be able to focus more on adding the people during the party. Anything not completed at the event will be finished in my studio.

Q: My ceremony is only half an hour long--can you still paint it live?
A: Since ceremonies are so short, I like to arrive as early as possible to paint the background before the ceremony. I usually paint as much as I can during the ceremony itself but also take photos for reference. Then, I like to stay during the reception and finish my painting working from my photos, so that guests are able to watch the painting of the ceremony progress while they're enjoying the party! If I cannot stay for the reception, then I will finish the painting in my studio based on my photos. The shortest event I've ever painted is a 5-minute marriage proposal!

Q: My venue is requiring liability insurance from all vendors. Do you have proof of insurance?
A: Yes, Event Painting by Katherine has standard liability insurance covering up to $1M.

Q: Where are you based geographically? Are you willing to travel to paint an event in a different city?
A: I am based in Brooklyn, NY but frequently service Philadelphia, the Baltimore/Delaware/DC and New England areas, and have painted as far away as Florida, Mexico and Puerto Rico. I require that clients cover travel costs such as airfare and hotels. Out-of-town events under 2 hours driving distance from NYC (most places in the Tri-State Area) do not usually require overnight stay, but involve a small travel fee ranging from $50-$100 depending on distance and event time.

Q: What if my event has already passed? Can I still get a painting from photos?
A: I am happy to create a customized painting for you based on photo or video documentation of your event. This also allows me the flexibility to not just copy directly from one photograph, but collage multiple memories from your event, and even other times in your life, into the same painting, similar to the fine art paintings I create from photo references.

Q: Can you do more than one painting at the same event?
A: I can create several small paintings or drawings of different moments at your event, or a live painting and then several other paintings based on photos. Though I normally only do one large painting onsite, I have done two 16" X 20" paintings (of ceremony and reception) live on the same day. I have also done multiple quick black and white sketches over the course of a single party.

Q: Do you offer any bonus packages or special deals?
A: I am happy to create small paintings and drawings from photos of your event, thank-you cards, or photo prints, to go along with your final large event painting. I also offer periodic seasonal discounts and am more likely to offer a discount for a January-February or a weekday (non holiday) event!