The most important part of choosing a live event painter for your wedding or event is choosing an artist whose style you love! However, for some people looking at art can be confusing or intimidating and they may feel they are not sure what they are looking at. This article should help you understand the three basic styles of live painting so you can discern what is to your taste and what isn't!
When it comes to art, there is a range if approaches as long and wide as human history in terms of styles and type of art, but for the sake of simplicity I am going to break down the spectrum of live wedding painting into three categories:
1. Photo realistic
These three categories exist on a spectrum, meaning that some artists may fall in between these categories or may be some combination of photorealistic-illustrative or illustrative-abstract.
Style 1: Photo realistic
Photo realistic live paintings are the easiest to recognize and present as the most obvious style. These paintings look exactly as they sound- like a photo. If you have a more classic or traditional taste, this might be the right style for you. However, expect to pay top dollar for a photo-realistic painting because of the amount of time they take to create!
Style 2: Illustrative
Illustrative live paintings are realistic, but not photo realistic. This means they look like the subject being painted, but they are clearly being painted by an artist and the artist is not trying to get photographic level accuracy in the rendering. Illustrative live paintings are very appealing to a wide audience because it's easier to tell if it's a "good" painting than compared to abstract paintings. Hot tip: use of proper proportions is generally important when looking for an illustrative artist. If you want your painting to look like it belongs in a storybook, then this may be the style you are looking for!
Style 3: Abstract
Abstract art is historically more modern than other styles. In an abstract live painting, the artist is not focused on creating a realistic rendering of the event so much as they are focused on capturing the feeling of the event. Abstract artists do this through color and brushstrokes, creating a sense of movement and emotion. Sometimes a viewer has a harder time telling if an abstract painting is "good" or not. You can tell an abstract painting is good first and foremost by how it makes you feel. If you can feel the joy in a reception painting or intimacy in a ceremony, for example, in an abstract live wedding painting, then it's a good painting! Balance through color and form are also ways to tell if an abstract painting is good or not, though these are more technical terms for meaning it is pleasing to the eye when you look at it. If you have a modern taste, or want a live painting that will stand out as unique, then an abstract style is what you are looking for!
You may be wondering what style my artwork falls into. I generally describe my paintings as "abstract impressionistic". This would also be categorized as abstract illustrative based on the spectrum I described above. My paintings are clearly based on what is happening at the event- you can recognize the room and the people, with extra details on the bride and groom or most important people. However I embellish the paintings with bold colors and playful brushstrokes, to make the painting move and evoke feelings when you look at it.
The best way to tell if I am a good fit for you is to look at my painting gallery at . If the paintings as a whole speak to you, then you should contact me!
This goes for any artist you are interested in! Look at their gallery of work and see if their art speaks to you! As a general rule, if the artist doesn't have a gallery of live work on their website or examples in their social media, you may want to look elsewhere.
I want to finish up by addressing style. Every artist has their unique style. You should never ask an artist to be someone they are not! I do not recommend sending an artist a picture of another artist's work and asking "Can you paint like this?" There is a good chance you will be dissapointed with what you get. Use the artist's gallery/portfolio of work to tell you what they paint like and make sure your expectations are in line with what they demonstrate. That is how you will be able to pick the right artist for your wedding or event!