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Learnings From a Live Wedding Painter

As I embark on my journey into the art realm, I have had many learnings from building a career as an artist...including starting a Live Wedding Painting business in Southern California. You may be a live wedding painter yourself, artist thinking about live wedding painting, or a curious individual who is interested in this niche within the art world.

Whoever you are, I hope this is at least entertaining or insightful for you! Here are some of my biggest learnings from Live Wedding Painting:

Live Wedding Painter oil painting in California
SouthernCalifornia Wedding Painting


You may be thinking, is Ryan talking about the rain when he says weather, is he talking about the snow? Well...yes, but also something more shocking. What if I told you that you need to beware of the....SUN?!?

Think about it. If you are in Southern California like myself, probably already know how to dress appropriately for the sunny four seasons. However, are you painting outdoors? Are you using oil or acrylics? Are you using AN IPAD AS A REFERENCE? A PHONE AS A REFERENCE? Have you ever looked at a screen in the middle of a hot day when the sun is beaming down just to read your 20+ text messages from your bored friend's group chat?

This is what I am talking about. I experienced a solid 2 hours+ during a wedding where I couldn't even see the colors on the screen of my iPad while trying to paint as efficiently as possible. You may ask how to prevent this in the future and here is my solution.

Solution: Work with the wedding/venue coordinator to find the best possible spot at the venue. Are there winds coming from the east that may pickup after 6 pm? Does the sun beam down at 2 pm PT over the outdoor dance venue? These are all questions to ask prior to setup to the coordinator or even any of the vendors that work this venue consistently.


Organizing a live wedding painting
Live Wedding Painting in California

When it comes to perfecting a wedding painting on sight, it is no easy task... even for skilled professionals. As much as I love oil painting improv, it is definitely not a good strategy to go in without a plan. Are you going to be painting multiple guests? Is there a pet included in this piece? Is the landscape going to look different when you start the painting to when you capture the moment on camera? These are only a few of the many questions we should know in advance.

Solution: Have a consultation call with the clients before the venue. Try to come up with questions that will make everyone's lives easier and prevent any unexpected surprises.


Maybe it's because I started my first career out of college at Enterprise Rent-a-Car. But it has been embedded in me to underpromise & overdeliver. Nevertheless, I am not perfect and have also had to learn this the hard way.

Beautiful finished wedding painting in Southern California
Finished Live Wedding Painting

When you start a venture as big as live wedding painting, you will learn quickly what is possible and what isn't possible. Can you fit 9 people into a 6 hour painting? Are you able to finish the painting on sight? When can I expect to receive the finished product?

These are all questions to ask ourselves when it comes to finalizing the details within the contract. We should be asking ourselves as many questions as possible and be up front with our couples right off the bat. I would rather someone know that I will get 70-80% of the painting done ahead of time then tell them it will be 99% done when it is definitely not the case.

Solution: Transparency and honesty are our best friends. If it is an unknown as we have not experienced this situation, lean on our past experiences to give the best educated guess. Tread on the conservative side and then attempt to overdeliver. Would you rather tell someone you can finish this in 2 months and ship within 1 or tell them 1 month and ship late at 2 months?

As we embark on this journey to live painting, I am sure I will have plenty more experiences to share with you all. If you enjoyed this blog post let me know! I find writing to be more difficult to me so go easy on me LOL! If you are searching for a "live wedding painting near me" in Southern California, feel free to hit me up as well.

-Ryan Kindseth

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