Capturing Emily and Dylan’s First Dance: A Live Wedding Painting at Windows on the River

There’s something truly magical about capturing love in real-time. Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to do a live wedding painting in Cleveland, Ohio, at one of our iconic wedding venues – Windows on the River. Surrounded by ambient light, stunning windows, and loved ones, Emily and Dylan swayed to their first dance, all the while I stood nearby live painting it. The experience was nothing short of mesmerizing, and I wanted to share the journey of creating this unique piece of art with you.

[related: Industrial Wedding Venues Around Cleveland, Ohio]

The Perfect Industrial Venue: Windows on the River

Windows on the River, an iconic wedding venue in Cleveland, is renowned for its industrial charm. The space is filled with exposed brick walls, industrial elements, and the three famous windows that frame the most picturesque views of the Cuyahoga River. The warm uplighting and twinkle lights added a romantic glow to the entire setting, making it an artist’s dream.

watch the behind the scenes of me live wedding painting Emily & Dylan’s first dance!

Setting the Scene: Painting Background Colors and Shapes

Prior to guests arriving & the party starting, I set up my easel and began working on the background. My first step in my process is always laying down the basic colors and shapes to establish the setting. I actually prefer to do this first step prior to guests arriving. Doing this allows me to get into the groove of things and gives the guests something more interesting to watch me live paint. For this painting, capturing the essence of Windows on the River was crucial. The three large windows, with their intricate details, became the focal point of the background, framed by the rich texture of the brick walls.

[Curious about my live wedding painting process? Check out this blog — Live Wedding Painting in Cleveland – My Approach and Process ]

Live wedding painting in Cleveland - by arastasia - windows on the river

The First Dance: Sketching Emily and Dylan

The highlight of the evening, of course, was Emily and Dylan’s first dance. As they swayed to their favorite song, I began sketching their forms onto the canvas. There’s a delicate balance in capturing both the movement and the emotion of such a special moment. Dylan had the softest and most loving smile on his face as he held Emily close to him. Emily’s long, wavy hair moved with her gorgeous wedding gown. This scene was truly such a moment of pure love and I was beyond honored to reflect their beauty in my painting.

Embracing the Challenge: Live Painting Intricate Details

One of the most challenging yet rewarding aspects of this live wedding painting was the intricate details of the venue. The brickwork, the play of light and shadow, and the architectural beauty of Windows on the River demanded tedious attention. Every stroke needed precision to do justice to the stunning backdrop. I absolutely loved every second of this challenge. It pushed my artistic boundaries and allowed me to grow as a live wedding painter.

Live wedding painter in Cleveland, ohio

The Grand Reveal – The Finished Live Wedding Painting

After hours of painting, and the reception coming to an end, I packed up and headed home to do some final touches. (Sometimes if a wedding day has a later start time, or a very complex design – much like windows on the river – I’ll have to take the painting home to do some perfecting in my studio.) Once finished, I snapped some photos, and the moment finally arrived to reveal Emily & Dylan’s painting. Their reaction was everything I could have hoped for and more. Tears filled their eyes as they took in the painting, and they expressed how deeply grateful they were for this lasting memory of their special day. Their appreciation and emotional response were the greatest rewards an artist could ask for, and being the sap I am, I too had some tears fill my eyes.

Live wedding painting at windows on the river - Cleveland, ohio

“Oh my gosh this is literally incredible… my husband and I both just started crying. You are incredible!! We loved every second of that day and I love how you captured the best moment. Thank you so so much again”“Oh my gosh this is literally incredible… my husband and I both just started crying. You are incredible!! We loved every second of that day and I love how you captured the best moment. Thank you so so much again”

-Emily & Dylan

Why Choose Live Wedding Painting?

Choosing live wedding painting is not just about having a piece of art; it’s about capturing the essence of your special day in a way that is unique to not only you and your partner, but also your guests. It’s about reliving the emotions, the ambiance, and the love shared during those moments. For Emily and Dylan, this painting became a timeless piece of their love story, a beautiful reminder of their first dance at Windows on the River.


Creating live wedding paintings is a passion that fills my heart with joy. If you’re planning your wedding and want to add a unique touch that will leave you with a cherished piece of art, I would be honored to be a part of your special day. Let’s capture your love story together, one brushstroke at a time.

For inquiries, please visit my website, fill out the contact form , & submit all your exciting wedding-day details!

thank you SO much for reading – I truly appreciate it!

til next time my friend!

with love and kindness,

Arastasia Photography - Cleveland Wedding Photographer - Live Wedding Painter

Arastasia Rolain
owner of Arastasia Photography
Wedding Photographer, Mural Artist, Live Wedding Painter
based out of Cleveland, Ohio

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