Wednesday, January 30, 2013

© 2013 by Linda Warner Constantino
Here is the finished botanical illustration for Assignment 11 for the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Course. It was painted on Fabriano 300 lb. hot pressed watercolor paper.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reworked Comp Sketch for Lotus Garden

I revamped the sketch. This is always a difficult stage to visualize further because it is all line work and no tonal values yet. I keep vacillating between Fabriano hot press and and Lanaquarelle hot press. I think with the large leaves I will have to work on 300 lb paper so it won't buckle. I am not much for stretching. I like Fabriano paper because it is so white and edges dry so crisp. I like the Lanaquarelle because it seems a little more durable. However, even with the emboss mark on the Lanaquarelle the front finish is less smooth that the back. So I often work on the back of it. This time I think I am going for the Fabriano.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Here is my comp sketch for my final composition for my assignment. I was attracted to this lotus garden for its fantastic leaves and blossoms. The light blossoms against the varied greens interested me because it would give me the opportunity to mix a lot of different greens. I hope it all works out. I am going to start painting tomorrow once a transfer it to the paper. This stage is always so deceptive for me because values can change the whole impact. So next I will do a value study in Photoshop.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lotus Flower Garden at the Florence Botanical Garden

Lotus flower Study

 I have been working on an assignment for my SBA Botanical Painting Course. I am a little behind because of a family illness. I thought I would chronicle my process because I am trying to be very thorough and do the best job I can. I need to be a bit impatient by nature and I am more of a loose watercolor painter but I like the discipline involved in botanical painting and I have learned a lot from the process so far.
I chose to paint part of the Lotus Garden located at the Florence Botanical Gardens where I have gone several times after teaching my painting workshops in Italy. So I have taken many photos and have done some on site sketching with my watercolors. 
For this project we are expected to work from photos as reference but to compose an illustration that works botanically but could also function as a greeting card or even a poster.
I have been sketching ideas for the composition. I have also been doing studies, color charts and sketches in my botanical sketchbook. I am really trying to plan so the I will confident when painting the finish.

Lotus Bud Studies - The stamp is my name in Japanese given to me by my friend and former student Julia Yellow.

My color mixing chart got a little carried away. Not at all well organized. I am considering two different brands of blues: Kremer pigments which granulate in an interesting way that I think might work with the leaves (like the study below) and good old Winsor Newton watercolor paints

More studies: lotus flower, bud and leaf.

Here are some of my beginning sketches. I have more that I have not posted. The finished piece needs to be 29 mm wide by 42 mm high.

Here is my greens color chart. The first three blues from the top are Kremer pigments watercolors–Cobalt blue dark, Cobalt blue light and Cobalt Blue Turquoise light. The next four are Winsor Newton –Winsor Blue(green shade), French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue. The one at the bottom is an Australian brand of turquoise. The yellows from left to right are:(Winsor newton except for Schminke Ornage) Winsor Lemon, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Transparent Orange, and Naples Yellow

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fruits(and Vegetables) of My Labor

All images © 2011 by Linadona Botanica, LLC
I definitely have not posted much on my blogs because I have been busy painting every chance that I can when I am not teaching or working on assignments for my botanical class.
My sister and I decided to form Linadona Botanica, LLC, a business based on my botanical watercolors inspired by our love of garden, kitchen and home and a shared fondness for Italian culture and food. We are creating several collections of designs that will be available for art licensing this spring for the stationery, gift, home, kitchen, tabletop and garden markets. My sister, Dona, is my best critic (besides my daughter) and will handle contracts and business leaving me free to create. We have always wanted to work together creatively and the time seemed to right.
Right now we are working on finalizing our website and getting our display materials ready for the Surtex Show in New York City from May 15-17 at the Jacob Javits center. We will be in booth #657 where we will be debuting our fresh, new collections. I am very excited about all the possibilities. I just wish there were 48 hours in a day!
What you see above is our ad that will be appearing in the Surtex print directory. I thought it would be a good way to introduce Linadona Botanica. Our website is still just a splash page but will be up in the next month.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Baking

Image copyrighted ©2010 by Linda Warner Constantino

I have been painting lots of botanical studies on my break. I sit in my studio and listen to Andrea Bocelli sing Christmas songs and paint away. I wanted to make some Christmas gifts instead of buy them so I got this idea to make some homemade granola that I love and put it in bags with illustrated labels. I came up with the design above. The pyrocantha seem so festively colored this time of year so I selected a branch and painted this watercolor and then brought it into Photoshop and designed it. The granola recipe I use is from Spannocchia in Tuscany where I teach Plein Air Painting Workshops each summer in watercolors and sometimes oils. The recipe is American but I love it. I put dried cranberries in it this time of year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paphiopedlium Maudiae

Paphiopedlium Maudiae © 2010 by Linda Warner Constantino
This is a detail from latest botanical assignment that I did in watercolor for the Botanical Distance Learning course I am taking through the Society of Botanical Artists in England. Though this is not how I paint normally but as I stated in my previous post I am enjoying the challenge of this discipline. It is teaching me to be a lot more patient! I chose to use Lanaquerelle Hotpress paper and I really like it. It seems to respond well to washes.