Anyone who browses at high-end health food stores has seen Alvita Tea packages, featuring their recognizable botanical watercolor art on white, and the dark blue branding on the box layouts. You can’t help noticing them–the plants are so beautiful and appealing to the eye and the design so simple and elegant that it stands out among the other etas. . When Alvita decided to add a child brand of organic teas to this line-up, they called me to do the art, matching the watercolor look of the previous packages. They didn’t want to alter a good thing, but to differentiate the organic brand, they used a green color instead of the blue.
I have done a lot of traditional botanical watercolors with brush on paper in the distant past. I was pretty sure I could match the old Alvita style with my digital painting technique, but it took a little research. I’ve always loved the feel of watercolor brushes on traditional paper. I’ve tried to design a brush I loved in photoshop, and I’m always asking other digital artists what they use. I had a great time with these packages. Not only are plants always the best subjects, but I found the old pleasure of my opaque watercolor style, but now using the Wacom tablet. I had to let go a bit of my obsession with detail, allowing brush-strokes to show, to make these plants more humanistic and, well, organic looking. But my work is a little better for that.
The first two illustrations went through the brand manager with hardly a revision. I thought the lemmon grass would be the easiest, but the opposite was true.