Kangaroo Paw


Travelling last year in Western Australia, one of the things I particularly wanted to find was a Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii) growing the wild. They are surprisingly hard to find – cultivated ones are found in gardens throughout Australia, but the green and red wild ones are much more elusive. So, I was very excited when we came upon a few plants growing in a wilderness area. These particular ones are not large, generally a single flower on a stalk about 50 – 60 cm high. It is a strange flower, with several tubular parts that split open at the top for anthers to pop out. It is pollinated by birds as pollen is deposited on their heads when they are searching for nectar in the tubes. The flowers are covered in tiny hairs which give them a velvety texture.

This drawing is an exaggeration – much enlarged, it is 42 x 41 cm which 7 or 8 times its real size, and I haven’t drawn the form with botanical accuracy, I have added fleshiness and an almost animal-like, aggressive quality.

It is drawn with coloured pencils, with a loose, textural background.

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

16 thoughts

  1. Now that you mention it, I can see the aggressive attitude. But that didn’t strike me before I read your words. I was just enjoying the flourish of it – as if it is a very enthusiastic flower; an extrovert flower. It is like you’ve caught it having a dynamic conversation – all its ‘arms’ a-flying in its effort to get its point across.


  2. I like Julie’s description, and love this drawing Anna. How exciting to see one in the wild, something I have always wanted to do, also Sturt Desert Peas. I have bought some desert pea seeds so perhaps I might be able to grow some. Karen


  3. This is such an incredible drawing Anna. I had to enlarge your image to look at all your lovely pencil strokes. Beautiful and exotic flower!


  4. No need to stick to being realistic, is there? (After all, the original three dimensions get scrunched into two from the get-go.) And speaking of aggressiveness, I see the rightmost green component as an open-mouthed snake.


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