Paintings & Stories: 6. Color Diversity

Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum,© Heeyoung Kim
Full image can be viewed at at Award section

We can easily say certain flower has certain color. And we try to judge if the artist matches the color successfully or not.

I am very often amazed at seeing  diverse colors in one specimen. Individual plants have different colors in their flowers, stems and leaves depending on their environment. Numerous factors affect their colors and shapes. 

In this painting I try to show different colors of disk flowers. Usually Compass Flowers in full bloom have yellow disks, and they turn into brown as they get withered. However, I found a group of them had intense purple from the beginning. They were at the spot where they had to endure harsher wind and stronger sunshine. I am sure the soil was different, even though I cannot explain it now. They had more texture, clearer veins and more saturated color on petals and leaves. Hairs on stem were even tougher. Of course, stems had exuberant colors. That is why the two front facing flowers in this painting show different colors. 

As  I studied this plant,  I was totally overwhelmed by the complexity of the leaf shape and hairy bracts. Sketching and coloring of  this plant was like testing my patience. However, its beauty compelled me to finish  it. I am very happy with the final work. 

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