Experiment with mixed media(Exercise)

For this exercise, I will experiment with both traditional art tools and ‘non-art’ media.

I have chosen a red cabbage, then cut it in several parts. I have taken some photos of the parts and will use these to work from.

img_5595 img_5599 img_5601

I am going to practice the last one with multi medias.

Attempt 1: A4 sketchbook


  1. Wax crayon. I used a white crayon to trace out the red cabbage’s white texture.
  2. Watercolour. I used purple watercolour mixed a little bit warm and dark colour to tint the cabbage’s parts from left to right and following the light direction. I also simply gave some colours around the objects.
  3. Uni-ball eye pen. I used blue pen drawing the shadowed areas.
  4. Colour pencil. I used sharp colour pencil to refine/broad strokes for the detail of the texture of the cabbage.
  5. Black uni pin fine line. I used the black pen to help the contrast edge of the objects, texture, shade the dark area and refine some detail.

Some problems:

  • The right small piece is totalally wrong: shape, light and dark, size, pattern and natural colour etc.
  • The first half of the cross section, when I drew the white texture by white crayon I couldn’t see where the stroke goes so after using the watercolour paint then the pattern is not like natural and the stalk is not vivid.
  • The first half of the cross section, the stalk looks strange, it does not seem to be a part of the whole one and combined with the circle bit.
  • The shadows are standing out not blending with the background.

Attempt 2: A3 170gsq white paper

  • I used oil pastel gently tracing the cabbage’s texture. It works by marking the shape and marking lines.


  • Can the soft pastel cover on the top of the oil pastel. Yes, I can refine a bit after oil pastel drawing by soft pastel.


  • I feel the conte stick is alright to cover the soft pastel a little bit as well but will take the stroke/pigment of the oil pastel(piece) off the paper.


  • Charcoal is very different when used to cover the oil pastel even can’t leave any stroke on them.
  • I used the acrylic to shade the shadows.


The final drawing of this attempt:


There are 3 light points on the right hands corner which are supposed to be the reflections in the shadow from the  one-chip cabbage but it does not seem right at the moment.  I could shade them away but at last I leave it.

Attempt 3: 27cm*34cm, 140 gsm,  blue background paper

img_5623 img_5624

I  used the acrylic for the cross section of red cabbage outline and the shadows around it. Then use white ink to chase the cabbage’s texture. At last used a purple felt tip pen to tidy up.

This is not a very strict drawing but I was pleased with it. The heart is not connected with the leaves.

Attempt 4: brown cardboard 19cm*19cm

Step 1, I sprayed facial wash foam on the cardboard, then used a knife to spread it flat.


Step 2, I used ink with a stick to drop the colour into the foam and try to make marks as outlines. Unfortunately it is completely different to my thoughts and it wasn’t a successful result so I have to leave it. I will give another go when I am going to do some sketches.


Attempts 5: similar size cardboard again

I used ink with brush drew the purple colour marks and shadows then white ink with dip pen to chase the cabbage’s texture.



I chose a red cabbage for this exercise because there are very beautiful texture on the cross sections. I did like and was impressed with the natural pattern. For this exercise experiment with mixed media I think I didn’t try that much especially the non-art. I think that the spotlight has been stolen by the natural pattern. I have finished this exercise but I will definitely try some more objects and other different media in future.



2 thoughts on “Experiment with mixed media(Exercise)

  1. Wow Aileen, this is really creative. I especially like the white ink on acrylic on blue paper. And although you may feel the facial wash experiment didn’t work it is REALLY experimental and interesting.


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