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How to Draw a Cabbage

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Finished cabbage drawing

Finished cabbage drawing

Learn to Draw by Drawing Simple, Everyday Items!

I know what you're thinking—a cabbage? Really? Yes—really.

Learning to draw is actually a great way to teach your eyes to see and then get your brain to control your hands—thus creating a drawing. So if you're just starting out drawing, you wouldn't want to start by trying to draw very complex items. You have to crawl before you can walk, right?

A cabbage contains several shapes and lines that can help you teach your eyes, brain, and hands to learn to draw. Take a look at the humble cabbage—there is the main overall irregular circular shape of the entire cabbage, the inner circular shape of the ball, and the free-form lines that make up the leaves.

There are several varieties of cabbage—green, Savoy, red, Napa, and bok choy (or Chinese cabbage) being the most recognizable. For our purposes, we'll use the most common green cabbage (Brassica oleracea).

If you prefer to use a "live" model, you can pick up a green cabbage at your local supermarket. However, they will likely already have the outer leaves pulled away. If you want one that looks like my drawing, you're going to have to get one right out of a garden.

So, if you're ready with a pencil and paper in hand, let's begin drawing a cabbage.

Start your cabbage drawing with a circular shape.

Start your cabbage drawing with a circular shape.

Step 1: Begin by Drawing a Basic Shape

If you have followed any of my other drawing tutorials, you know that I always start a drawing with one or more basic shapes.

In the case of our cabbage, let's begin by drawing the circular shape of the inner cabbage ball. Just take your pencil and draw a simple circle—it doesn't even have to be perfectly round.

Add a freeform squiggle.

Add a freeform squiggle.

Step 2: Have Some Fun With Freeform Lines

For our second step, let your pencil roam freely across the paper. Draw some lines that wiggle and curve around but stay close to the circular shape—as shown in the drawing to your right.

Try not to think too much about the structure or direction of the line. Just let your hand and eyes direct the freeform of these simple curved lines. If you have difficulty, just try to draw what you see in my drawing.

Add more squiggles.

Add more squiggles.

Step 3: More Freeform Lines

OK, if you had fun with the last step, you're going to love this step. Simply draw more curving, free-form lines around the circular shape of the cabbage.

Note: These lines cross over the lower edge of the circle and not the upper edge.

Time to shade.

Time to shade.

Step 4: Adding Some Detail to the Cabbage

For this step, it's time to draw some little lines that define the shape and angle of our cabbage leaves. You may need to try this step several times until you get a feel for these lines on the cabbage leaves.

That's alright, trying things over and over is how we learn, right? At this point, your cabbage should start to look like an actual cabbage.

Add a midline to define the cabbage.

Add a midline to define the cabbage.

Step 5: Adding the Midline

If you look at a picture or have an actual cabbage in front of you, it's easy to see this sort of dividing line or crease in the cabbage. This curving line runs the entire length of the center ball of the cabbage.

This type of line can be difficult to draw at first, but just erase it if it looks off to you—try it again until it looks right. Carefully study my line in the drawing above.

Finish the cabbage with more detail.

Finish the cabbage with more detail.

Step 6: Add the Finishing Touches

If you've followed along and kept up with me, your drawing at this point should be easily recognizable as cabbage. For the last step, we're going to add some shading and little specks to give the drawing a sense of dimension and shape.

This is probably the hardest part of drawing so you need to put your brain on "high-res" and study the drawing to your right. Can you see where I have added shading (and where I have not added shading)?

So, how did your drawing turn out?

Now, let me ask you a personal favor—if you are successful or if you are not —I would very much like to hear from you. Take a minute and leave me a comment below, won't you?

Best of luck with your drawing!


Nobuhle on June 05, 2020:

Woww nice cabbage

MKayo (author) from Texas on July 27, 2013:

Thanks DDE - and thanks for taking time to comment. Did you try the tutorial?

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 27, 2013:

Great effects