How to Draw a Cartoon Hamburger
In this article, I’m going to show you how to draw a cartoon hamburger. Random I know, but I guarantee you, it’s a good time.
So how do you draw a burger? At first, don’t stress about all the colours and details, just start with basic shapes, which we will go through soon in the pencil sketch stage (Steps 1 to 6 of this lesson). Once you have the basic shapes sorted, you will then be able to refine things with some more interesting shapes and details.
You may think that hamburgers are inappropriately named because they don’t normally contain ham, but they’re actually named after the German city of Hamburg, where burgers allegedly came from! I say allegedly because I wasn’t around in 1700s Germany and it would be presumptious of me to claim this as 100% fact (but it’s definitely true cos I read it online). Moving on!
This tutorial is broken up into three parts:
- the Pencil Sketch – laying down the foundation of our hamburger using basic shapes
- the Inking Stage – Once we have a confident foundation sketch, we will then draw in the hamburger’s main features with a black pen
- the Colouring Stage – once the inking is done, we will then bring our hamburger to life with some colour – we’ll be using green, red, yellow, light brown, dark brown, blue and purple.
Before we begin, let’s just quickly go over the important traits of our hamburger design.
All respectable hamburgers have a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese, ketchup, mustard and a sesame seed bun (I’m sorry if this is starting to sound like a Big Mac advertisement). Anyway! We’re going to be including all these delicious things in our hamburger!
When creating this character, I wanted to turn a regular hamburger into a cute face – and cute faces often have big foreheads, so for this burger, I put the eyes just above the bottom bun, to create the illusion of having a big forehead. For his mouth, I simply gave him a happy little squirt of smiley mustard!
The hamburger in this tutorial was created in Adobe Photoshop, but you can use pens, pencils, or markers – whatever you’re in to! If I’m drawing cartoons on paper, I often like to use pens for the outline and coloured pencils. You can use whatever medium you like, but the materials I use when drawing cartoons are as follows:
- Paper (Sketchbook or printer paper)
- Pencil (HB or #2)
- Thick Black Pen (I used a Posca PC-3M)
- Thin Black Pen (I used a UNI Pin Fine Line 04mm)
- Coloured Pencils. You can use simple Crayola pencils, or you can go crazy and splash out on some Faber Castell Albrecht Duhrer Watercolour pencils or Prismacolors. For this hamburger, all you need is green for the lettuce, red for the tomato and ketchup, yellow for the mustard and cheese, light brown for the bun, dark brown for the meat patty, a bit of blue for the flag and purple for the shading.
Okay, let’s get cook… I mean sketching!
Part 1: The Pencil Sketch
Step 1: Let’s start drawing our hamburger the same way that we would make a hamburger – with the bottom of the bun! This is just a really long oval cut down the middle
Step 2: Okay, let’s now do what people don’t normally do when cooking burgers – add some eyeballs. Draw two circles balancing on both edges of our shape from Step 1
Step 3: Now put in some horizontal lines – here I’ve drawn in four lines which will later become exciting things like tomatoes and beef
Step 4: Alrighty, we’ve done way too many horizontal lines, so now we’re going to add in a squiggly line for variety! This will later turn into a fresh piece of iceberg lettuce!
Step 5: Keep on adding the ingredients! Just two more layers before we give this burger its hat!
Step 6: Now finish up the hamburger with adding in the top of the bun and a toothpick flag!
We now have enough information to move onto the next stage where we will be inking in our sketch.
Part 2: The Inking Stage
Step 7: If you look at the final image of our burger at the top of this article, you will see that the some objects overlap with others – Namely the eyeballs and the smile, so let’s ink these in first! Inside the eyes, I just added in some easy little dots for its pupils, but feel free to go crazy and put in some eyelids and lashes
Step 8: The bottom bun is behind the smile, so carefully ink in the bun now, without going through the smile – this will give our character some good three-dimensional depth
Step 9: Start inking in the ingredients – while the pencil sketch was quite parallel and symmetrical, for the inking, feel free to copy me and make things a little bit asymmetrical, just to add in a bit more interest
Step 10: Now ink in the rest of the filling – the squiggly lettuce, the Swiss cheese and some red thing – maybe it’s ketchup. Or a slice of beetroot if you’re Australian
Step 11: Now ink in the top bun – at this stage it looks a bit bare, but we will add in some sesame seeds soon!
Step 12: Now ink in the toothpick flag. Notice that the flag is wrapped around the stick, so draw in the rectangle first and then draw the poking out from above and below
Step 13: Let’s put in the finishing touches! Compare Step 12 above with Step 13 below, there’s a huge difference, so I’ll walk you through all the changes:
- Using your thick pen, block in a curve of shadow underneath the mustard smile.
- Now get out your thin pen – For the top bun, draw in some random tiny ovals for the sesame seeds – make sure you pop a few on the top bun’s outline as well.
- The cheese is Swiss, so draw in a few random holes and shade them in with some thin lines.
- Shade in the areas between the squiggly lettuce and the meat patty.
- Add in some thin lines across the bottom of the top bun and on the tomato slice.
- Finally, draw in some random dots and tiny circles on the meat patty and the bottom bun.
A few little details can make a huge difference! Details are so important, but not as important as getting the main design right first. We are now ready to add in some colour!
Part 3: The Colouring Stage
The colouring stage has two steps: The first step is to add in all the main colours and the second step is to add in a transparent layer of shading.
Step 14: Add in the base colours:
- Yellow for the mustard and Swiss cheese
- Light brown for the bun
- Dark brown for the meat patty and sesame seeds
- Red for the tomato and ketchup (leave a white strip on the tomato for a bit of fancy reflection!)
- Green for the leaves
- And finally blue (and red and white) for a verrrry inaccurate and minimalistic United States flag – my apologies, USA. Yeah, I know, I know … hamburgers come from Germany, but I guess the Americans claimed it – Yoink!
Step 15: We are at the final step! Once you’ve added in all of the base colours, it’s now time to take things a little bit further with some sweet, sweet shading! If you’re using pencils, simply get a purple pencil and lightly shade in the areas that you want to be in shadow. I created this particular burger in Adobe Photoshop – If you’re also creating your character digitally, just create a new layer and draw in all the shadows with a dark purple colour – then lower the opacity of the layer to the desired level of transparency. That way the colours underneath still show through! Also – if you’re feeling adventurous, put in a light background for a bit of interest!
Alrighty, we have just drawn a happy little hamburger and I now have a strange urge to get a Big Mac (actually it’s more of a normal urge). If you followed along drawing with me in this lesson, the next step is to try and design some more hamburgers – maybe they’ve got way more ingredients than mine, maybe they’ve got legs, or maybe they’re a really healthy burger and they’re just two bits of bread. Whatever you do, whether you’re drawing burgers or other things, make sure you always find the time to practise drawing and have fun!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, if you are ready to get started with cartooning, feel free to check out some of my online courses here: https://www.discovercartooning.com/courses/
Oh and one more thing! (cos this is probably the only time I will get to share this information with you) You know Burger King? In Australia, it’s called Hungry Jacks – the reason for this is, yeeears ago, some dude in Adelaide trademarked his takeaway shop as Burger King. So when the American Burger King came to Australia, it had to find a different name – and settled on Hungry Jacks. Tell your friends!