How to Draw a Hamburger Part 1 – Draw the Basic Outline of the Hamburger

How to Draw a Hamburger – Intro

How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 1

How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 2

How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 3

How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 4

How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 5

How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 6

How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 7

Set Up Plot Points on Drawing Paper

To draw this hamburger, I’m going to guide you through the plot-point method. You can download the plot-point resources for this tutorial in the Drawing Methods Resources lecture of the Getting Started section.

I have mine here.

We’re going to use a 2B pencil to put some graphite on the back of this paper where the dots are located. You can also use a 2B graphite block.

I’ll just move my drawing paper out of the way before getting started.

Now, rather than shading over the entire surface of the back of the paper, I’m going to periodically hold the paper up to the light to see the dots and then just shade over each dot. Sometimes, you might be able to see a dot through the paper, but if not, it’s not too difficult to just glance at the paper through a light source. I know there are 20 plot points for this drawing, so I’ll just keep going and checking until I have graphite over the back of each point. Pretty soon, we’ll use this graphite to transfer the dots, or plot points, from the other side to our drawing paper. Now, the plot-point method is just the name I give to a method of drawing that is similar to freehand drawing but offers more support by providing dots, or plot points, at specific places in the subject and drawing. We can draw freehand while still achieving proper proportions by connecting the dots.


Next, take your drawing paper and tape it to the surface of your workspace. I think two pieces at the top is all we need for now.

Then, lay the plot-point paper over the drawing paper with the graphite side face-down.

Make sure the word “hamburger” is at the top.

Now, the outermost points of the burger are kind of close to the edge of the paper. So with a slight shift of the plot-point paper to the right, I can center the hamburger on the drawing paper by checking that the outermost points are an equal distance from the edges.

Lastly, just put some tape at the top to secure it into place.


Okay, for the next step, I recommend grabbing a red pen.

This next step is to transfer the graphite from the back of the plot-point paper to the front of the drawing paper underneath. This is done simply by tracing over each one of our plot-point dots. I find it’s best to use a red pen so I can easily tell which points I have already marked and which points I still need to mark.

Remove the plot-point paper and look at the drawing paper underneath.

If you look closely, you will see the very light indications of plot points that will help us make a more accurate freehand representation of our hamburger drawing.


Draw the Outline of the Bun

Now that we have plot points on our drawing paper, we can start drawing the outline of the hamburger. I will use a 2H pencil to draw the initial outline.

We’ll begin by drawing the outline for the top of the hamburger bun. Refer to the color-coded reference photo with plot points to help identify the points on your drawing paper. You can see there is an orange plot point at the bottom edge of the bun on the left side. There are three more orange plot points along the top of the bun and there is one more orange point on the right side of the bun. To draw the bun, look at the reference photo to help you shape the line as you also use the line to connect the dots from one plot point to the next.

On the right side, draw a short line at an angle before connecting to the top to show the inward bend of the bun.

For the bottom of the bun, connect the orange plot points on the left and right side.

Be sure to draw the line through the green plot point in the center as well. Then connect the line to the end corner.


For the bottom bun, do the same thing as with the top. Start with the orange plot point on the left side. Draw a curved side downward to the next plot point.

Then draw the bottom edge of the bun as you continue to connect the points.

When you get to the right side, you may notice that this edge of the bun has a sharper corner than the left side. That’s okay, though. It’s perfectly normal for hamburger buns to lack perfect symmetry.

Sketch the top edge of the bottom bun by using a curved line. You can achieve this line by connecting the two green points and one yellow point from the reference with the two orange plot points at each end.

That does it for the outline of the top and bottom bun.


Draw the Outline of the Toppings

Now let’s sketch the outline of the first half of the lettuce on top of the burger patty.

Look at the reference and make careful observations as you shape each lettuce leaf. For example, the reference photo shows that these two lower green plot points roughly align with the lower tip of this first lettuce leaf.

Although the tip of the first leaf is aligned with the two lower green plot points, this is not the case for the second. The tip of the second leaf extends a little lower than this guideline.

Also, close observation of the second leaf’s tip shows us that it is a little to the right of the yellow plot point.

The third leaf is just about on level with the first leaf. The corner of the third leaf touches the first lower green point.

Lastly, sketch the outline of a fourth tiny lettuce leaf. The tip of this leaf also seems to be aligned with the first leaf and the lower green plot points. Draw the tip slightly right of center between the third leaf corner and the center green plot point. Keep checking the reference photo for proper shape and position.


Sketch the outline of the second half of the top lettuce. There appear to be three distinct lettuce leaves on this side. For the first leaf, start with a triangle shape.

There is an upward fold to this first leaf. Start drawing it with a line from the lower tip of the triangle to the  second lower green plot point. Use the reference to get a close representation of the rest of the shape.

This leaf curls up and goes back down to the right of where this other lower green plot point is.

I’ll erase this curve and make it farther reaching. That way, it’ll land to the right of this imaginary vertical line extending from the lower green plot point.

Then draw a curved line back up to the bun.

Draw a few lines to show additional folds in the lettuce leaf.

As for the second leaf, it has two curves along its edge. The first one is smaller, going up, and slanted a little to the right.

Then draw a line going up toward the top bun and the second curve of the leaf.

Draw the second curve bigger than the first, almost touching the bun.

Then draw the inner flap.

As for the third leaf, you can sketch a line going downward and then back up toward the plot point at the right edge of the bun.

That’ll do it for the basic outline of the top lettuce.


Next, we can draw the toppings between the meat and the lettuce. We’ll focus on the first tomato as a start.

 From this red plot point, draw a slanted vertical line for the tomato’s side edge.

Now, the reference shows us that the tomato edge does not come up as far as this level aligned with the third lettuce leaf.

Draw a line from the tomato edge to the first lettuce leaf.

Draw a second curved line from the outer edge of the tomato to the second leaf.

Then draw another curved line parallel to the one you just did to complete the shape of this part of the tomato.


Draw the other tomato in a similar way. Identify the red plot point tomato edge and draw a short slanted vertical line.

Begin drawing the lower edge of the tomato by connecting the red and yellow plot points.

Then finish the edge by extending the line from the yellow point to the lettuce.

Draw another curved parallel line above the first curved line from the lettuce to the outer edge of the tomato.

Draw a short curved line from the outer edge to finish shaping the tomato.


We’ll draw a slice of onion next.

Draw a line connecting the two center lettuce leaves for the bottom of the onion.

Then continue the line between these two leaves.

Draw a short line for the top of the onion slice.


The next topping we are going to draw is the pickle. The pickle is directly under the onion slice. The width of the pickle can be found between these two green plot points on the lettuce.

I want to connect these points with a curved line that will be the outer edge of the pickle. However, before doing so, I would like to find out how far I should bring out the curve. On the reference photo, I see that the pickle’s edge seems to align with these two yellow plot points, where the cheese meets the tomatoes.

The farthest point is just under this leaf.

Now we have three points. We can carefully sketch a curved line that connects these three points, and that will give us the outer edge of the pickle.

Next, start drawing the wavy top of the pickle. Use the reference photo to decide how many peaks and valleys you should give your wavy line.

So I’ll draw two more waves after this one, just like the reference. I keep saying to look at and match the reference, but that is only if your goal is to accurately match it. Hopefully, you understand that you also have the freedom to deviate from the reference photo and improvise whenever you want.

Sketch a few short diagonal lines coming from the peaks of the waves to indicate the raised top surface of the pickle.


Draw the Outline of the Cheese, Burger, and Bottom Lettuce

Begin drawing the cheese by connecting a line from the first tomato to the first yellow plot point.

From this point, sketch a long line with a couple of shallow waves to the second yellow plot point, located at the center of the top edge of the lower bun.

This is where we will have the corner of the cheese slice. Make the corner into a slightly wedged or rounded shape.

From the corner, begin sketching a line going toward the other tomato. Stop when you get about halfway there.

Draw a little bulge on the side of the cheese where it is beginning to melt on the hot burger.

Finish the outline of the slice of cheese by bringing the line over toward the third yellow plot point under the tomato.


Now let’s draw the outline of the burger itself! Between the bun and all of the toppings, there’s really not much of an outline to draw except for the sides. Draw the first side as a bumpy line from the tomato to the bottom bun.

Draw the other side of the burger meat in a similar way, but don’t bring it all the way down to the bun.

Instead, bring the line trailing along just above the bun. This allows for some of the bun’s top edge to be visible.

Draw a short line to finish up the corner of the bun.

Continue sketching the bottom of the burger all the way across.

That does it for the burger patty. Now with this corner, I want to round it slightly while still keeping it relatively sharp compared to the other side.


Let’s outline the bottom lettuce leaves now. There won’t be nearly as much lettuce here as on top. Sketch a little piece or two hanging from under the patty on the outer edge.

Next, draw two small triangles to represent two more tiny pieces of lettuce.

Continue drawing a wiggly line for the thin layer of lettuce between the burger and the lower bun. You can try to match the reference or just draw it your own way, but try keeping it close to the burger patty so it looks like a thin layer.

Keep drawing a wiggly line across the bun’s edge. Draw another line above this one and overlapping the lower part of the meat. By the time we finish our drawing, the leaves of this lettuce will have lots of twists and turns and overlapping flaps!

Finish sketching the lettuce outline nearly to the edge of the bun.


How to Draw a Hamburger – Part 2

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