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  1. Design & Illustration
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How to Create a Simple Cartoon Waiter in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Do you like to eat out in restaurants? Well, when you go to a restaurant, often your mood depends on the professionalism and personality of your waiter or waitress. Today, we will create a funny cartoon waiter, who is already waiting for you with a food tray. 

It's easy to follow the instructions and design the character. At the end of the process, you will have a funny, elegant waiter, which of course, can be used in your future projects as a policeman, doctor, fireman, etc. You just need to change his outfit. But in the meantime, let’s head over to the restaurant!

1. Drawing the Head

Step 1

As usual, we will begin with the head. First, set the fill color to R=236 G=193 B=156, and then take the Polygon Tool and click on your art board. In the new dialogue window, make 3 Sides with any Radius. Now, go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. In the new dialogue window, enter the options you see in the image below:

creating the head

Step 2

Keep the same fill color and draw a tiny ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L). Rotate it a little to the left and place it on the left side of the head. This is the left ear. To create the right ear, just reflect the left ear using the Reflect Tool (O). After you've clicked on the Reflect Tool (O) and pressed Enter on your keyboard, in the new dialogue window, enter Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. Move the right ear to the right.

creating the ears

Step 3

Let's create hair for the waiter. Start with the Ellipse Tool (L) and set the fill color to R=86 G=58 B=43. Keeping the ellipse selected, take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the right anchor point to make it sharp. Then select the Direct Selection Tool (A) and slide the top and bottom anchor points to the left.

creating the side hair

Step 4

Place the shape you created in the previous step as shown. Keep it selected, hit the Reflect Tool (O) and press Enter on your keyboard. Check Vertical in the new dialogue window and click Copy. Move the new shape to the right. Then just add an ellipse on the top of the head and his haircut is done!

To align everything, do the following: group the two ears (right-click > Group) and two side hair parts (right-click > Group). Then select the whole head, and in the Align panel (Window > Align) press Horizontal Align Center.

creating the haircut

Step 5

For the eyes, create two small ellipses with the same fill color as the hair. You can use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to take the same fill color from the hair. Align the two eyes in the Align panel; select them and press Vertical Align Center.

creating the eyes

Step 6

Now let's create the eyebrow. Still keep the same fill color and draw a long, narrow ellipse. Then go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the options shown below. Expand the shape (Object > Expand Appearance).

creating the eyebrow

Step 7

Create two eyebrows using the Reflect Tool (O) and place them where they should be. By rotating the eyebrows you can change the emotion of the waiter.

placing the eyebrows

Step 8

Now on to the nose. Set the fill color to R=219 G=167 B=127 and draw two ellipses as shown in the image below. You don't need to make the black stroke color—I just made it for better visibility. 

Keep the two shapes selected together and in the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) choose Minus Front. If you made it with a stroke, then delete the stroke color.

After that go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the following options:

creating the nose

Step 9

Place the nose in its place.

placing the nose

Step 10

Let’s now create the mouth. Again, we just need a white fill color without a stroke, but I marked it to show the boundaries of the mouth. Draw two ellipses as shown below and align them: press the Horizontal Align Center button in Align. Then press Minus Front in Pathfinder. That's the mouth. Delete the stroke color if you have one.

creating the mouth

Step 11

Give the waiter a wide smile.

placing the mouth

2. Creating the Waiter’s Uniform

Step 1

All elegant waiters (or whoever thinks that they are elegant) must wear a bowtie. Our waiter is a very elegant gentleman, so let's create one for him. 

Make the fill color R=55 G=61 B=63. Using the Polygon Tool create a triangle in the same way as you created the waiter's head, but without warping. Make a vertical reflection of this using the Reflect Tool (O), and then just add a small ellipse in the middle. Group the two triangles, and then select the whole bowtie and press Horizontal Align Center in Align.

creating the bowtie

Step 2

Place it where it should be.

placing the bowtie

Step 3

Create a white triangle under the bowtie. Then draw a tiny circle (fill color R=55 G=61 B=63) again under the bowtie and on the white triangle. Start to move this tiny circle down and then press the Shift and Alt buttons at the same time. After that press Control-D to repeat your last movement one more time.

creating the top of the white shirt and three buttons

Step 4

A dark gray (R=34 G=40 B=43) rounded rectangle will make the torso of the waiter. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to create it. Cover the bottom of it with a rectangle of any color. Select the two shapes and press Minus Front in Pathfinder.

creating the suit

Step 5

Place it under the white triangle, and now you can delete the stroke color from this triangle.

placing the suit

Step 6

Now we will create the arm. Keep the fill color R=34 G=40 B=43 and draw a rectangle. Then go to Effect > Warp > Arc and enter the following:

 creating the left arm

Step 7

Place the arm in its place and expand it (Object > Expand Appearance). Make another copy of the arm (copy-paste), rotate, and put it on the right side of the body.

placing the arms

Step 8

The hands. First, take the Eye Dropper Tool (I) and take the fill color from the face. Now let's draw two ellipses under the sleeves.

creating the hands

3. Creating the Pants and Shoes of the Waiter

Step 1

Two rectangles under the suit will be the pants. Set the fill color to R=20 G=24 B=25.

creating the pants

Step 2

The shoes. First, create an ellipse and rectangle (fill color R=55 G=61 B=63). Then warp it.

creating the left shoe

Step 3

Make a vertical reflection of it using the Reflect Tool (O), but change the warp options in the ellipse.

creating the right shoe

Step 4

Let’s place the shoes on the waiter.

placing the shoes

4. The Food Tray

Step 1

Change the fill color to R=209 G=188 B=195 and draw a circle. Draw an overlapping rectangle with any color and then press Minus Front in Pathfinder.

creating the lid of the tray

Step 2

A small circle on the top (R=226 G=212 B=214) and a narrow rectangle on the bottom will finish the food tray.

creating the rest of the tray

Step 3

Just add a highlight. Make a copy of the tray lid and change the color to R=219 G=203 B=208. Start to move this shape to the right, and press the Shift and Alt keys as you are moving. You will get a third copy of the lid. Make the third copy a little bigger and press Minus Front in Pathfinder.

creating the highlight of the tray

Step 4

Put the previously created shape in its place.

placing the highlight on the tray

5. Creating the Napkin

Step 1

Create a rectangle with white fill color and any stroke color. Rotate it. Go to Effect > Warp > Flag and enter the following:

creating the napkin

Step 2

Give the napkin to the waiter.

placing the napkin

6. Creating the Background

Step 1

Draw a square behind everything, 600 px width and height, and set the fill color to R=160 G=141 B=141.

creating the background

Step 2

Create a triangle (R=140 G=122 B=122) behind the waiter but before the background. Rotate the triangle as you want.

creating the background 2

Step 3

And the last thing. Take the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and stretch the handles of the sharp anchor points of the triangle to create a smooth cornered triangle. You're done!

creating the background 3


Great job, everyone! The waiter is done. If you want to go further and challenge yourself, add some food or a glass of wine on the open food tray. Or even try a signboard with the name of the restaurant. Always be creative!

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