Illustrator gradients

by Design Workshop Sydney

Creating gradients in Adobe Illustrator is easy and can add a sense of plasticity and dynamism to otherwise flat illustrations. We show you how in our Illustrator courses.
illustrator-gradientsFirst of all create a few objects using the Rectangle, Ellipse tools, etc. Selecting one of these, make sure that you have the Fill forward at the bottom of the tool box. If you can’t see the Gradient panel on the right hand side of your workspace, go to Window > Color > Gradient.You may have to go to the Options button top right of the panel to Show Options.
Click on the black & white gradient slider and your shape will fill with the default black & white gradient. Note that this is described as a Linear gradient. Now open your Swatches panel. You can replace the black & white colour stops by dragging colours from the Gradient panel down onto the Gradient panel slider. To delete the original black & white stops simply “yank” them downwards or select & right-click > Delete. You can add & subtract as many colours as you wish in this fashion.
Alternatively you can select the small triangular “hat” on top of the colour stop and click on the Colour panel spectrum to change colours. Note you can also adjust the mid-tone stop to determine how much each colour will contribute to the blend. The Type can also be changed to Radial in which case you’ll get a circular blend from the centre of the shape. To adjust further the blend select the Gradient tool from the toolbox, and click & drag across the shape.
If you think you may use this gradient in future you can go to the Swatch options and save this blend as a Gradient Swatch: New Swatch. This could be loaded into future documents.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes