Create Abstract Gradient Graphics With the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Abstract gradient graphics.

by The Creative Cloud Team

posted on 08-24-2017

Knowing how to manipulate gradients is an advantageous skill for any designer. With a few short steps, you can create a dazzling image that looks like it took hours to create.

Gradients can also be used to add a level of texture to either an image or a background. For textures, designer Evgeniya Righini-Brand recommends the mesh tool.

“I love to use the mesh tool to create nice textures and abstract graphics, because it allows you to create a very smooth blend of different colors that merge into one another in a more random way in comparison to standard gradients,” she says. Click here to download the source file.

Creating a solid color shape.

To get started, create a solid color shape in any color you want to use as a starting point.

Using a mesh tool.

Using the mesh tool, add several mesh points to the object . These will be the focal points of the distorted gradient.

Choosing colors.

Once you’ve added the mesh points, choose a color to originate from each. Like with any gradient, choose colors which can smoothly blend into one another.

Lines on the design.

On the Tools panel, you have several tools which can be used for altering the gradient further. Experiment with warp tool and the wrinkle tool to achieve the desired effect.

Using the warp tool:

Step 1 with warp tool.

Step 2 with warp tool.

Step 3 with warp tool.

Using the wrinkle tool:

Step 1 with the wrinkle tool.

Step 2 with the wrinkle tool.

Step 3 with the wrinkle tool.

By experimenting with and changing the set of colors used in the Gradient mesh, you can create a beautifully textured image that evokes any number of emotions.

Step 4.

Step 5.

Check out Evgeniya’s portfolio for more examples.

Topics: Design

Products: Illustrator, Creative Cloud