How to Make Magic with Gradients using Adobe Illustrator | Adobe Creative Cloud

Design complex gradients with ease. Learn how to use the freeform gradient tool in Illustrator. Download to get started:

Start from scratch, or download practice files [] for a head start. Steps below.

1. Update to the latest version of Illustrator CC to use the Freeform Gradient feature.
2. Open your drawing, or use ours (
3. Choose the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select a section of the bird.
4. Open the Gradient panel (Window – Gradient).
5. Choose the Freeform Gradient from the Type section.

Apply gradients with points:

1. Make sure Points is selected in the Gradient panel.
2. Double-click a color stop to open the color swatch and apply a new color.

Apply gradients with lines:

1. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select a different section of the bird.
2. Choose the Freeform Gradient.
3. Choose Lines in the Gradient panel.
4. Click to add points to the path. Press Esc on your keyboard when you’re finished.
5. Double-click a color stop and add colors to different points along the path.

Use these methods to finish the composition.

Tips: Click on a color stop and drag to reposition it. Drag the circle on one of the color stops to change the spread of the gradient. Double-click to add color stops. Select a color stop and click the Delete Stop icon, or press the Delete key on your keyboard, to remove it.

That’s it!



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