How to Control Gradient Fills in Adobe Illustrator


Object is a plastic sphere that is illuminated by a point light source. The object is located on a colored background.

To fill such an object, use a radial gradient, the center of which move towards the source of light. Do not forget about the reflex on the surface area, which must be the same color as the background, but a darker shade. Here I would like to recommend you to start coloring objects only after you will create background of the illustration. This will allow you to choose the right color intensity, direction of the gradients and reflex colors.

When illuminating the metal sphere, we need to use more contrasting colors and add some new color stops to adjust color transitions.

Object is a metal cylinder.

In this case, we need to use a linear gradient.

The plane area can be filled with a linear or radial gradient, it all depends on what effect you want to achieve.

In order to add volume to more complex objects we will need to combine several gradients, using opacity masks and gradient meshes. And all this will be discussed in our next tutorials. Let today’s tutorial be a good foundation for exploring the new material.

Page 1 Page 2


  1. Samson Tennela Apr 22, 12:12 pm

    CS6 really got interesting features. One of my favorites is the gradient to strokes. Interesting article. Thanks!

  2. Ronald Apr 22, 1:00 pm

    Excellent tutorial.

    Ronald Mason

  3. Boca Raton Web Design Apr 23, 6:33 am

    Thanks for the great tutorial, this was really helpful!

  4. Erich Krausser Apr 23, 6:17 pm

    Did not know about the elliptical gradient feature, nor the way to use a gradient on a line.

    Thank you

  5. Phillip Jul 27, 6:47 pm

    One hell of a superb tutorial on gradients. I have stumbled through 15 or so in the past few weeks however yours is of a higher order compared to all I have seen. Excellent and worthy of reference to even experienced CS users.

  6. mehwish Sep 21, 11:00 pm

    really helped me to understand adobe illustrator in a better way, thank you.

  7. Amita Nov 28, 7:59 pm

    Finally I was able to learn how to create a color stop for a gradient in Illustrator CS6. I referred many tutorials but all missed this part of creating the color stops.

    Excellent Tutorial!!

  8. Ryan Mar 25, 8:27 pm

    Great. But how do you control the direction of the gradient using a blend?

Leave a Reply

* Minimum length: 20 characters