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20 Tutorials to Help Master Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh

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The gradient mesh is one of the most powerful tools in your Illustrator toolbox, but it’s also one of the trickiest to get the hang of. This year I’m determined to master this amazing tool, so I’ve searched the web far and wide to pull together the best free training materials. This collection of tutorials covers everything from basic gradient mesh tool use to some full on photorealistic vector designs. If, like me you have a mission to get to grips with gradient mesh, look no further than this collection of resources.

Gradient mesh capabilities

You only have to glance at amazing artwork such as this motorcycle rendering by Yukio Miyamoto to realise how powerful the gradient mesh tool can be. It allows the most minute control over colour gradients, enabling you to recreate highlights and shadows that help produce photorealistic images.

I like to think of the gradient mesh like the great Nunchaku, it’s a weapon of awesome capabilities that when used to its full potential by masters like Bruce Lee or Michelangelo the turtle looks insanely awesome. However it takes years of practice to become a true ninja. The same goes with the gradient mesh, when in the hands of a veteran, it can be used to create some unbelieveable photorealistic artwork, but it takes time, dedication and mental power to become a true master. Wrap a scarf around your head Karate Kid style and let’s get down to some serious training with these tutorials!

Gradient mesh tutorials

Tips for Working with the Gradient Mesh Tool In Illustrator

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How to Make a Vector Military Cap Icon

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Illustrator Tutorial: Gradient Mesh Flower

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Create a Yummy Ice Cream Icon with Mesh Objects and Blends

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Create realistic illustrations using Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh

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Vectors Imitate Life with Gradient Mesh

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Gradient Mesh Tutorial

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Illustrate a Pair of Sweet Gradient Mesh Cherries

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Gradient Mesh Bell Pepper Tutorial

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Master the gradient mesh tool

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Make a Shiny Gum Ball Machine with Mesh Gradients

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Gradient Mesh Editing Tutorial

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How to Create an Energy Saving Bulb in Illustrator

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Mastering Mesh

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Make an Aurora Borealis Design in Illustrator

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Illustrator Tutorial: Realistic Curtain

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Video Tutorials

Sometimes it’s handy to get that extra level of help from a video screencast. These tutorials help you understand the actual workflow and see the techniques in action.

The Adobe Illustrator Gradient Mesh Tool

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Intro to the Gradient Mesh Tool

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Create an iPod Nano Using Gradient Mesh

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Gradient mesh, freshly brewed coffee

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Reshaping Mesh to fit into complex shapes (pt1)

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Adding color to each mesh node (pt2)

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23 Comments

  1. Lam Nguyen says:

    Great list! It’s first time I submit the post of other blog. It’s worth for bookmark.

  2. Awesome list, whilst there are thousands of tutorials to be found for Photoshop, there are nowhere near as many when it comes to Illustrator – an application I am determined to master. Thanks!

  3. Amazing really, the things that you can do with Illustrator. I’m not very advanced yet, and I’m not even sure where to start with gradient meshes but I will definitely refer to this post again next month when I delve more into Adobe Illustrator. Thanks Chris!

  4. sriganesh says:

    nice tutorial and i really stuck with mesh tool i seen this , but never tried it, thanks for this post , i should get practiced for this . good work :D

  5. Amazing stuff. Really need use illustrator more :)

  6. Absolutely beautiful! I already have good skills with gradient mesh, but this colors, textures and lights are just amazing! Great post ^_^

  7. ajl says:

    Great list! 10x for sharing.

  8. I don’t use gradient mesh much but I did once just to see if I could. Here is a sample of what I did.
    http://homepage.mac.com/cletocriste/digital_art_01.html

  9. Sake Tijmersma says:

    Amazing list! +1

  10. israel ckobain says:

    Hey exelent tutorials… … thanks…

  11. Nikhil says:

    Cool list,
    I think gradient mesh is one of most important part of illustrator. If one learns it, then you can master the illustrator as well.

  12. tashi says:

    As Always, one of the best sites.
    Mesh is always cool. Thanx for the links.

  13. Great List!!! Thanks for sharing

  14. Stu says:

    I’ve been dying to get to grips with the gradient mesh. Thanks for this great list

  15. Jorge says:

    This is what I needed I always wanted to learn how to use Illustrator’s Mesh tool.

  16. linko says:

    Great roundup!Thanks for sharing.

  17. These are great, i’am really rusty with illustrator, but i’am gonna work at it.
    Thanks!

  18. zayıflama says:

    gradient mesh has great capabilities. Thank you for showing some of them to us.

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