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. 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!

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  2. 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!

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  3. 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

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  4. 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.

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