How to Use Gradients with Shapes

Who’s ready to brush up on their design skills? Today I’m back with a new tutorial about some basic Illustrator tools and how they can be utilized in your illustrations and designs. Get ready to have some fun with color, because, in today’s Adobe Illustrator tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to use gradients with shapes.

How to Use Gradients with Shapes

Often, when I hear the word “gradient,” my mind immediately goes to 1994 Print Shop Deluxe word art. I don’t know if any of you ever used that program (I like to think it’s where my love for graphic design first took root), but it was known for having all kinds of nifty clip art and word art options. There was nothing cooler than a bold-faced, wavy “Happy Birthday” with a rainbow going through it! But we’re out of the 90’s now, and gradients don’t have to be that…loud: they can be much more subtle, and a great way to add some texture to an illustration.

The main tools you will be using:




Gradient Tool

Shortcut: G


Eyedropper Tool

Shortcut: I


Compound Path

Object>Compound Path>Make

Shortcut: ⌘8

See what I mean? There really is a place for gradients in modern design (yippee)!

I’ll be making a follow-up video soon to show you some fun ways to incorporate gradients into text as well (don’t worry, not in the1994 Print Shop Deluxe way…unless that’s the look you’re going for). So, be sure to stay tuned by either subscribing to my YouTube Chanel or my email list (or both if you’re extra awesome)!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and maybe even learned a thing or two about how to use gradients with shapes. If there are any other Illustrator tools or cool techniques you’d like to learn more about, I’m always open to suggestions, so be sure to let me know in comments!

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5 Comments on How to Use Gradients with Shapes

  1. Olya
    January 9, 2017 at 7:42 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you so much! Very useful information!

    • Mandee
      January 9, 2017 at 10:31 am (7 years ago)

      You’re welcome Olya! Glad you liked it. ^_^

  2. Suzy
    January 10, 2017 at 8:58 pm (7 years ago)

    That was super! It was fun to watch the color variances change!

  3. Troy
    January 19, 2017 at 6:50 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m just getting into Illustrator and this was a great intro! Thank you!

    • Mandee
      January 20, 2017 at 3:56 pm (7 years ago)

      You’re welcome Troy! I’m happy to hear that you found my little tutorial helpful. ^_^


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