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Illustrator® CS5 Bible by Ted Alspach

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Chapter 7. Understanding Color, Gradients, and Mesh

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Using the Color, Swatches, and Stroke panels

  • Defining paint styles

  • Using the Paint Bucket and Eyedropper tools

  • Working with transparency

  • Understanding and creating radial and linear gradients

  • Using the Gradient tool and Gradient panel

  • Changing gradients to blends or mesh

  • Using the Mesh tool

This chapter covers color, gradients, and mesh. Gradients allow you to apply several different colors in a specific pattern across the surface of your image. You learn how to use and edit the preset gradients as well as how to create your own gradients.

Mesh changes your art into a grid of meshed lines, creating a 3-D color look. You use the Mesh tool to add realistic shadows to your object through a delicate balance of color shifts.

You find color options in the Swatches panel, the Color Guide panel, the Color panel, or the Color Picker. You can also apply color to fills and strokes.

Working with the Swatches Panel

You can access the Swatches panel by choosing Window

Working with the Swatches Panel

By default, the Swatches panel contains and displays several commonly used colors, patterns, and gradients. You change what displays by clicking the buttons along the bottom of the panel. The following list describes the buttons from left to right:

  • Swatch Libraries menu. This button displays all the swatch libraries that are installed for quick access. Choosing one displays another ...

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