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Apply colors and gradients

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Learn faster with the Illustrator Discover panel
      3. Create documents
      4. Toolbar
      5. Default keyboard shortcuts
      6. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      7. Introduction to artboards
      8. Manage artboards
      9. Customize the workspace
      10. Properties panel
      11. Set preferences
      12. Touch Workspace
      13. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      14. Undo edits and manage design history
      15. Rotate view
      16. Rulers, grids, and guides
      17. Accessibility in Illustrator
      18. Safe Mode
      19. View artwork
      20. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      21. Files and templates
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Tools at a glance
      2. Select tools
        1. Selection
        2. Direct Selection
        3. Group Selection
        4. Magic Wand
        5. Lasso
        6. Artboard
      3. Navigate tools
        1. Hand
        2. Rotate View
        3. Zoom
      4. Paint tools
        1. Gradient
        2. Mesh
        3. Shape Builder
      5. Text tools
        1. Type
        2. Type on a Path
        3. Vertical Type
      6. Draw tools
        1. Pen
        2. Add Anchor Point
        3. Delete Anchor Point
        4. Anchor Point
        5. Curvature
        6. Line Segment
        7. Rectangle
        8. Rounded Rectangle
        9. Ellipse
        10. Polygon
        11. Star
        12. Paintbrush
        13. Blob Brush
        14. Pencil
        15. Shaper
        16. Slice
      7. Modify tools
        1. Rotate
        2. Reflect
        3. Scale
        4. Shear
        5. Width
        6. Free Transform
        7. Eyedropper
        8. Blend
        9. Eraser
        10. Scissors
        11. Dimension
    4. Generative AI (not available in mainland China)
      1. Generate a vector graphic using a text prompt
      2. Recolor your artwork using a text prompt
    5. Quick actions
      1. Retro text
      2. Neon glow text
      3. Old school text
      4. Recolor
      5. Convert sketch to vector
  3. Illustrator on the web (beta)
    1. Illustrator on the web (beta) overview
    2. Illustrator on the web (beta) FAQ
    3. Troubleshooting issues FAQ
    4. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the web (beta)
    5. Create and combine shapes on the web
    6. Add and edit text on the web
    7. Apply colors and gradients on the web
    8. Draw and edit paths on the web
    9. Work with cloud documents on the web
    10. Invite collaborators to edit on the web
  4. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  5. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Share documents for review
      4. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      5. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  6. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing and dimensioning
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Draw rectangular and polar grids
      7. Draw and edit flares
      8. Image Trace
      9. Simplify a path
      10. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      11. Adjust path segments
      12. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      13. Create and edit a perspective grid
      14. Draw and modify objects on a perspective grid
      15. Use objects as symbols for repeat use
      16. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
      17. Measure and plot dimensions
    2. 3D objects and materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Map artwork over 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
      5. Create 3D objects
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Copy and duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
      9. Intertwine objects
      10. Create realistic art mockups
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Add text and work with type objects
      2. Create bulleted and numbered lists
      3. Manage text area
      4. Fonts and typography
      5. Convert text within images into editable text
      6. Add basic formatting to text
      7. Add advanced formatting to text
      8. Import and export text
      9. Format paragraphs
      10. Special characters
      11. Create type on a path
      12. Character and paragraph styles
      13. Tabs
      14. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      15. Arabic and Hebrew type
      16. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      17. Create 3D text effect
      18. Creative typography designs
      19. Scale and rotate type
      20. Line and character spacing
      21. Hyphenation and line breaks
      22. Spelling and language dictionaries
      23. Format Asian characters
      24. Composers for Asian scripts
      25. Create text designs with blend objects
      26. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Appearance attributes
      4. Create sketches and mosaics
      5. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      6. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Slices and image maps
  7. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Place multiple files
      2. Manage linked and embedded files
      3. Links information
      4. Unembed images
      5. Import artwork from Photoshop
      6. Import bitmap images
      7. Import Adobe PDF files
      8. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. Document info panel
  8. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  9. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  10. Troubleshooting 
    1. Known issues
    2. Crash issues
    3. Recover files after crash
    4. File issues
    5. Supported file formats
    6. GPU device driver issues
    7. Wacom device issues
    8. DLL file issues
    9. Memory issues
    10. Preferences file issues
    11. Font issues
    12. Printer issues
    13. Share crash report with Adobe
    14. Improve Illustrator performance

Create colorful vector illustrations on your iPad! Learn how to apply fill colors, gradients, swatches, and more using Illustrator on the iPad.

apply colors

Add fill and stroke color using toolbar

Fill color is the color contained in the shape object and stroke is the border of the shape object. The fill or stroke can be a color, gradient, or pattern.

Illustrator on iPad
Fill and stroke tool

To add a fill or a stroke color,

  1. Select the object and tap the Fill or Stroke tool displayed at the bottom of the toolbar.
  2. Choose a solid color from the Color wheel, Color spectrum sliders, Swatches, Color books, and Libraries, or choose a gradient (Linear, Radial, Point).

See also: Paint with fills and strokes in Illustrator on the desktop.

Add a solid color

Color panel
Apply solid color

Tap Fill or Stroke tool, and then tap Solid color to view the color options:

  • Color wheel: Choose a color from the color wheel and apply in your object using the Color Picker tool.
  • Color spectrum: Tap more options to choose a color spectrum.
    • CMYK sliders (Process color)
    • Grayscale slider
    • Hex code (Web color)
    • HSB sliders (Hue, Saturation, Brightness)
    • RGB sliders (Screen colors)
  • Swatches: Tap more options to choose from a swatch. Add the selected color to the swatch for easy access.
    • Color books: Select from industry-standard swatches.
    • CC Libraries: Select from a saved swatch library.
    • Add colors using the built-in camera: Select and add colors from the camera screen.

Add solid colors using the built-in camera

Add solid colors to Swatches using built-in camera

Follow the below steps to add solid colors to your swatches using the camera:
  1. Tap the Fill or Stroke tool.
  2. In the Swatches panel, tap   to open the camera.
  3. Position your camera to adjust the photo for an accurate capture.
  4. Drag the slider on the left side of the screen to increase or decrease the number of colors you want to select.
  5. Tap the screen to freeze or unfreeze the scene and color pointers.
  6.  Drag the pointers to choose the color.
  7. Tap the capture button to add your colors to Swatches.

 Also, you can tap to unfreeze the scene and color pointers.

Apply a gradient

Gradient lets you add a graduated blend of two or more colors or tints of the same color to your shape. You can use gradients to create color blends, add volume to vector objects, and add a light and shadow effect to your artwork. In Illustrator on the iPad, you can create, apply, and modify a gradient using the Fill panel.

  • Linear Gradients: Blend colors along a straight path. 
  • Radial Gradients: Fill an object with a smooth gradient that radiates out from the central point.
  • Point Gradients: Blend colors from point to point within the shape.
  1. Select a shape and select the Fill tool.

  2. In the drawer, select Gradient and select Linear, Radial, or Point gradient. For a Linear or Radial gradient, the Gradient Annotator appears on the object.

  3. Select a color from the Color Wheel or Swatches to change the color of the color stop.

  4. To modify the opacity of the gradient, drag the  Opacity slider in the Gradient panel.

Modify linear or radial gradient

For the linear and radial gradient types, when you select the Gradient tool in the toolbar, Gradient Annotator appears in the object. A Gradient Annotator is a slider that shows a starting point, an endpoint, a midpoint, and two color stops for the starting and endpoints. 

  • Add color stops: Select anywhere on the Gradient Annotator. Select the color stop and add color using the Color wheel or Swatches.
  • Gradient annotator: Drag the Gradient annotator to modify the angle, location, and spread of a linear gradient; and the focal point, origin, and spread of a radial gradient. The gradient annotator snaps at every 45 degrees which lets you ensure precision. 
  • Gradient Annotator slider: Drag the slider located between two color stops to increase or decrease the range of the gradient.
  • Delete color stops: To delete a color stop, select a color stop on the gradient annotator and select       icon. By default, a gradient has two color stops.

Modify a point gradient

Point gradient lets you place color stops anywhere in the object. Therefore, a point gradient does not require a Gradient Annotator.

You can set the spread of a color stop in the points gradient. Spread is the circular area around the color stop in which a gradient is to be applied. 

  • Add color stops: To add one or more color stops, tap anywhere on the object.
  • Change the position of color stops:  Drag the color stop and place them at the desired location.
  • Set the spread of a color stop: Select a point gradient and drag the circular spread.
  • Delete color stops: To delete a color stop, select a color stop on the gradient annotator and select   icon. By default, a gradient has two color stops.

To learn how to apply gradients in Illustrator on the desktop, see Gradients.

Modify color and appearance of objects

Appearance panel
Change color and appearance of an object

To change object color and appearance, select the object and tap Properties panel in the taskbar.

  • Tap Fill to view and change the color options for fill color.
  • Tap Stroke to view and change the color options for stroke color.
  • Blend mode: Specify how colors interact with the overlapping objects. Choose a blend color from the drop-down list.
  • Opacity: Create variations in transparency.
    You can also change the stroke weight using the contextual widget. Select the shape and tap  to change the stroke width using the slider. 

See also: Transparency and blending modes.

Copy appearance of an object

To copy objects from one place to another, tap the object and then tap  to view Cut, Copy, Paste options.

To copy the appearance of an object onto another object, 

  1. Tap the object and then tap Copy appearance
  2. Select the object on which you want to copy appearance and tap Paste appearance.
copy appearance
Copy appearance of an object

Apply stroke for an object

When you create an object, the stroke of the object is set to zero (no stroke).

Applying stroke through Properties panel
Apply stroke through Properties panel

Applying stroke through contextual widget
Apply stroke through contextual widget

To set a stroke, do the following:

  1. Select the object and tap Properties panel.
  2. In the Strokes section, select a stroke type as solid or dashed line.
  3. To view more stroke options, click --
    • In the Stroke weight field, type a weight you want to set for the stroke.
    • In the Align Stroke options, choose:
      •  Align Stroke To Center 
      •  Align Stroke To Inside 
      •  Align Stroke To Outside 
    • In the Cap options, choose:
      • Butt Cap to create stroked lines with squared ends.
      • Round Cap to create stroked lines with semicircular ends.
      • Projecting Cap to create stroked lines with squared ends that extend half the line width beyond the end of the line. 
    • In the Corner options, choose:
      • Miter Join to create stroked lines with pointed corners.
      • Round Join to create stroked lines with rounded corners.
      • Bevel Join to create stroked lines with squared corners.

You can also change the stroke weight using the contextual widget. Select the shape and tap  to change the stroke width using the slider. 

See also: Apply stroke on an object in Illustrator on the desktop.

Related resources

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