Freeform Gradients in Illustrator enables you to quickly generate rich color blends to add volume and dimension to your vector objects.

Select Freeform Gradient

Click on your object on the canvas. In the Gradient panel, select Freeform Gradient.

Illustrator workspace with Fill color set to aqua and artwork of an aqua filled complex shape (the profile of a fish) selected with the Selection tool.

Choose the Points method to create color stops as independent points in the object.

Gradient panel shows the Points option selected in the Draw section. A gradient fill of fuchsia to white is shown as the Fill while the selected artwork of a fish profile displays the same gradient fill color.

Position the color stops


Click anywhere on the object to add the colors stops.

The cursor clicks near the head of the fish shape, adding the fuchsia/white gradient fill color below the aqua colored top fin.

Drag them to your desired locations and assign colors.

To delete a color stop, simply drag it outside of the object, or click Delete in the Gradient panel, or press the Delete key.

Several color stops are positioned on the fish shape, adding a turquoise color to the face while the Color Picker displays the same turquoise fill color.

Set the spread for the color stops

You can adjust the spread for each color stop by enlarging or contracting the circle around the color point. 

The cursor drags outward to expand the color stop positioned on the fish’s face, enlarging the area filled by the turquoise color while the Gradient panel displays the same turquoise fill color.

You can also type a value for the Spread in the Gradient panel (or in the Properties or Control panels).

The default value for the spread of color stops is 0%.

The Spread menu in the Gradient panel lists the set of available preset percentages with 0% currently selected.

The final result

Easy-to-make, beautiful gradients add a colorful touch to your graphic designs!

Final design of a multi-colored fish shape surrounded by decorative flourishes.
04/07/2020
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