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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Gradient Mesh Tool
Design

How to Create Transparent Water Droplets With Gradient Mesh in Adobe Illustrator

by
Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a set of transparent drops!

If you'd like to skip the tutorial and just use these drops and more in your work, you can go ahead and purchase the Drop of Water Background from GraphicRiver!

Drops of Water Background
Drop of Water Background

1. How to Draw and Modify the First Drop

Step 1

Begin drawing the first droplet with mesh.

Create an ellipse, filled with #D5D5D5, and then grab the Mesh Tool (U) and by clicking inside the ellipse, create a Mesh grid just like the one shown below.

Color the nodes that are selected in the second step with #FFFFFF.

Use #B8B8B8 for the third step and #CCCCCC for the fourth.

gradient mesh tutorial

Step 2

Draw another shape with Mesh. Use these colors:

  1. #959595
  2. #FFFFFF
  3. #B9B9B9
mesh water drop

Step 3

Combine both shapes, and change the Transparency mode of both objects to Multiply.

transparency mode

Step 4

Draw a Mesh highlight for the droplet with these colors:

  1. #959595
  2. #FFFFFF
  3. #B9B9B9

Change the Transparency panel Blending Mode to Screen with 70% Opacity.

mesh highlight

Step 5

Add the highlights to the droplet.

Create one more highlight out of two ellipses filled with a Radial Gradient from white to #020200.

Use Screen and 60% Opacity, and place it on top of the drop.

mesh overlay

Step 6

Draw a #8BABB7 shape for the colored overlay.

Use Overlay and 60% Opacity, and place it on top of the drop.

mesh overlay

Step 7

Use Effect > Warp > FishEye to bend a copy of the droplet. Use these settings:

  • Bend: 21%
  • Horizontal Distortion: 37%
  • Vertical Distortion: 13%

After applying the effect, go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warp effects

Step 8

Use Effect > Warp > Squeeze to bend another copy of the original droplet.

Use these settings:

  • Bend: 27%
  • Horizontal Distortion: -24%

After applying the effect, go to Object > Expand Appearance.

squeeze vector

Step 9

Use Effect > Warp > Squeeze to bend a copy of the droplet. Use these settings:

  • Bend: 45%
  • Horizontal Distortion: -2%
  • Vertical Distortion: 9%

After applying the effect, go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warp effect

2. How to Draw the Second Water Droplet

Step 1

Draw the next drop with Mesh.

  1. #FFFFFF
  2. #4E4E4E
  3. #787878
  4. #A7A7A7

Change the drop to Multiply with 60% Opacity.

mesh water drop

Step 2

Draw a highlight with Mesh.

  1. #787878
  2. #FCFCFC

Use Screen with 80% Opacity.

mesh vector

Step 3

Draw the final highlight, using Multiply at 90% Opacity.

  1. #959595
  2. #FFFFFF
  3. #DADADA
mesh vector tutorial

Step 4

Add the highlights, and then add a #8BABB7 Overlay with 60% Opacity.

overlay adobe illustrator

Step 5

Use Effect > Warp > Shell Upper to bend a copy of the droplet. Use these settings:

  • Bend: -22%
  • Horizontal Distortion: 57%
  • Vertical Distortion: -7%

After applying the effect, go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warp effect

Step 6

Use Effect > Warp > Bulge to bend another copy of the droplet. Use these settings:

  • Bend: 57%
  • Horizontal Distortion: 10%
  • Vertical Distortion: 4%

After applying the effect, go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warp adobe illustrator

Step 7

Place the droplets on a background made out of #DFDFDF and #F8F8F8 squares.

finished droplets

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

What now? You can try any of my other tutorials from my profile, or check out my portfolio on GraphicRiver, as well as the original vector we recreated in this tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I would be super happy to see any results in the comments below!

Transparent Vector Water Droplets
Drop of Water Background

Check out these other tutorials!


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