1. Design & Illustration
  2. Gradient Mesh Tool

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

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Read Time:3 minsLanguages:
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal 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 BackgroundDrops of Water BackgroundDrops 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 tutorialgradient mesh tutorialgradient mesh tutorial

Step 2

Draw another shape with Mesh. Use these colors:

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

Step 3

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

transparency modetransparency modetransparency 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 highlightmesh highlightmesh 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 overlaymesh overlaymesh 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 overlaymesh overlaymesh 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 effectswarp effectswarp 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 vectorsqueeze vectorsqueeze 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 effectwarp effectwarp 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 dropmesh water dropmesh water drop

Step 2

Draw a highlight with Mesh.

  1. #787878
  2. #FCFCFC

Use Screen with 80% Opacity.

mesh vectormesh vectormesh vector

Step 3

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

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

Step 4

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

overlay adobe illustratoroverlay adobe illustratoroverlay 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 effectwarp effectwarp 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 illustratorwarp adobe illustratorwarp adobe illustrator

Step 7

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

finished dropletsfinished dropletsfinished 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 DropletsTransparent Vector Water DropletsTransparent Vector Water Droplets
Drop of Water Background

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