How to Create Gradient Line Art Design in Illustrator

We have shown you a thing or two about gradients and other line art techniques in the past. However, this time, we're using slightly different processes. In this tutorial, our creative Greenville NC team is showing you how to utilize the gradient panel, the geometric shape tool, and the transform function within Adobe. As mentioned above, the geometric shape tools combined with a few tweaks of the transform function can produce some pretty spectacular gradient line art design assets for your next layout. Let us begin the process.



Step One:

First off, we need a solid gradient to get us started on our gradient line art design. I chose a yellow to orange gradient for this tutorial, as it complements the dark background in my document. For your educational preferences, feel free to use whatever colors you like. Creating a gradient is as easy as clicking the “Window” tab, scrolling down, and selecting the “Gradient” function. A new action box should appear where you can choose your specific colors for their respective ends of the gradient. Once you have your colors in your gradient, it’s time to save them to your swatches. Do this by clicking the hamburger menu on the top right of the swatches panel and clicking “Save new gradient.” Now give it a name, and you’re all set.

Step Two:

Now, we’re going to draw our shape for our gradient line art design. I chose a triangle; however, this technique works for nearly any shape. To create a triangle, select the “Star Tool” from your toolbar, click on your canvas, and drag. Once you see points start to form, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to increase or decrease the number of points on your star. Make sure the fill of your new shape is set on none, and your gradient is now your stroke color.

Step Three:

Here is where the fun begins. With your shape selected, go to the “Effect” tab at the top of your screen. Locate the “Distort and Transform” option, move your mouse over, and click “Transform.” A new dialogue box for the transformation will appear. Leave this open, and we can move on to the next step in the gradient line art design tutorial.

Step Four:

With your transformation dialogue box still open, begin to enter these settings:

  • Horizontal: 95%
  • Vertical: 95%
  • Angle: 2 Degrees
  • Copies: 30

With the “Preview” box checked at the bottom left of the dialogue box, you can see what each change does to your shape. It may be beneficial to tune these settings so they work better for your gradient line art design. These settings mentioned above may not work perfectly for every gradient line art design, so our creative Greenville NC team recommends polishing these elements to best suit your design.

Step Five:

Now on to our last and final step. After closing the Transform dialogue box, you can freely grab, rotate, stretch and scale your line art shape. Our graphic design Greenville NC experts take it one step further by selecting the “Direct Select Tool,” or "A" on your keyboard. Next, hover over our triangle until we see the “Round Corner” nodes appear within the shape. By clicking and dragging on one of these points, you can round those sharp corners of your shapes off to give them a more uniform finish.

Red Shark Digital | Leading Graphic Design Greenville NC Agency

That’s all there is to it! Give it a try and let us know what you think. If you use our gradient line art design walkthrough, tag our creative Greenville NC agency in the result! We love to see what you all can do and how creative you can be. If you found this tutorial helpful, please visit our Red Shark Digital YouTube channel and give the video a thumbs up. Subscribe for more content like this, and let us know what you’d like to see next!