Dynamic Color - Blending Modes and Gradient Meshes | Lindsay Marsh | Skillshare

Dynamic Color - Blending Modes and Gradient Meshes

Lindsay Marsh, Over 300,000 Design Students & Counting!

Dynamic Color - Blending Modes and Gradient Meshes

Lindsay Marsh, Over 300,000 Design Students & Counting!

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5 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Class Preview

    • 2. Gradient Meshes

    • 3. Blending Modes

    • 4. Shapes

    • 5. Two-tone

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About This Class


Create Dynamic Color

Do you want to create dynamic color using blending modes and gradient meshes?  It is amazing how simple it is to create contemporary art, photo manipulations and fun colorful graphic pieces using Adobe Illustrator. 

In this class we will master gradient meshes and blending modes using a wide variety of shapes, color and layouts to create something truly unique and fun. 

So. Let’s learn together! 

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Lindsay Marsh

Over 300,000 Design Students & Counting!


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1. Class Preview: Do you want to create dynamic color using blending modes and radiant meshes? It's amazing how simple it is to create contemporary art, photo manipulations and fun, colorful graphic pieces using Adobe Illustrator in this class schoolmaster, radiant meshes and blending those using a wide variety of shapes, colors and layouts to great something truly unique. Fine. So let's learn together. 2. Gradient Meshes: we're gonna go over a cool tool called Radiant Meshes, which is right here on your toolbar. We're gonna draw a simple shape. So let's just do I have just a typical seven by seven inch square open our art board and I'm just gonna make a typical square shape and I'm gonna go ahead and make it white, and I'm gonna start applying a radiant mesh. We can go to regret it, Mesh tool, and I can click anywhere to create a series of anger points. So I'm gonna click right here in the middle, and I'll be able to create a couple of different anchor points where we can change the color and be able to manipulate the Grady int so I could make it more complex. So if I want to spend a lot of time having lots of little different points, we could do that. I can do a very simple when it first, So I'm just gonna go back and I'm just gonna go in the middle, and I have several different points that I can edit. So how to edit this? I'm gonna go ahead and just click, and I got to go to the direct selection tool right here. And I'll be able to directly select some of this anchor points and change the color on each of them. Right now, they're all white. But we're gonna create that, Grady in effect so I could start over here, and I'm just gonna choose kind of a wide variety of colors so deep purple and get my direct selection tool and just keep going around. Um, I could do that kind of an orange click on this one. Glue into a dark blue in the middle like a little bit deeper of a blue, and then go around and you could get the eyedropper tool and sample the color around here that you like, and then you can manipulate it. So if I want to make that a little darker, I can. Just like that, I want to continue that blue. Just get the eyedropper tool, Can you create in your brain? And I want to create kind of like a blue in the middle, but maybe a warm color on the edge on the edges to kind of add something a little different . Well, let's do that more of that color. Actually, let's make that kind of more of a pink red. Perfect. We're just trying to do a dynamic image. So we're trying to do a variety of colors, but have kind of a theme to the last point. Of course, the more that complex you make it by click on clicking on the grating it tool, the more you can manipulate it. But there's a lot of individual anchor points that you'll have to set. So it does take a while, the more complex you make your, um, your mesh So I don't like the orange. It's battling too much, but I think a purple. But let's change the purple and add a little bit more red to it. Perfect. So I'm gonna continue to vest with my radiant mesh here. I think it needs a little more complexity. So let me go back over to my mesh tool. I think it a click right here it's gonna be able to add a few extra ankle points that I can manipulate. So it added one too. So I'm gonna go and make this a little bit more of a complicated shade, gonna bring out some blue, but maybe make it a little bit darker. Well, maybe not so much blue. It's breaking it down a little bit. And I have another one over here. I can change kind of bring out the purple, but also transition in a little bit more toward blue to kind of like that. So I can also make that a little darker. Maybe just just kind of finessing our selections. We have making that darker as well. Kind of bringing out the blue along the side here and maybe change this hot pink a little more toward purple, A little bit more toward purple right there. Perfect. And so what's great about Grady? It meshes. Is your able you're not just stuck with straight up and down. You can actually take the direct selection tool and select any anchor point. And you could actually use the handles to be able to change kind of the direction that the Grady in bins. So let's just take our anchor points and kind of bend some of these selections. I'm gonna make that less a little bit, just changing the colors as I go along. I could make things kind of been and make it look a little bit more dimensional with how things take shape. I'm just messing with. We're just getting kind of Ah, cool background for our graphic. Wanted to be dynamic. Go ahead, move our little line there and see. I can create some pretty cool effects. Bring that out a little bit. Perfect help, even if you like that. We messed with the colors just a little bit more, but I think we're getting really close. So I took about five minutes and I messed around and tweak the color just a little bit to get it just right. And you could see how I went ahead, clicked on the Great Mesh tool, and I click down here right here to create another anchor point to kind of extend kind of this warmer color up a little bit so it didn't feel isolated here in the corner so you could just go in and add anchor points wherever you want and make it more complex. But I think I have about nine anchor points or so in here. I think that's a good Grady. It mash for background what I like to do to add a little bit of texture to this piece so It's not just a flat black colors, as I'd like to go up here to effect and I go down the texture and I just add a little bit of the great texture and it just adds a nice richness to it. And you don't really need a whole lot. So I'm just gonna reduce the contrast. Could mess around with the contrast a little bit Kinda see what you want to go for I don't want it too intense So let's just do a little bit of a small texture So you noticed that kind of added a richness to it and this is what it looked like before. And I'm gonna go back, and I probably could have reduced the intensity just a tad. All right, so there's kind of our background we want to go ahead, bring our photo, man. I'm gonna go over photo shops right now, and I'm gonna be able cut image out, and I could be able to bring that image in and play around with blending modes a little bit 3. Blending Modes: So I have her image that I cut out in photo shopping, a little transparent background to go and drag that damage for a woman in. So this is where we get to mess around with blending modes a little bit. So I'm gonna make her the right size in this particular piece. So I think I need to make a little bit bigger toe, have a higher impact, maybe focused more on her face just like that. So let's play around to see what looks the best. So I'm gonna get our transparency window out here, and we have a blending modes that we could play around with. So let's just select a few that I know look, have looked good in the past and just play around with him. So some of these aren't gonna work. So screen is gonna be too light color burn too dark. So I'm just gonna cycle through these. I love luminosity that bite being one. I might need to screen her back a little bit, so it's not so bright. Um, let's do overlay hard, light, and sometimes soft light looks pretty good. Okay, So let's let's stick with luminosity. And let's just reduce the capacity very little bit just to kind of bring down. So she's not popping out too much. Okay, so now that we have heard, let's go ahead and put her on a different layer and I'm gonna show you why here in a minute I was gonna or layer, Let's add a new layer unless a tractor out services cut and then select our new layer and then paste in place, so that's gonna paste it back where we cut it out originally. So now they're on a separate layer. I'm gonna go ahead and lock her block that layer. So now I can kind of manipulate my Grady int without having to accidentally select her. So that's kind of nice. So I'm just gonna mess around now that she's on the art board, I can now mess around with shadows. Lights need to make that a little bit lighter. Mess around with the color a little bit. They bring the orange out more. We're here this experimenting with color. Maybe if I add something a little more on the purple side appear like this, I like that will stick the eyedropper tool in sample that purple have that stretched around . That kind of makes this area pop out a little better by making this a little darker. There we go. Bring this down. Bring that up. Animals make that a little bit lighter if you add a little more the warm tones. Perfect. So now you can kind of see a pretty dynamic image coming together. I'm just gonna draw a couple boxes so you can see our image is really coming together. I want to experiment one more time with the blending mode of the R woman here. Go ahead, unlocked the layer she's on, and I'm gonna try to. Right now, she's in color. If I drag her out here, she's in full color. And sometimes blending modes act different when the photos in black and white. So let's experiment a little bit. Let's go to Let's make this black and white. So how do we do that? We go toe edit at it colors, and let's convert this to gray scale weaken. Do that this way. But you notice when we converted to grayscale that doesn't really dark. It doesn't quite do it the way I like it. So there's another way you can convert a great skill and let's go to color at it colors, and we're gonna go to saturate and going quick preview. Just ignore that. I don't know why it does that on. We're gonna reduce the intensity of the saturation and notice how it made it black and white. But it made her a little bit a little bit lighter of, Ah, conversion. So it's gonna bring her up and see how that effects everything. So I was using my keyboard keys, moving her up and then over. So let's try hard light. So let's see what hard light does. So that kind of makes her kind of compare the two here. I like that a little bit better. Her shadows come out more. There's more contrast. You doing it this way. I think doing luminosity when she was in color look great, too, but I do like how she she pops out a little bit more. And when he had the photo in black and white, good, it Go ahead and experiment. It does behave differently with blending modes, so just experiment. If you don't like how it's looking in color, switch it to black and white diss, saturated a little bit and try out some different blending modes to see if you like that a little bit better. So let's just back it off a notch, and I think we're good. I think we're ready to start adding some details. So I switched out my gravy and mash with one I did earlier. In a previous example, I just like the way it looked a little bit better than the one I did previously. So here's kind of the mesh that I did that I just brought in is just varies a little bit. The colors are still the same, just a little bit of a different color transition, and I have her on hard, light blending mode. And so let's go ahead and adds of different shapes and do some blending mode fun with this . So let's go ahead and get our We could do Arpin Tool. Or we could just do a rectangle tools to a rectangle tool. I want to kind of a diagonal shape that goes across, and I'm gonna change the blending mode to Let's play around with a few. I think I end up doing luminosity with this one. No I don't see color burn, multiply. And sometimes if we change the color of the block, it's gonna change the way the blending mode react. So I had it on white. So now I'm just changing it to black to see how that reacts. And that might be closer to what I want to dio. So color Dodge. I'm just going to kind of a shape kind of had a little bit of excitement here so we could do read Blue Orange. So this is all experimentation. There's no right or wrong way to do this. I'm just trying to find what combination of color and blending modes look good. This is where we experiment. That's that's overlay. Overlay tends to work pretty well, so let's leave that, as is, we could make that a little bit bigger and make that go over the whole corner. That's gonna go up here. I just have some white boxes covering my edges so it doesn't look messy when I tryto experiment with it. So let's copy and paste that make another little smaller kind of diagonal unit. Let's make that well school. If it wars are the red that's already happening in that space. The warm color. You can see how dynamic you get with this. Do as many lines as you like. Different colors have different reactions. Different blending modes. You can have these but up to each other. Connect like that. You can have this show a little bit of the original, and when we mess around with this one a little bit screen luminosity. Sometimes I like the way soft, light and hard like light. Look, let's do soft. It's more subtle. I like that. And maybe I need to do that down here. Um, soft light? Yes, really Liking how soft lights looking. This is where? This because art, unless of science, it's really what you think looks good. What combination of colors you want to bring out settled ing's. So I'm gonna continue to play around with this and kind of see what we come up with. 4. Shapes: This is what I ended up with. I just have to simple bars. They're set on soft light. Ah, and overlay. And this was kind of what I have selected I actually have. This is kind of a hot pink color to kind of play along the hot pink that's behind it. So it really kind of brings it out. And I have a set on orange, which also plays against the orange. It's kind of back there, so the way it blends makes sense. It looks nice. So that is one option. I'm gonna go ahead and save this. We're gonna experiment with circles and other different types of overlays. We don't have to do to straight diagonal lines, So let's go ahead and do that. Go ahead, delete these. Let's just do a circle. This could look really cool in Contemporary is doing a circle over her and I can actually go if you see right here. Ah, this is ah, ingredient. But if you go over to our radiant panel right here, you'll notice is actually transparent on one side. So it goes from one solid color transitions to a blank. There's act absolutely. No, uh, the opacity set to zero. And that said, 200%. What's great about this is that I can go ahead and create an overlay, and it will only overlay on this part that's that has color. So let's do a vivid color as an example. Let's do black so you can kind of see where the color would actually be and where you actually see through her is transparent. What's neat about this effect? Let's go ahead and apply it. Let's go. I'm selecting circle and let me do play around with different options. Soft, light, hard light, luminosity. And I might need to change my color, too. So let's change that to like a purple or blue. That seems to kind of be colors that we have and are. I was trying to get the right color. There we go. And let's do a different blending mode. Hard light, some kind of see how kind of Distin's out. You don't see just a circle. It kind of transparency and blends out. It looks nice. It looks nice. It doesn't look like a circle that's on top of her looks more of just abstract shape. So this is where it gets tricky saturation color that looks neat. Course you got to play with the color of the actual shape, too. Ooh, that's lovely. I love how it's bringing out those pinks down below. That's really lovely. So what I did is I just made this pink that brought out kind of the pinks in the background . And that looks nice. You don't see the circle all the way around, and that's a good thing. So let me get my radiant and oh, doing it. The opposites. Very interesting. That's kind of neat to lots of options here. But I'm just gonna get my Grady int to go a little bit. Hires like that. No, I don't want her to have a pink face. I think that'll work color. See if there's any other blending mode that I like better. So so far, color is the winner. We're burn, multiply. You're probably gonna get dizzy with me Cycling through all these. Um Okay. So what was it? Soft light or was it overlay? Go back in time, figure out what I had on here that I liked Redux. Grady in there. It iss so color. So that's what we ended up with. I do like this orange up here. I'd love to bring out more of that orange. It's gonna shift this down and ship that down. Where can even make that point orange? I wanted to, but this is all about having fun and finding out what you think looks best. We can even add typography to this as well. Make it a completed piece. You can see how you can experiment with different shapes as well. So I did a polygon, a couple of syriza polygons with different blending modes on this one. So I have to believe this is the same background is before I was gonna move all these out of the way, and I just kind of added the shapes on top and messed with the blending mode in their color to get something kind of cool. So this shape is just actually this is a Grady int. So I did a great in and then I applied a blending mode on top of that. Once again, that's hard light. And this one up top is just a solid orange color that's hard light as well. And that's overlay. And that's blue, so you may not use the same blending mode, just the way blending modes. This is different. This is different. So this is, Let's see what this one was again. Hard light and that's overlay. So the way they interact and blend underneath each other is going to be different. And mitt, that that may be the effect that you want to go for. And so this one appear hard, light, hard, light, interacting. So it's about there is no wrong or right blending, though. Just just what looks good, experimenting with the radiance and the blending modes and over here at it kind of like a pill shape, which I just took the pin tool and I made it a stroke, and I just increase my stroke a little bit just like that, and I rounded the caps by going over here to the cap and round the caps, and then I had a little pill. I kind of did some cool little diagonal shapes to add something interesting, and this is actually a different Grady it mesh background that I created. You can see how it's mostly pink color, and I just applied a simple circle, and this uses the same Grady int that I showed you in the example where it kind of fades to zero capacity and then the other sides of solid color. So it kind of looks interesting. We'll go ahead and close that one down and show you This is kind of the final final example of using dynamic color blending modes. Ingredient meshes to kind of come up with something interesting. So that's the one that we worked on in the class. Quite a dynamic is the one I just showed you. But it's amazing what you can create. Can you canoe triangles? So I got to take the pin tool and just do kind of an abstract triangle and apply some different stuff to it. And you could even do a simple background. So let's say I want to make go ahead, remove that triangle. Let's say I want to take our grainy it mesh and I wouldn't converted to grayscale. So now what? I can dio as I can draw shape, do a triangle. Can they get a specific color, Maybe read? I need to probably convert that back to colors. Make sure that's RGB so I could make that red again. Most too hot pink overlay scoreless not to quite as hot pink. Right, because they could do some really interesting things. Copy and paste. Let's make that, uh, darker blue and see how they overlap with each other. They create their own colors, and we can rotate. This could make it smaller. You can create some really neat art this way. Play around radiant loads again are blending. Modes. Multiply can reduce the opacity, too. If it's too strong and then change the colors, There's a lot of elements you can tweak to get your desired effect. Let's do hard light. No rents wash stuff going on. 5. Two-tone: I wanted to show you one more variation of this kind of art style that I'm doing. And I went ahead and cut this woman out. Finn photo shop. So this is transparent background. I also converted her to black and white photo shopped to give me more control over the balance of highlights and shadows. It just looks a little better When I didn't photo shop, so I brought her in. I had to do something really interesting. I went half for face to be one color and the other half to do something different. And I'm gonna do that with blending modes. But first I have to divide her in half. So this is just a image. So I'm gonna get the rectangle tool lips, the rectangle tool and a stroll a shape pretty much dividing her right in half. Let's make that a different color so I can see what I'm doing it all the way to the top. Yeah. Look, that destruct kind of make sure it's in the right place and I don't need a couple copies of her, so I get a copy. And instead of just pasting, I'm gonna do paste him paste in place, and so that's gonna give me a copy. Right on top. Let me make sure this is on the top layer. Arrange bring to front. We're gonna divide these two images in half. So I'm gonna actually copy and paste when we get the second half square. Great. So I'm gonna select one of the copies. So, like this, we're basically gonna be making a clipping mask, and I could make the solid colors. You kind of see which one I'm working with. Some selecting that one to select the image below and make clipping mask. So I created my first half. So now we're going to the same thing with the image below. It seems a little complicated, but it's actually not too bad. It's like the image below and make clipping mask. So I just took both images and cut them in half. So let's go ahead and bring her up top on top of her, Grady in Nash and see what we can do here. But a slider up to where we had our saying radiant mesh that we worked with before. Okay, I want to take 1/2 of her and let's see what kind of different colors we could dio, but that's an option. We can leave one in black and white, actually, due to different blending modes. What's to overlay? We can even do a different background entirely and studies in that radiant Nash weaken Bring out the orange. Did you bring that behind here? That needs to be normal. This is gonna be our background color right there. And so we could make that a deeper red if we wanted to. But maybe not that deep man play around her blending mode. Maybe it's not such harsh. Our strong You can really do whatever you want, so you can see that that could be really cool effect. And what I also came up with icis. This little pattern of what? You know how I created that little pill shaped before it is copied and pasted a lot and created this old pattern? I'm just gonna bring it over behind here to create a little bit of a dynamic background. And I have this on a blending mode already. I have it on overlay so you could see how it changes when it's on this background compared to the solid color and the way it interacts is really need. But I'm gonna put go ahead, take my pill background and I'm just sending it backward into the layering system. So I'm gonna send this back behind. There we go. So just kind of adds a neat little background here. So what I would like to do is right now hurt. She is set on hard light, so it's gonna show everything below, no matter what. But switching back to normal. You see how you have this kind of almost, uh, rain looking pattern kind of coming down here than it bypasses her and actually goes behind her, which is really kind of a neat effect, But I want her to be a different color so I can actually change your color. Uh, let's go down to color balance. Click on preview Convert And I can change kind of some things here. This is not using a blending mood was kind of a different wayto bring out certain colors, taking a little bit of time, But I do like the way that this doesn't have the blending mode on it because it makes this little background pill graphic a little bit more of the pattern, um, or dynamic because it's being blocked here. It's not all the way across that looks a little crazy at the moment. Let's see if I can change us to make this a solid color as well, so we can get rid of the radiant Nash actually going to select. This is why having different layers and locking them it's so helpful. Select next object below. Get rid of the radiant mash. Copy and paste this orange. Select the next object below. Copy and paste. It's really bright orange. Send it to the back, and I could make that bring out the green, do some kind of really interesting things. We could take this pill background and make that a different color entirely in the way that interacts is gonna be different when we change the color as well as the blending modes. A lot of different things that we can change to change the parents so instead of overlay will do color burn and it's very interesting, very contemporary, very different. So having fun and playing around, it's kind of see what you can come up with