Add Color to Your Line Art in Illustrator

    ●   Use the Mesh Tool to add Color to your Line Art.

Learn About:

Mesh Tool Eyedropper Tool Pencil Tool Live Paint Bucket Effects

•   This tutorial is part of the CD Cover, We Can Be Heroes!, Monster Mesh, and Picture Perfect Projects and is part of a series.

1 - 102-pencil-line-art-ai.htm - 2 - 104-brush-libraries-ai.htm - 3 - 105-mesh-tool-color-ai.htm - 4 - 107-vector-eyes-ai.htm - 5 - 111-hair-ai.htm

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open your Project in Illustrator ~

Open your project in Illustrator

Click to view project

    ●   If you are working on the Superhero Project open that ...

    ●   OR, if you are working on the Picture Perfect Project open a picture of your face.

   ●   OR, if you are working on the Monster Mesh Movie Poster Project open that ...

    ●   Don't Buy the Lie Project, open your template …

    ●   OR, the Comic Book Cover Project, open that …



… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

Step #2: New Layer ~

Make a New Layer BELOW the outline layer by holding down alt option key+cmd key and clicking create-new-layer-icon.png

alt cmd click new layer below

Step #3: Pencil Tool ~

Double-Click on the Pencil Tool icon

… and make sure "Fill new pencil strokes" is checked.

Step #4: Face Color~

Get the Eyedropper Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (i) …

… and select a color from your face

OR - Click this link: http://websafecolorcodes.com/color-tones/flesh-color-tones/ - find a color that matches your skin tone …

… and copy the hex code number of the color.

Then Double-Click the Fill Color

… and paste the hex code here:


Step #5: Stroke OFF ~

Also, make sure your Stroke is OFF .

Step #6: Create a Shape ~

Draw a shape with the Pencil Tool all around your face. It doesn't have to be perfect. You can fix it later …

Step #7: Warp Tool ~

Get the Warp Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letters (Shift⇧+r)

… and push use it to push the shapes around to get what you want.

Step #8: Mesh Tool ~

Now get the Mesh Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (u) …

… and click somewhere on the face shape.

Now Lighten or Darken the color by Double-Clicking on the fill color.

Step #9: Another Mesh Point …

Make another mesh point near the edge of your head by clicking with the Mesh Tool again.

Darken the mesh point by selecting a darker color around the edges.

Be very detailed! Lighten and darken many mesh points all around your image depending on what you need. Experiment with the all the settings.

Step #10: Keep Going …

Keep Going! Draw shapes around each major portion of your line art, fill it with color and apply the Mesh Tool to each shape.

Last Step: Save Your Project & Attach ~

Go to: File > Save as … and save the file as YOUR NAME! so we know whose it is.


  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: http://layersmagazine.com/imitating-a-scanner-darkly.html