Mesh Tool Sun with Face in Illustrator

    ●   The Mesh Tool is an easy and fun way to make gradients in Illustrator.

Learn About:

Mesh Tool Pen Tool Colors

  •   This tutorial is part of the Cereal Package Design, the Shadow Life, We Can Be Heroes and other projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

mesh face exampmle

Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator and …

fill color none

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

… make a New Layer, and lock lock your other layers.

new layer


Step #2: Colors ~

To make a Sun, you need a RED or ORANGE Fill (but use whatever color you want) and Stroke/None .

Step #3: Ellipse Tool ~

Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …

… and draw a perfect circle by holding Shift (⇧) shift while you drag.

Step #4: Creating the Mesh ~

Get the Mesh Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (u) …

mesh tool

… click in the center of the circle to create your first mesh.

Then click and divide the right side and left side by clicking on the horizontal line …

… and also click on the vertical line, top and bottom.

Step #5: Select the Outside Circle ~

Get the Direct Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (a) …

… holding Shift (⇧) shiftagain, select all the nodes on the outer anchor points of the circle.

Step #6: Shading your Work ~

Open up your Color palette by going to: Window > Color or hit the keyboard shorcut (F6), and click on a darker color.

Step #7: Shading your Work ~

Using the Direct Selection Tool again, Shift+Click the middle 2 anchor points …

… and pick another shade to highlight the cheeks.

Step #8: Creating Face Elements ~

You can easily select any anchor point and use its handles to change the blending. Lower the anchor point in the middle where a chin would be.

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Step #9: Eyes ~

Find some cartoon eyes, copy them …


… and paste the eyes over your image.

Step #10: Live Trace ~

With the image selected, click on the Image Trace button …

… then click Expand.

Deselect the image by going to: Select > Deselect

… get the Direct Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (a) …

… click the area you want deleted and hit Backspace or Delete.

Add a mouth and whatever else you need over your face.


Step #11: Star Shape ~

Get the Star Tool which is behind the Rectangle Tool …

… click somewhere on the Artbord with the Star Tool

… and set the number of points for your star with approximately these settings.

star points

Lastly, Right-Click on the star shape and Send to Back.

Step #12: Effects ~

Select everything by hitting the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+A and go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow

Try the other Effects Too! Experiment! Take a risk!

Last Step: Save your Project and Attach ~

Go to: File > Save as … and save your work as -]

save as an ai

Attach it and keep working …

  •   ALWAYS save your projects like this: FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME

  •   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.

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