This time with the gradient mesh tool.

For anyone who has tried using Adobe Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh tool, it can be a bit of a nightmare and as soon as you try to do something creative with it, your masterpiece can quickly turn into a bit of a dogs dinner. Some masters can create photo-realistic images of people let alone fruit etc which is just ludicrous as it is no easy feat and very time consuming. Still, its a testament to peoples skill and so kudos to them.

With simple shapes the Gradient Mesh tool is relatively intuitive, you click in your circle or square and lo and behold, various meshes appear with each anchor point either on the image boundary or at intersections allowing you to change the colour and blending to match its neighbours. When you get to slight more complex shapes, things get more difficult when you think they shouldnt be.

Take Snapchat’s logo even with its symmetry, Gradient Mesh inserts some unfathomably interesting grid lines which without judicious implementation of more grid lines, give you limited scope to quickly create a 3D shape. Whats really annoying is that any attempt to move the end point of the gridline just alters the boundary ie the shape of the object which is not what we want.

In the end you have to manipulate a lot of mid anchor points to go where you want and move aside other grid lines to avoid folds in the gradient (e.g. where the colours dont blend due to proximity or crossing with other lines.

In the end, Im quite happy with how it turned out. Theres hope for this tool yet!