I'm looking for a tutorial on how to create a gradient waves mesh like the attachment.
I don't know if I call this the correct way but I can't find anything that comes close to this.
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This is a simplified example of one method that could be used. Obviously more complexity would require more work.
Create one thin rectangle and make a nice gradient mesh on it
Alt/Option click and drag to duplicate it several times, perhaps overlapping some more than others to give a slightly random look.
Select all, then Alt/Option click and drag to create a copy of this section.
Colourise the copy using Edit > Edit Colours > Adjust Colour Balance
Alt/Option click and drag again and repeat step 4. Do this as many times as you want until you have all the colours you want.
Select all, then use the Warp Tool set to a large size to make the waves. Note: double clicking the Warp tool will allow you to change the size
Select various random parts of the meshes (while holding down Shift to make multiple selections), and set a different fill colour. Repeat this step as often as you want.
Sped up example:
A fast way to make a rectangular gradient mesh is to expand a rectangle which has a gradient fill:
More complex mesh can be made with envelope distortion Here's a top object for it:
And this is the result of Object > Envelope Distortion > Make with top object:
A few of shapes like this should be quite near of your example. Practice at first a little how to make different gradients. You can have quite steep borders between the colors and also transparency if you want.
If it happens that you want a mesh it can be converted to mesh by applying Object > Envelope Distortion > Expand. Unfortunately it's under a clipping mask an a group which are useless overburden. To get the mesh free these must be disassembled. The easiest way is to select the mesh in the layers panel and to make an independent copy:
After cleaning the extras the mesh should look this in the layers panel:
Another way: Apply the stroke Width Tool to a path which has a gradient across the stroke. As expanded it also will be a gradient mesh, if that's needed.