I'm trying to create a mockup for my web design idea and even though I got to a moderate point myself, I still need help.

I'm trying to create a 3-column grid illustration that holds all colors on the illustrator color picker. I.e. top to bottom full white- full back. Left to right full red to full magenta (I guess).

I am trying to figure out a smart way to do this and I'd like to open a discussion about it.

this is the grid structure that I'm referring to, however, I'd like to have space between the columns empty and the gradient to continue only within the parameters within the colums. Also, there is no top(full white) to bottom (full black) here.


1 Answer 1


Draw a rectangle and apply a rainbow gradient. I used 8 colors at about 15% spacing.

color picker

Then draw 2 rectangles that are half the size of the first rectangle. Make a 100% white to 0% gradient rectangle object and set it to lighten. Make a 100% black to 0% gradient rectangle object and set it to multiply.


Then use a clipping mask to make it 3 columns.


If you do want space between the 3 columns but not between the gradient, then you need to create 3 different clipping masks of the same graphic.

It should look like this before you create the 3 clipping masks (but the columns would be solid and not stroked).

3 columns

Then move the clipping masks away from each other.

Clipping mask moved

  • did you go on a whim about picking the exact colour values on the gradient or is there calculation behind it? Nov 28, 2021 at 19:38
  • 2
    Consider to use this variation. i.stack.imgur.com/TmIyw.png It doesn't need the not so well documented mode lighten, the color of a point can be calculated with the common opacity formula. In Illustrator, of course, the white-black-white gradient should be used as an opacity mask.
    – user82991
    Nov 28, 2021 at 21:25
  • 1
    @allesplusjetzt I picked the colors using the default swatches. Could also use the image user287001 linked to.
    – AndrewH
    Nov 28, 2021 at 22:06
  • Thanks, I was interested in creating the image myself, trusting that I will learn something in the process and I did. However, when using the clipping mask option a part of the gradient disappears (as it should considering the use of the feature). Is there a way to mitigate it and sort of still have the three columns detached but make them inherit the entirety of the gradient? Nov 29, 2021 at 11:35
  • 1
    @allesplusjetzt I have updated my answer.
    – AndrewH
    Nov 29, 2021 at 15:49

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