Basically, is there a way to do this in Illustrator using a single stroke (or shape)?

I could replicate it using two strokes, and the result was almost the same, but is there some command or technique I'm missing that allows to do it with a single stroke?

I guess not, because of the overlapping.

Overlapping Gradient Circle

  • Yes it can be done. Usually though people try to avoid shapes that self overlap like this though. Theres little benefit of doing this. Basically what you do is an arc thats more than 360 degrees long.
    – joojaa
    Aug 15, 2022 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


Here's one method:

  1. Create a circle, and select the Anchor at the 3 o'clock position, and hit the Cut Path button enter image description here

  2. Add a thick stroke, no fill, set rounded endcaps

  3. Add a gradient along the stroke

enter image description here

  1. Do Oject > Path > Reverse Path Direction

enter image description here

Another possibility is to use a simple step blend between two filled circles (say 100 steps or more). Then you can replace the Spine of the Blend with the broken circle shape (as made in step 1 above) by using Object > Blend > Replace Spine.

However this method requires a bit more trial and error. You would really need to reduce the circle size to get a relatively thicker stroke. Then again, one benefit is that this seems to render smoother in Illustrator, probably because a gradient along a path is rasterized, but Blends aren't.

enter image description here


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