book illustration

Hi how can I do this: draw a stroke in illustrator with a shadow? Thanks

  • Draw a stroke, go effect -> stylize -> drop shadow.
    – benteh
    May 24, 2014 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


To create the shadow effect as on the picture you can use GRADIENT tool, like on the picture I created in 1 minute -

The gradient was applied to the horizontal bar.

enter image description here

  • Though your answer so far is the best out of the two the method you posted may not work in a printed envirnmonet you might want to change the gradient to a halftone and apply it as a stroke like Random suggested because if you try to print what you posted in a two color run it will not work.
    – user9447
    May 25, 2014 at 3:50
  • @Gramps I don't understand how to achieve this effect by dropping shadow - could you please post an answer explaining that? I'm glad to learn...
    – Ilan
    May 25, 2014 at 5:26
  • @Gramps drop shadow is much less print-friendly for my taste. I am not sure that used overprints for shadows's black in past. But llan's method is print friendly and even for two runs. One run will have solid color for stroke, second run will have black gradient to simulate shadow. Quite simple and common situation for offset and spot colors.
    – Vnovak
    May 25, 2014 at 17:02

While you can simply apply styles to fills and strokes in Illustrator, the image provided reveals a limitation in the layout engine. Namely, you can't have layers "weave" between each other (Layer 1 on top of Layer 2, which is on top of Layer 1). So I think Ilan's answer is a great one for this situation in particular. Plus it has the advantage of giving you precise visual control over the shading without the trial-and-error and rasterization of most of the style effects. While not a "true" shadow, this technique is much more simple and flexible in many cases.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.