enter image description here

Hello there,

I found this image on pinterest and I just love it! I would like to know if there is a way to reproduce this effect on Illustrator? It looks a little bit like watercolor, but I can't really tell how it was made.


  • 2
    Hi Pippa, thanks for your question. Could you tell us what you tried that didn't work? Always good to show some effort, and your chances for a good answer increase. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – AndrewH
    Jun 21, 2016 at 19:22
  • This image might have been procedurally generated. Looking forward to see answers Jun 22, 2016 at 17:10

3 Answers 3


In my opinion the easiest and quickest way would be mesh tool and just some desaturated/pastel colours.

Something like this

First create a mesh'ed object. I already have opened desaturated swatch library (open swatch library > color properties > desaturated). You can also create your own or import one that suits you best.

mesh library

Then, with direct selection tool select some points and add colors that you thinks look the best.

mesh colorized

And play with points placements, add some curves. At first add only few point as you can add more later.


  • Hi and welcome, if you could add a bit meat on how you achieved that then im sure it would get up voted.
    – joojaa
    Jun 22, 2016 at 15:11

Recreating this in Illustrator is also possible without the use of the plugin Franz provides. While this plugin makes the whole process of a watercolour look a whole lot easier, you can still work without it.

What you still have to do in Illustrator is to define the bigger outlines of the 'waves' you see in the picture. Adding multiple of this areas, filled with gradients, is then key to get a similar effect, after continuously playing around with the opacity to get the desired look. But since doing this by hand takes a lot of time, you will need to use similar techniques as in this short tutorial, where they 'randomize' areas to work with and to generate a watercolour effect:


To get rid of the 'sharp lines' you will also have to play around with the feather, or the shape of the colours.


If you really look for watercolor effects and even to add some textures, you should have a look at the Texturino plugin, which lets you paint various effects on your vector shapes: http://astutegraphics.com/software/texturino/

  • 1
    Hi Franz, could you please explain a bit more what we'll find behind the link you provide and why it answers the question? That way, your answer is still of value in case the link breaks at a later time. Link rot is the main reason we really dislike link-only answers here. Thanks for your effort and keep contributing!
    – Cai
    Jun 22, 2016 at 8:46

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