I'm trying to figure out how to fade multiple watercolour effects on an object. I've tried dragging my watercolour swatches into gradient stops, but my gradient reverts to white each time. I'm trying to create an effect similar to this: [Design cred: Nicky Laatz on Creative Market]

This is the effect I'm after.

I assumed gradients would be the best way to achieve this, but it's not working for me so far. My watercolour swatches work fine when applied to objects without the gradient. What am I missing?

Here is what the gradient looks like when I apply the swatch to the gradient stop:

after I dragged the watercolour swatch into the gradient stop - reverts to white

  • 1
    What are watercolor swatches?
    – Cai
    Aug 17, 2016 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


I'm assuming your watercolor swatch is a pattern swatch. If so, you can't add a pattern to a gradient, but you can layer your pattern on top of your gradient.

  1. Set up your gradient as you want it without the watercolor pattern:

Initial Gradient

  1. Using the Appearance panel (Window → Appearance) add another fill above your gradient fill. Set this fill to your pattern swatch and use blending modes (click "Opacity" to bring up the transparency options) to layer this with the gradient below.

    I used the "Luminosity" blending mode as I don't want any color information from my watercolor swatch, only its luminance, but you may want to experiment with other blending modes depending on the pattern/texture you're using:

Appearance panel pattern fill


Do you mean this effect?enter image description here

This is achieved by gradient fill. Just a rough outline for reference. you can choose several color as you want.

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