I am trying to create a geometric shape resembling something close to a mushroom cap. Take these images as a reference:

Reference 1 Reference 2 enter image description here

(Images Sources: (1) Canstockphoto (2) Distractednaturalist (3) Pinterest)

I would like to create the shape as a seemingly three-dimensional object, looked at from underneath.

What I have attempted so far in order to get the shape I want is the following:

  1. Created two ellipses with a thick stroke (40 pt), a larger one in front, a smaller one behind and above it.

  2. Expanded their appearance.

  3. Gave both shapes a black-to-white gradient stroke as well as a white fill color.

  4. Created a blend out of both these shapes, with enough steps in between them to create a continuous shape.

Now, the shape this results in is quite close to what I'd like to achieve; it is already a three-dimensional cone, looked at from underneath. For it to be more like a mushroom cap however, I need the shape to be more rounded towards the top (the sides and top are too “cut off”). How might I be able to do that?

I’d like to adjust my method to get the shape I want, but I’d also appreciate any suggestions for other ways of going about creating something similar. I’m currently working this way due to me having a very, very limited knowledge of 3D-modelling software (I am sure this might be accomplished much more easily using software such as Cinema-4D or Blender). See the GIF below to get at look at the process I’ve gone trough so far.

gif of process

Reviewing the shape I am currently able to create:

Current Result


  • Its not a terribly good idea to use blend in this case.
    – joojaa
    Dec 26, 2016 at 21:09
  • @joojaa What would you suggest as an alternative method?
    – JoSch
    Dec 26, 2016 at 21:45
  • Do you want it to look smooth and gradient-like, like vector art? Or, would you like it to look more natural like a real mushroom?
    – mhulse
    Jan 3, 2017 at 3:58

3 Answers 3


Another approach could be to use Effect → 3D → Revolve. Here’s an example:

revolve example

Here are the revolve settings for the top-most shroom from above:

revolve example settings

If it is of any help, I uploaded the source AI file, for the above art, to a file sharing service called file.io: revolve.ai.zip

Lastly, if you just want the cap, create your profile accordingly:

enter image description here


If I were creating this, I'd merely use 2 mesh objects stacked on top of each other.

Start with 2 ellipses....
.....alter one to be the cap shape
.....and one to be the inner convex shape
..... grab the Mesh Tool and start applying color to mesh points.

enter image description here

Blends are just never as versatile as meshes can be.


Put your shape into an envelope and deform it. Envelope distortion is found under Object.

Blending creates a HUGE pile of objects. If your work consists plenty of blended objects, you will see your machine slowing down. You should draw the wanted outline to keep the load light. The following maybe is not, what you want, but it took only half a minute to construct it by pencil. Less irregular forms can be ahieved by starting from circles or other regular curves and gradient colors will enhance the illusion of 3 dimensionality.

a mushroom

Some terminology: Any drawing onto a plane does not be 3 dimensional. It can be a 2D image of 3D object - it means: how 3D object looks out, when watched from strictly one, constant direction. In real 3D sofware you can easily change the viewing angle as you want.

In illustrator some 3D information is used only, when 3D effects are applied.

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