This is a follow up to this question where they describe the procedure about how to "paint" a gradient that follows a path. So, my question is whether this could be used to fill a closed shape like the one in the figure bellow, where the left side of the hand has a linear gradient that does not reflect the curvature of the contours.
I can think of 3 different ways of doing thing.
1) Use a radial gradient that follows the contour of the hand.
2) Use a gradient mesh
3) Use a very thick stroke and use a linear gradient. Use a clipping mask to hide the ends of the stroke. Then use a gradient on the hand to fill the left thumb with the shadow color.