I am working on a male portrait (which will be printed) where the guy has little beard as seen in the picture below. enter image description here

I have tried all the effects but when I select the black color after the effect the color changes, and the skin isn't visible.

Please help me with what steps to follow to achieve this beard look.

2 Answers 2


Due to how the stippling density is uneven in some areas, I'd speculate that it's not vector-based. It may be more likely that it's "painted on" in a raster based application (Photoshop).

You can create some general stippling effects in Illustrator. However they tend to be very evenly distributed, which is quite different than your sample image.

If you wish to experiment, use a white filled shape and try:

  • Effects > Sketch > Reticulation
  • Effects > Pixelate > Mezzotint

There may be more. You could, with some effort, duplicate objects and repeat the effect to overlap objects creating areas of slightly more density.

  • But I forgot to mention it will be printed..do I need to take care of anything?
    – Mansi
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:09
  • Not sure what "take care of anything" means. The Effects will create raster effects, so you'll need to ensure Effects > Document Raster Effects Setting is correctly set. But other than that, it shouldn't be a problem for reproduction.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 18:12

A complex way to get this effect (since as noted by Scott the grain is not even) is to make a grayscale gradient mesh with lighter bits being areas with less stubble and darker with more stubble, then apply the Raster Effect Grain (Effects>Texture>Grain), and select for the grain type Stipple. From there, a simple rasterization (Object>Rasterize or Effect>Rasterize and Object>Expand Appearance) and image trace creates vector grain particles like desired.

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