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Lesson 11. Creating Airbrush Effects > Applying colors to the mesh

Applying colors to the mesh

You can select points on a mesh object using either the direct-selection tool or the gradient mesh tool and paint them with different colors. Now you'll practice selecting mesh points using the direct-selection tool and apply three colors to the butterfly's forewing.

Select the direct-selection tool ( ), and click away from the object to deselect it. Then move the pointer over the top left side of the forewing. (Smart Guides display the mesh as you move the pointer over it.)

Click in the center of a mesh patch to select the four mesh points where the lines intersect. (We clicked in the patch above the top horizontal line and to the right of the left vertical line.)

Figure . Position pointer over mesh patch.


Figure . A. Selected mesh point B. Deselected mesh point


Clicking with the direct-selection tool in a mesh patch is an easy way to select all of the mesh points and direction handles on the lines surrounding the patch. All the other points become white diamonds, indicating they're not selected.

Click a color in the Color palette or Swatches palette (we selected the Color 2 swatch) to apply it to the four selected points.

Figure . Select color.


Figure . Result


Select the direct select lasso tool ( ) in the toolbox.

With the forewing still selected, draw a selection marquee around the two left mesh points on the bottom horizontal line.

Figure . Draw selection marquee around mesh points to select them.


If you inadvertently select the wrong mesh points, draw the selection marquee again. You can also Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) away from the artwork to deselect it, Ctrl/Command-click the artwork to reselect it, and then redraw the selection marquee.

Paint the two selected mesh points with a color from the Color palette or Swatches palette (we selected the Color 3 swatch).

Use the direct select lasso tool ( ) to select the two middle mesh points on the right vertical mesh line. Select a third color in the Color palette or Swatches palette (we selected the Color4 swatch) to paint the selected mesh points.

Figure . Select two right mesh points.


Figure . Select color.


Figure . Result


Choose File > Save.


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