Project #6A: Digitally Coloring Your Coloring Page

Posted by Jennifer Impey on 4/6/2022

Today’s essential question: How do I add color to my vector art?

Today we will:

  1. Add color and gradients into our shapes in our coloring page.
  2. Digitally color our coloring sheet.
  3. Save and export our file as a PNG.

Ai: Coloring Page Tutorial #4 (Adding Color)

Types of Gradient:

In Illustrator, you can create the following three types of gradients:

  • Linear
    Use this gradient type to blend colors from one point to another in a straight line.
  • Radial
    Use this gradient type to blend colors from one point to another point in a circular pattern. 
  • Freeform
    Use this gradient type to create a graduated blend of color stops within a shape in an ordered or random sequence such that the blending appears smooth and natural. Freeform gradient can be applied in two modes:
    • Points: Use this mode to shade the area around a color stop.
    • Lines: Use this mode to shade the area around a line.

Note: A color stop is a point on the Gradient Annotator (for linear and radial) or on the object (for freeform) that controls the color of the gradient. You can change the color of the color stops to set a gradient 

Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 2.57.21 PM

Gradient Panel: 

To open the gradient panel, do one of the following:

  • Choose Window > Gradient.
  • Double-click the Gradient tool in the toolbar.

The gradient panel allows you to change the colors in your gradient, add color stops, adjust the opacity, choose the type, choose from a list of pre-defined or previously used/saved gradients, and more.

  • Double click on either slider of the gradient bar to change the colors of your gradient.

Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 3.05.53 PM

  • To add additional colors in your gradient, click just below the gradient bar where you want to add a new color. 
  • To delete a color, simply click on the slider and press the “Delete” button

Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 3.13.28 PM

  • If you want to save your gradient, click on on the drop down arrow next to the gradient viewer, and then click on “Add
    to Swatches”.  This will save your gradient combination.

Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 3.00.20 PM

  • You can adjust the transparency of a gradient.  You can make it go from an opaquesolid color to a translucent solid color.
    • This will allow you to see anything that is underneath the shape that will have transparent fill.

Gradient Annotator:IMG_2413

The Gradient tool is found in the tool bar on the left side of your screen.  When clicked, itopens the Gradient Annotator, which is a slider bar that allows you to adjust the gradient in a linear and radial gradient.  The gradient annotator allows you to:

  • Adjust the start and end point of your gradient fill
  • Adjust the midpoint of your gradient
  • Adjust the angle of your gradient
  • Adjust the color stops

**But wait...I can't add color to an area on my coloring sheet!!!

That means you never completed the entire path.  If you used line segments to make your image instead of SHAPES (which is comprised of multiple line segments and anchors, all the way around to create a closed shape), you may not be able to add color the way you want!  You might need to go in and edit your paths!

Play with Effects!

Once you've colorized your coloring sheet, you can also play around with the various effects in Adobe Illustrator.  Try them out and see if one will enhance your colored image!  Select the path that you wish to apply the effect to, and then find it in the effects menu.  Here are a few examples of how I can change the effect on my football:

Football with brown fill.








Effect --->Artistic--->Film Grain--->Film Grain

Effect --->3D and Materials---> Inflate--->Inflate

Save your file at the end of the period:

  1. File —> Save As
    1. Save this as a NEW file. We want to keep our black and white one as is.
    2. Rename your file “Colored Coloring Page” or something similar.