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Adding a Gradient Effect and Details to the Landmarks

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Now that we have a pattern applied to the ellipse in the traffic circle, we’ll refine it a bit by adding some shading to it. We’ll accomplish this using a combination of a gradient fill and a useful blending mode. Feel free to experiment with the options to see what other creative effects you can come up with.

  1. With the ellipse selected, open the Appearance panel and add a new fill to the shape by clicking the Add New Fill button at the bottom left of the panel.

  2. Open the Gradient panel by choosing Window > Gradient, and choose Radial from the Type menu. A default black to white gradient is added to the ellipse.

  3. The Gradient ramp shows you the color stops, which indicate what colors make up the gradient, and you can drag them as well as the transition point to adjust how the gradient is composed. You can also, of course, change the colors used to create the gradient.

  4. Open the Transparency panel by choosing Window > Transparency and choose Multiply from the Blending Mode menu. Multiply is one of the easiest blending modes to understand, because it multiplies the color of the object with the color underneath it.

  5. If desired, adjust the opacity of the gradient to change the intensity (Figure 4.24).

    Figure 4.24

    Figure 4.24 Adjusting the blending mode and opacity of the gradient

Applying the Grass Appearance to Other Objects Using the Eyedropper Tool

Earlier in this chapter, you used the Graphic Styles panel to create a graphic style to apply to other objects. This is a powerful way to reapply appearance attributes to other objects, but when you just need to apply those attributes to one or two objects, you might decide to use the capabilities of the Eyedropper tool as well.

  1. Using the Selection tool, select the green triangle in the upper-right corner of the business card.

  2. Double-click the Eyedropper tool p0082_01.jpg in the Tools panel to open the Eyedropper Options dialog box.

    In the Eyedropper Options dialog box, you can choose which attributes you want to pick up using the Eyedropper tool and which attributes you want to apply using the Eyedropper tool. Depending on your design, you may want to change the properties being picked up and applied to other objects.

  3. In the Eyedropper Options dialog box, enable all three of the major categories to pick up and apply. Click OK (Figure 4.25).

    Figure 4.25

    Figure 4.25 Selecting options in the Eyedropper Options dialog box

  4. Using the Eyedropper tool, click the ellipse that has the pattern and gradient applied. Because the triangle was selected, the attributes of the ellipse are now also applied to the triangle.

Adding the Pond

In the center of the traffic circle, there’s also a pond-like water area that needs to be added to the card. Feel free to make this water area any shape that you like, or you can follow along with the video to replicate what was done there.

  1. Make sure that the Landmark layer is active in the Layers panel and select the Blob Brush tool p0083_01.jpg. You’ll find this tool by clicking and holding on the Brush tool.

  2. In the Swatches panel, choose a blue color to represent the color of the water.

  3. To change the brush size, you can press the [ or ] key on your keyboard to make the brush smaller or larger.

  4. Start painting in the middle of the ellipse to draw the shape of the water area. If you let go of the mouse, Illustrator completes drawing of the path, but you can just click again to add to the shape. To ensure that you’re adding to the shape, you may want to select the shape first before continuing to draw.

  5. If you’d like to smooth the shape, choose Object > Path > Simplify and adjust the curve precision and angle threshold to control how much adjustment is applied.

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