Illustrator Tutorial: Realistic Curtain

realistc curtain with gradient mesh

Let’s draw a nice awesome vector red curtain in this Illustrator tutorial. This lesson assumes that you already have a basic understanding on how the gradient mesh works. We will move on to create a realistic curtain using the gradient mesh. You can use this curtain effect for your movie or theaters related theme design.

1. Creating the skeleton

First, we create Rectangle and fill it with red. Select the Mesh Tool and start clicking along the edge of the rectangle. Creating 3 segments close together will give good results as we can simply change the middle segment to black for shadows.

gadient mesh tool


2. Filling the shadows

With the Direct Selection Tool, we select both the top and bottom points in the segments we want it to make it shadow. After that, fill the points with black. Do this to all the segments we want it to be in shadow.


3. Shaping the curtain

Now we can start shaping the curtain to give it some curves. Select the Direct Selection Tool and select the point we want to modify and move the anchor points to change it to curve lines. Other things you can do with the points is move them closer or further to other points by clicking the Right/Left Arrow Keys. A realistic fold normally starts narrow at the top and end wide at the bottom. Hence, we can use the arrow keys to shift the points closer or further away form each other.


4. Final touhup

To create more folds to the curtain, we can add new points with the Gradient Mesh Tool and fill it will a slightly dark tint. Do this until you are satisfied with your curtain. Below is the final skeleton of my curtain. Hope you guys have a great time creating your own curtain!

gradient mesh curtain

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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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    chanduramse February 1st

    It is helpful

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    Nayak February 13th

    Its help me to fulfill my creative idea.
    Thank you

  5. Gravtar for Jayesh
    Jayesh February 28th

    Excellent !

  6. Gravtar for RAVENDRA
    RAVENDRA March 4th

    well tutorial was this it helped me alot in using of gradient mesh

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    Sachu March 15th

    Excellent, So helpful….

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    sagar April 10th

    Best, I can’t believe this
    this is a best tutorial

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    Rinoju May 7th

    Thx for sharing

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    Jaimi May 12th

    Made the curtains this morning and used it for my mother’s Mother’s Day DVD! Big Thx

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    iStockdiary May 13th

    Great Jaimi! Can u send me what you have done? I would like to have a look.

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    Excellent, Exactly what I’ve been looking for

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    i was completely shocked when i saw this tutorials. It’s awesome and really cool stuff….

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    Thanks. You can share it with your friends, stumble it or digg my site. That will be my greatest appreciation~

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    Dar June 10th

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

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    prince June 21st

    its very nice

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    jenny July 2nd

    thanks a lot! This is a very good tutorial!!

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    Good Easy Method

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    LUV IT!!!

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    BogDinamita August 29th

    surprisingly easy method.

  21. Gravtar for Zabimaru
    Zabimaru September 4th

    This is an excellent tutorial. It was so surprisingly easy.

    I also used the warp tool along the lower edge of my curtain to give it a flowing look there instead of a straight edge.

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    dinesh October 6th

    amazing:) thanks for sharing

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    very use full thanks alot…………….

  27. Gravtar for Rebornbear
    Rebornbear February 16th

    To complete zabimaru’s comment, I’d add that you can pull the clearer “folds” of the curtain out of the original rectangle and push the the darker “folds” inside to make quite a good 3D effect

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    very good thanks

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    Treb March 18th

    Great Tut, ive only just started using illustrator about a week ago, and this tut has helped me a lot in doing part of a uni assignment, thanks!!!

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    nasa March 20th

    Great tutorial! I decided to go with a variety of different shades instead of just black — switch the color to HSB and adjust the brightness. This allows sections to “pop out” more and others to be partially in shadow. The other change I made was to add in points where only the top or bottom was darkened, so that they would appear as a fold which started in view.


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    amazing!!,I don’t think i can do it but you help me a lot.thanks.

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    its such a simple but effective trick,that i absolutely loved it.

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    Please, can anybody send this made in illustrator, I am beginner and it is difficult to me. Send me the file (.ai) on if anybody has done it. Thanks.

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    fantabuloso, impresionante!!!

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    nice tuts!
    THX for sharing..

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    Very nice but what about the bottom of the curtain ?

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    perde modelleri curtain

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    good tut man …

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  44. Gravtar for Alfred
    Alfred April 12th

    I have a problem here, The color that appear is not really black in the shadows, It’s like a dark red. The color doesn’t appear like your example.

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    Ahhh!.. save my day!!…great tutorial, simple and useful.

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