How Did I Make The Stem On My Gradient Mesh Pepper?

Jalapeño pepper drawn with the Gradient Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator I drew this pepper in Adobe Illustrator using the Gradient Mesh tool. I made a YouTube video of the Gradient Mesh process and it is one of my most viewed videos. When I look at the views (more 10,000 at this writing) I feel like a superstar.

YouTube viewer, Sarah Marquez, asked, “How did you do the stem?” First, let me say, I owe my Gradient Mesh prowess to the Red Pepper Gradient Mesh Tutorial by Brooke Nunez of

A half-done gradient mesh of a red pepper

The Gradient Mesh Tutoria from

So, how did I do the stem?

It is a bunch of long, thin shapes filled with green and brown linear gradients—not gradient meshes, but the good old Gradient Tool. Drawing all those shapes and filling them with linear gradients is not a quick process, but I think it makes a good “wooden” texture.

The stem showing a gradient

I drew the entire stem shape and filled it with a linear gradient from dark green to light green.

The stem with a smaller shape filled with a linear gradient

I drew many long, thin shapes filled with linear gradients.

The stem with many gradient annotators

This shows all the little linear gradients that make up the stem.

Below are my YouTube videos showing the gradient mesh part of the pepper. I don’t show my work on the stem in the videos. I just mention it at the end.

Let me know if you have any Gradient Mesh questions. (You could be one of the first to comment on one of my posts.)

Sampling Colors Outside Photoshop or Illustrator

Did you know you can sample color from a web page, or anything else on your screen right from Photoshop or Illustrator, without a pluggin or extension?

Sampling Colors outside Photoshop

To sample a color outside Photoshop, press the Eyedropper inside the Photoshop image and drag out to the color you want to "grab."

In Photoshop, just select the Eye Dropper tool, press down inside the Photoshop document window, hold down while you move your cursor outside the window and over the color you want to sample. Let up on the mouse and the color will be the foreground color in Photoshop. Save it as a swatch, if you like.

The same technique works in Illustrator.

I learned this from