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

64 thoughts on “Illustrator Tutorial: Realistic Curtain”

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.


  6. 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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