1. Open a new document of size 300 X 300 px size in Illustrator CS5. This tutorial works alike for any size and resolution document in Illustrator CS5.
2. Take the Ellipse tool and draw a circle or ellipse whatever you prefer. For simplicity, I preferred circle. Once you draw, select the circle object with selection tool and click the gradient tool in tools panel to the left to activate the gradient tool. Now click on the selected circle. Normally when you do like this, the default gradient will apply to the circle which is ’Linear- Black and White Gradient.’ Instead of clicking the gradient tool on the selected object you can select your predefined gradients if any present in the fill box of your control panel keeping the object selected. I applied pink and white gradient to my circle which looks like below.
3. Now here the actual question comes. I want to change the colors of the gradient with some other colors from my Swatches window. This kind of question wil rise when you are painting an artwork in Illustrator and suddenly you want to change the gradient colors of your artwork. So here it goes how you do that.
4. Illustrator Swatches have tones of colors under different categories. So here I want to show how to change the gradient colors with Pantone Solid Uncoated colors. If your Swatches window is not open yet, open it from the Menu bar- Window- Swatches. It opens the Swatches panel. So lets dock it with our Gradient panel. Now click the small button to the right of the Swatch panel having a small down arrow as shown below.
5. It opens the swatch library. select any color book from different color books available in the swatches library. I selected Pantone Solid Uncoated color book. So now I will change the original pink in the gradient with the Pantone Red color. If you see the gradient panel which is docked with swatches panel, you can see your already selected gradient which in this tutorial is white and pink linear gradient. If you observe the gradient panel closely, you can see tiny pointers called gradient sliders at the bottom of gradient box. They show what color the gradient is filled with. In this case the gradient sliders carry white and pink. I want to change the gradient slider from pink to Pantone red. If you click the pink gradient slider to select it and then click the pantone red from the pantone colors panel, the whole circle Fill will change from gradient to solid red like below.
6. Instead click CTRL-Z to undo the fill. Now your gradient fill is back in the circle. Now click the pantone red color and drag the red color on to the pink gradient slider in the Gradient panel. It looks like in the image below.
7. Now the gradient slider color changes from pink to red and your circle has white and red linear gradient as below.
8. If this tutorial helps you and you enjoyed it, please leave comments.