Basics of Transparency in Illustrator

Learn the basics of working with Blending Modes and Transparency in Illustrator. This video tutorial is an excerpt from our class, Illustrator 2, and the topics we’ll cover include: How to apply Transparency in Illustrator, the Multiply Blending Mode, Screen Blending Mode, Complex and Basic Appearances, Transparent Strokes, Transparent Gradients and more.

Transparency in Illustrator

Transparency is a great way to work with color in Illustrator. When you use the Multiply Blending Mode, you can layer colors on top of each other and achieve a blended color effect that is similar to what you can do with watercolor. The resulting blends of colors are great for adding shadows and can create a natural harmony in your overall color schemes, often better than you can do by just picking colors randomly from the color picker.

If you are already working with transparency in Illustrator, and you are creating new colors from overlapping transparent fills, you may be wondering how you can capture those blended colors to store in your swatches panel.


This Illustrator webinar: Your Illustrator Questions Part 1 has a quick 3 minute demonstration starting at 25:00 that shows how to use Object > Flatten Transparency to capture blended colors.

We have so many demonstrations captured from Laura’s time teaching Illustrator for Renee Pearson. To see the whole webinar collection (no password required) jump to our Webinars page.