How to Make a Gradient Mesh in Photoshop for Mac

Written by xandra lynn
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How to Make a Gradient Mesh in Photoshop for Mac
A gradient is a blend of colours you can create using graphics software. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A gradient mesh is a large editable swatch of multiple colours which blend together to form a gradient. Photoshop does not actually allow you to create a gradient mesh in the same sense as Adobe Illustrator, which allows for an editable gradient mesh in vector format. In order to have something similar to a gradient mesh in Photoshop, because there is no actual tool for it, the best option is to mimic the effect of a gradient mesh by creating a gradient style layer and then applying the "Warp" effect to it. This can be done in Photoshop whether you are using a Mac or PC.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click the "New Layer" icon in the layers palette to create a new layer in your project. On a Mac, use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-N.

  2. 2

    Select "Edit" then "Fill" to fill the new layer with a base colour from your colour picker.

  3. 3

    Select "Layer Style" then "Gradient Overlay" under the "Layer" menu to apply a gradient overlay to your layer. You can also click the "Layer Style" icon in your layer palette and select "Gradient Overlay."

  4. 4

    Change or add colours and directions to the gradient overlay until the desired gradient is reached. Click "OK" when complete.

  5. 5

    Create a new blank layer. Select both your applied gradient layer and the new blank layer and select "Merge Layers" in the "Layer Options" menu. The layer effect will disappear and you will have a pixel-based layer that can be warped in a similar sense to a mesh.

  6. 6

    Go to the "Edit" menu, "Transform," and "Warp" to apply a warp effect to your gradient layer. A grid with editable vertices will appear, allowing you to grab the handles and distort your gradient to edit it. This will mimic the controls of an Illustrator gradient mesh by allowing you to move the point of the gradient along a grid.

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