Illustrator Practice Demos: Mesh Gradients
For this demo, we created gradient mesh apples using the ellipse tool, and the mesh tool (above the eyedropper) to create a 3d effect on a simple shape.
Once you have a general grid over the area made on a separate layer, use the direct selection tool to select the general color around the point. Go back in forth from outline mode to see the colors in action. Selecting the point outside of Outline Mode (control+y), and fill it while in Outline Mode.
Tips: FIRST, when locking the bottom image, double-click on the layer and make it a template, UNCHECK dim.