Learn to Create a Liquid Effect and Enhance Your Portfolio

At Freepik, we want our contributors to be up-to-date on the latest trends. Users are always looking for new and unique ideas for their projects, so following the most recent trends is essential to reach out to them. 

We’re halfway through the year now (time flies!). During the last months, some trends have proved to be quite popular among designers, and we don’t want our contributors to miss them out. One of them is the liquid or fluid effect, a technique that combines irregular shapes with color variation. This liquid-like effect provides your designs with a vibrant and fresh look and can be used in a diverse range of resources! So, if you want to make the most of your portfolio and create original content, keep reading! 

In this post, our contributor Myriam Mira shares with us a tutorial on how to create a colorful and modern liquid effect that can be applied to different types of designs. So… let’s get started! 

1. How to Create the Liquid Effect
Video tutorial


1. Open up a new project in Illustrator and start creating circular shapes. They don’t need to be perfect circles. You can use the Ellipse Tool to draw some of them, and the Pencil Tool or the Pen Tool to insert irregular shapes. By drawing different forms, you’ll create this sort of drops-like effect.

2. Once created, go to the Object menu and click on Create Gradient Mesh. Please note that the more rows and columns it has, the more realistic the drops will look like. Set Appearance to Flat and Highlight to 100%.

Alternatively: you can also insert the mesh with the Mesh Tool. In this case, click on the element to add mesh points.

3. After creating the mesh, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the anchor points and apply color. To give it a more realistic effect, you may need to generate light and dark areas. To do that, employ different tones and colors to create lights and shadows.

Pro tip: use photos of real drops as a reference to check how colors can be applied.

It’s important that you’re consistent when adding the lights and shadows and always apply them in the same place in each drop. Create a color palette beforehand and make sure each color has different dark and light tones.

4. The drops are ready! What’s next? As it’s a versatile design, you can apply it to a wide variety of resources such as landing pages, banners, flyers, business cards, etc.

Liquid Effect Background

In this tutorial, I’ve used the drops to create a modern and original background. Do you want to know how I made it? Follow these steps:

1. First, open up a new project in Illustrator. Then, copy and paste the drops you created before. Place them freely on the artboard. Modify their size to add depth and perspective to the final result.

2. After that, add some blur to the drops (especially to the ones in the background) with the Gaussian Blur tool. You can also reduce the opacity of the blurred drops in the background. Besides, to intensify the depth effect, shadows are a good option. 

3. Dark backgrounds are usually the best choice when working with the liquid effect. However, it will depend on the color you used for the drops. Play around with different options and choose the color you like the most.

4. If you want, you can also add text. However, if that’s the case, please make sure it’s written in proper English and meet the requirements established by Freepik.

5. Finally, you can insert other details such as lines, dots, or geometrical shapes to turn it into a more elaborate design.

This is the result:

liquid effect background

Cool, right? If you like this design, you can download it here.


2. How to Use the Liquid Effect

Now you are ready to create your own liquid effect. Give it a shot in your next submission and boost your downloads! But, if you want some inspiration and need a little push, below we show you some examples from Freepik using this effect:

Landing pages

abstract landing page liquid effect

landing abstract liquid effect


flyer liquid effect contributor

flyer music fest liquid effect


template sale liquid effect

template liquid effect

Bannersbanner abstract liquid

abstract banner liquid

Business Cards

business card liquid effect

business card liquid effect

Did you like this tutorial? We really hope that you found it useful and start including this modern effect in your next creations! An original and vast portfolio is essential to increase your downloads, so remember to be up-to-date on the latest design trends and offer quality content.

If you aren’t a contributor and want to join our universe, click on the button below and get ready to spark your creativity!

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