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In this tutorial we will review in details the technique of creating an abstract waving background. The tutorial includes a detailed description and a lot of professional advice that will be useful in your future practice by simplifying and accelerating the workflow.This tutorial is made in the RGB color mode (File > Document Color Mode > RGB color).
Create a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M), and then fill it with a radial gradient from white to light gray color. Move the white slider of the gradient slightly to the right of the gradient. This will be the basis for our background. I always start a composition with the creation of the background, as it allows me to correctly pick the colors of other elements and determines the overall color and lighting solution.
Take the Gradient Tool (G) and click in the upper right side of the rectangle. This action leads to the transformation of the radial gradient into the eccentric.
Of course, I do not insist on the complete repetition of the steps in this tutorial. I'm just showing which way I was taking. It will be better if you find your own solutions, based on the proposed techniques, especially as refers to the creation of an abstract background.
Create a new rectangle, the size and position of which is the same as of the rectangle created in the first step. It can be easily done if you use the artboard. In addition, Smart Guides mode (View > Smart Guides or Command / Ctrl + U) allows you to align the cursor exactly with the angles of the artboard. Fill the rectangle with radial gradient from white to light gray color.
Apply to the upper rectangle the Multiply blending mode in the Transparency panel.
Only after you have applied the blending mode, you can start experimenting with the fills of both rectangles to achieve the desired lighting effect. In this example I moved the center of the radial gradient and extended it.
In fact, it is very important to understand that when you are working with transparencies, you must first install the required blending mode, and then adjust the solid colors and gradient fills, control other options of the gradients.
Now let's proceed to the most important part of our tutorial – the creation of a wave. Using the Pen Tool (P) draw two wavy paths, similarly to shown below.
Duplicate both paths (Command / Ctrl + C, Command / Ctrl + F), then lock two new objects in the Layers panel.
I often lock the objects with which I will be working later, otherwise they will just get in the way while doing the necessary manipulations with other objects.