Color Fills and Gradients in DraftSight

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated January 3, 2023


Hatching drawings is easy in DraftSight. Creating color fills and gradients, like the below example, is just as easy. We’ve already covered using the HATCH command in a previous article. Now we’ll turn our attention to the FILLAREA command.

color and gradients

Hatch vs Fillarea command

The HATCH and FILLAREA commands launch the same dialog box with two tabs. HATCH takes you straight to the ‘Hatch’ tab, and FILLAREA takes you to the ‘Fill’ tab. It doesn’t really make a lot of difference which command you use, because you can switch from one tab to another whenever you like.

The first tab is for creating hatches, including solid single-color fill. A Hatch entity fills the selected area with a specified hatch pattern. One of the available patterns is called ‘SOLID’, and it does exactly what you’d expect. The selected area is filled in with a single color, usually the color of the layer the resulting Hatch entity is on.

 hatch and fill window

The second tab is for creating color gradients. If you select the ‘One color’ option, the selected color will be darker on one side of the pattern and lighter on the other. A slider lets you tweak the balance between light and dark. Orientation controls let you change the angle, which changes which direction the gradient originates from. A pull-down tile selector gives you multiple choices of how the color gradient will be applied. For example, you could choose inside out, instead of the default left to right. By unchecking the ‘Symmetric’ box, a whole new set of selections become available. For example, you could make the gradient transition from lower left to upper right.

hatch and fill window

The ‘Two color’ option allows you to select any two colors and create a blend between them, instead of the single-color dark to light gradient created by the ‘One color’ option. This can be especially nice for representing a body of water, such as a lake, pond, or swimming pool.

Using the Fill tab

To create the example above I took a screen capture of satellite imagery of a local park and pasted it into DraftSight. I then used the SPLINE command to trace over the shoreline of a small lake, and what I like to call “Bird Island.” I used the OFFSET command on the larger Spline entity to create a shoreline area I could hatch or fill. Then I used the ‘Fill’ tab to create three different Gradient entities.

The lake itself is a blue to cyan two-color fill at an angle of 180 degrees, so the darker blue is on the right side of the lake instead of the left. For the shoreline I used a green to dark green two-color fill at an angle of 180 degrees so the lighter green would contrast with the darker blue, and vice versa. For the island I also used a green to dark green two-color fill, with the option to have the darker color originate from the center.

Sometimes there will be internal regions you do not want to hatch or fill inside the boundary, as is the case with the island in the above example. Sometimes there will be internal regions within internal regions. In such a case, how they’re handled can be controlled by clicking the ‘Additional Options…’ button and selecting between the ‘Out’, ‘In/Out’, and ‘Ignore’ display settings.

additional options for area hatch-fill

You can edit an existing Gradient entity just like you can a Hatch entity. Just double-click on it to return to the Hatch / Fill dialog box. Or click on the entity, right-click, and select ‘Hatch Edit…’ from the context menu. You could also type the EDITHATCH command, which also works on Gradients. From the dialog box you can also change a Hatch entity to a Gradient, or a Gradient to a Hatch just by going from one tab to the other.

To learn more about what you can do with the HATCH, -HATCH, and FILLAREA commands, consult DraftSight Help:

About Creating Hatches, Fills and Gradients – 2023 – DraftSight Help (


DraftSight makes it easy to fill areas in a drawing with one or two color gradients. The controls available for how the colors are applied give you a wide range of creative choices. Play around with it and add a little color to those boring line drawings.

Related Links

Find Related Content by TAG:

TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.