This paper presents a method to generate high quality triangular or quadrilateral meshes that uses direction fields and a frontal point insertion strategy. Two types of direction fields are considered: asterisk fields and cross fields. With asterisk fields we generate high quality triangulations, while with cross fields we generate right-angled triangulations that are optimal for transformation to quadrilateral meshes. The input of our algorithm is an initial triangular mesh and a direction field calculated on it. The goal is to compute the vertices of the final mesh by an advancing front strategy along the direction field. We present an algorithm that enables to efficiently generate the points using solely information from the base mesh. A multi-threaded implementation of our algorithm is presented, allowing us to achieve significant speedup of the point generation. Regarding the quadrangulation process, we develop a quality criterion for right-angled triangles with respect to the local cross field and an optimization process based on it. Thus we are able to further improve the quality of the output quadrilaterals. The algorithm is demonstrated on the sphere and examples of high quality triangular and quadrilateral meshes of coastal domains are presented.