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Hello everyone. I'm a web designer who is brand new to graphic design. I've been experimenting this evening, trying to learn new skills using YouTube tutorials.

I've spent the last 1-2 hours trying to figure out what I'm about to ask you all. I really hope there's an easy answer (I tried erasing and that was just NOT clean).

I want to make the colored ellipses appear only behind the mountains, like a sun. So I need to figure out how to make all of the other colored areas transparent.

Hopefully this question makes sense.

  • Have you looked up tutorials on how to create a clipping mask?
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 20, 2018 at 0:21
  • No, I've never heard of it. Will that be required to do what I'm trying to do here?
    – Tiffany
    Jan 20, 2018 at 0:22
  • I've added an answer now.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 20, 2018 at 10:47

3 Answers 3


Use a clipping mask. Here's how:

  • Group the elements which make up the sun.
  • With Smart Guides on, draw a Path with the pen tool around the sun and the top of the mountains.
  • Using the Selection Tool (V), and holding down Shift, select both the new path and the sun group.
  • Click Object > Clipping Mask > Make
  • Then click Object > Arrange > Send to Back

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If you want to be sure that the colors behind an object are not seen there are 2 ways:

  1. color the object above
  2. delete the portion of the underlying object

The object above is called A and the object below is called B.

method 1:

To color object A just select it and give it a color from the Color Panel or the Toolbar.

method 2:

To delete the portion of an object I use the Shape Builder Tool (great time saver). Often I prefer that both objects are shapes and not strokes, in this case I select the stroke/path and I expand it going in the menu Object -> Expand...

Then select object A and object B and with the Shape Builder Tool [Shift + M] select the portion you want to remove.

Then with the Selection Tool [V] select the portion and delete it [delete | backspace].

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I think you mean removing front object from behind one, because it's not possible to transparent front one and still don't see back one. here my suggestion:

  1. Mix up your design
  2. Select both objects, then
  3. Show up pathfinder from Window menu > Pathfinder
  4. And while objects are selected click on "Minus front" (The Red marked option on pathfinder in image below.)

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