I looked up for this particular kind of question but didn't get good results.

So what I've been trying to create seems to be simple but I can't get a workaround. I have this kind of line art flower I'm working on: flower line art I'm making

And this is the actual result I'm looking for: actual result

What I'm trying to achieve is that the selected petals of the flower do not overlap each other and show what's behind the gaps between the lines of the front petal. The front petal should be in the front and show nothing else behind it.

I've tried filling the front petal with white but it screws up the blend effect it has.

I've tried making a clipping mask as well, but it didn't really work.

Do you guys have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance. :)

2 Answers 2


You need separate shapes. You won't get great results trying to pull off the blend and a fill with the same objects. Even adding additional fills via the Appearance Panel will work unexpectedly with blends.

I would create a shape of the entire petal, add a white fill to it, move it behind the line work, and group...

enter image description here

So, each pedal consists of a solid white shape under the line work. Therefor overlapping/stacking will hide what's behind any particular pedal and I don't need to worry about clipping masks.

Part of the issue you may find with clipping masks is they are localized, meaning they hide what's outside the defined mask shape for that group of objects, not what's behind the clipping mask everywhere on the artboard. So, while a clipping mask may hide the blend outside the overall pedal shape, it's going to still show pedals through one another unless you create a clipping mask on the underlying pedals to hide their blends where things overlap. In short.... clipping masks to do what you want would be nightmare and way, way, way more involved than merely using a solid filled shape.

  • yes, that helped very much. thank you for the answer.
    – citrikp
    Feb 10, 2018 at 17:19

Another way: Use envelope distortion instead of blending.

An example:

enter image description here

  1. Draw a bunch of lines and a rectangle behind them. Here one horizontal line was drawn and it was copied with Object > Transform > Move > Copy (distance), repeat with Ctrl+D. The rectangle makes the result opaque. It can be white, if that's needed.

  2. Draw the wanted envelope shape. It's color is arbitary.

  3. Place the envelope shape onto the lines and rectangle, select all

  4. Goto Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Top Object

(Learn also how to use preset Warp shapes and Envelope mesh as alternative distortion definition methods)

  1. Another envelope shape is tried and the background has got gradient fill.

  2. The result has got shading - not a masterpiece, but shading anyway

  3. The result in 6 is not by any means fixed. You can release the envelope distortion and edit all parts. They can be edited also without releasing the envelope. There's special mode for envelope editing. It can be started with Object > Envelope Distort > Edit Envelope. The envelope shape has been edited with the direct selection tool.

The gradient has been made steeper in isolation mode. The gradient and other details of the lines and colored rectangle are accessible only there. Double clicking is a way to the isolation mode. Another way is to select the shape and right click it. One of the options is "Isolate selected group". Esc key stops the isolation mode.

Opacity mask can be useful when trimming the ends:

enter image description here

  1. A complex envelope & gradient shading are attempted.

  2. The result is not perfect. Especially the total effect of dense lines and the gradient at the ends were guessed wrong. The black areas are too big.

  3. A couple of black shapes with slight gaussian blur are inserted and grouped. They are used as opacity mask.

  4. Select all. Goto the top right corner menu of the Transparency panel and click "Make Opacity Mask". No Clip, No inversion => Black makes the underlying parts invisible, blurring makes the edges soft.

  • oh wow, thank you very much, very complete answer. this has helped me as well.
    – citrikp
    Feb 11, 2018 at 22:56

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