I was editing an image on illustrator (i have photoshop as well), but the after removing the background, the inside colours were taken off as well. I put the background of the page as blue so you can see the contrast. I wanted the hair, flag, face, torso, arm, hand and one of the feathers on the right wing to still be white. essentially i wanted everything outside the outline to go. the other image with the white background is what was sent to me any help will be great. thanks

. enter image description hereenter image description here

  • 1
    How did you "remove the background" In Illustrator?
    – Scott
    Feb 3, 2020 at 22:36
  • 1
    I suspect it's because of the gaps in your line drawing.
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 4, 2020 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


The black shape seems to be a traced bitmap image - it's too complex to be a native vector drawing. So, the black curves aren't strokes, they are areas filled with black. If these guesses are right do the following

enter image description here

  1. The original shape

  2. Gaps are filled; this is a red square (=outlined stroke) for easy removal if the gap is wanted to stay. It cannot be a stroke, it must be a filled area!

  3. Select all, click the Shape Builder tool, select "no stroke" and the wanted fill color. Fill the areas.

  4. The patch on the gap is removed.

The fill is a new separate new, it can have any color.

This is a test result with this method:

enter image description here

Your 2nd image is traced as black and white (fill only, no stroke, ignore white). Few patches were inserted to the bottom edge of a wing and top left corner of the flag. Shape Builder fill color was white. The patches are removed and a blue BG was inserted.

BTW double clicking the Shape Builder tool icon opens a dialog where one can set option"Gap detection" =ON. That can solve the problem with no gap patches. But you must click with the Shape builder tool many more times.

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