I'm trying to create something like this:

enter image description here

(Ignore the gray diagonal line)

I have the female symbol and the rainbow flag. I know how to add stroke, create clipping masks, and create interlocking solid-color shapes with the live paint bucket, but I can't put everything together to make this design. The logical way, I think, would be to "bring forward" or "send backward" a part of a shape by selecting nodes, but I don't think that's possible. How should I go about doing this?

1 Answer 1


First, create a Gradient:

enter image description here

You can get hard edges in a gradient by placing color stops at the same location. For example, above there is a red and an orange color stop both at 15%, then an orange and a yellow color stop both at 30%, then repeated for yellow/green, green/blue, blue/purple.

Then, draw one shape. Duplicate and move it. Use the Shape Builder Tool to drag across areas that need to appear on top... and lastly apply the gradient you just made.

enter image description here

(Final colors here are a bit muddy due to gif dithering.)

If you must use a Clipping Mask, the overall construction is the same.. duplicate shape and use the Shape Builder Tool.


  • Copy both shapes.
  • Move your image to be clipped into place and behind the shapes
  • Select the image and first shape and choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make
  • Repeat for the second shape

Now if you want a stroke on all of it, adding strokes to clipping masks can be problematic. it is often best to replicate the mask path to add the stroke. To do this.... since I copied the shapes already and they are on the clipboard.

  • Choose Edit > Paste in Front. This will paste the shapes I copied exactly in the same position where they were copied, but on the top of the object stack.

From here, it's just a matter of removing the fill and adjusting the stroke.

enter image description here

So this builds 2 clipping mask shapes, then 2 additional shapes on top for the strokes.

enter image description here

When it's all aligned things look as they should...

enter image description here

Just select all and Object > Group to keep it all together.

  • really nice tutorial!
    – Alith7
    Sep 10, 2020 at 20:04
  • Yes really nice. I was a couple of minutes from posting my solution using clipping mask on a duplicate of one of the symbols to create the overlap, but this is better ...
    – Wolff
    Sep 10, 2020 at 20:06
  • My gradient is a bit sloppy though. It could be better defined :)
    – Scott
    Sep 10, 2020 at 20:14
  • @Scott I didn't think of using a gradient instead of a clipping mask. Nice!
    – ironcito
    Sep 11, 2020 at 2:19
  • 1
    Answer updated with a clipping mask @ironcito
    – Scott
    Sep 11, 2020 at 16:52

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