I am using Adobe Illustrator and I have a ribbon shape that I have created using the pen tool and line segments.

I need to know how to isolate areas so I can fill them with a colour and create the illusion that the back and front of the ribbon curves through my layout.

How can I isolate parts of the shape I've created to add or change colours?

  • do you have any screenshots?
    – Ilan
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 19:48

2 Answers 2


You can split your general shape into several parts to apply different fills:

1) make the desired number of copies by pasting them directly in front of the original shape: copy with Ctrl+C ---> paste to front by Ctrl+F

2) then draw a subtracting shape over one of that copies, make them both selected (but not any of the other copies below!), and use the Pathfinder panel - find a button "Minus front"

Thus you should get the desired parts of the original shape to fill them with different colors/gradients/patterns to achieve the realistic image of ribbon :)


Select all.

Grab the Live Paint Bucket Tool

Click once to create Live Paint Group

Pick a swatch color

click where you want that color.

When everything is colored, click the Expand button in the control bar across the top of the screen.

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