How can I make an image like this?

enter image description here

When I try doing this in Adobe Illustrator, it ends up like this. the final few circles overlap with the first few. How do I avoid this?

enter image description here

  • I try do the circle colours (Like 2nd image) but the final work appear (like 1st image) I use adobe illustrator CC 2015 – Moath Atwan Aug 10 '15 at 7:32
  • 2
    Ordering of the circles is the problem, somehow they would need to under-lap AND over-lap at the same time. I dont think this can be achieved by just arranging circles – Digital Lightcraft Aug 10 '15 at 7:38

Let me suggest a solution with a slightly better workflow. Recognize that the same shape repeats several times so let us first make that one shape. So:

  1. Create a circle.
  2. Rotate circle by 360/8° from a corner point (Alt+LMB click). (replace 8 with any amount of petals you want)

    Rotate from side

    Image 1: Rotate one copy

  3. Use shape builder or pathfinder to carve out the one shape.

    Make one petal

    Image 2: Make one petal with shapebulilder. (or use pathfinder)

  4. Rotate object by 360/8° from corner, then hit ctrl+D repeatedly until you have a full circle.


    Image 3: Replicate by repeating last transform

  5. Change colors.


Alright alright, do it like this:

Step 1: Draw the circles counter clockwise. Step1

Step 2: Arrange the first circle on top of the others (Right click > Arrange > Bring to Front).

Step 2

Step 3: Select the last circle and the first one, click on the shape builder.

Step 4: Click on the last circle, this will cut it.

Step 5: Arrange the first circle to the bottom of the others (Right click > Arrange > Send to Back.

Step 6: You see the last circle will have a cut, it's 2 pieces now.

Step 6

Delete the small piece and there you have it.


  • Thanks for your respond, but i try do it by adobe illustrator but the final work look like that – Moath Atwan Aug 10 '15 at 7:21
  • The problem here is layering, I'm trying to figure this out in my head!!!! – Digital Lightcraft Aug 10 '15 at 7:36
  • This may be one of those cases where shape builder comes in handy. – joojaa Aug 10 '15 at 9:54

I wanted to create a scatter brush using a flower with overlapping petals (think plumeria) and did not want to use the Shapebuilder; I didn't want to cut all of the petals, as I wanted to be able to edit and adjust them later. Moreover, I had an expanded gradient in the petals and Shapebuilder does not treat such objects kindly since the expanded gradient is, in reality, a collection of shapes. Instead. I selected the strokes on the last petal and the first one, duplicated them and moved them off of the rest of the work.

First and last petals selected and moved over to the side

Then I used the Pathfinder's 'Minus Front' tool to cut the last petal's overlap into the first petal.

Last petal's stroke cut into the first one

Then I replaced the first petal's stroke with the cut one.

The cut stroke replacing the first petal's original stroke

I realize that this is not the most elegant workflow, nor is it applicable to all such situations but it is workable in cases like this where the Shapebuilder cannot be used and it does have the virtue of preserving all of the shapes intact except for the one trimmed stroke, which can be recreated if necessary. This leaves you free to adjust and modify the various components.

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