Hello stackexchange community,

I will try to illustrate what I'm trying to do. I have started with this cartoon mouth:

enter image description here

I want to make the mouth open like this: enter image description here

I want to fill in this area between two paths but I can't find a way of doing so without crudely closing the highlighted path on top of the mouth. Surely there must be some more efficient way? I read somewhere that an anchor point can only have 1 in path and 1 out path, so it's not possible to join 3 'lines' at the one intersecting anchor point.

Thank You in advance.

2 Answers 2


A quick solution would be to quickly (and crudely) continue the path along the path of the upper lip and close it, then send the object behind the upper part of the mouth.

But to keep things tidy, another possible solution would be to copy the upper lip path, paste in place>expand/expand appearance (so it's a shape now, rather than a path). Then take the path for the mouth and quickly draw anchors above the lip portion and close it. Expand/Expand appearance to this as well.

See below.

enter image description here

Then make sure your upper lip shape is above the mouth (in the layers panel) and, using pathfinder, select both objects and Minus Front. Then using the direct selection tool (white arrow) and delete the left-over paths above your mouth. This will leave you with the lip shape cut out of the mouth portion.

As long as you copy and pasted the original objects properly what is left will look similar to this.

enter image description here

Also if you want to make the lower portion filled in rather than an outline, before expanding the mouth paths in the first step, make the shape a filled path with your stroke.


Try the Live Paint feature.

Select the top and bottom lips, then choose Object > Live Paint > Make

Then choose the Live Paint tool (press k), choose a fill colour and click in the area to fill it.

Some things to consider:

  • Variable stroke widths are lost unless you first expand appearance (I say this because it looks like you may have used variable stroke width on the top lip)
  • Paths need to overlap (or very nearly overlap) for live paint to work. And they need to remain overlapped unless/until you expand appearance.

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