Illustrator noob here (pls bear with me).

I'm trying to make a face, and I want to add some shading on the left cheek, so this is my process: first make the shading, and then clip it to the original face shape underneath.

enter image description here

The shape of the shadow is right, but the actual face-shape disappears. What I've been doing to avoid this problem is to just copy/paste the original face shape, and clip the shading-shape to the copied-face-shape.

But if I modify the original face shape, the shape of the shadow doesn't modify along with it: enter image description here

Is there a smarter/better way to clip the shadow to the face so that, if the original face shape is changed, the shadow also changes accordingly?

1 Answer 1


You can use the 'Draw Inside' drawing mode.


1. Start with your face (a little different from yours I know...):


2. With the shape you want to clip to selected, chose the Draw Inside drawing mode:

You can also hit SHIFT + D to cycle through drawing modes.

Draw Inside

3. Draw your shadows, highlights and anything you want clipped to the shape of the face.

The Draw Inside drawing mode basically does exactly as you are currently doing but without the shape 'disappearing'. And without manually having to create clipping masks and clipping the paths directly to the original shape without having to edit duplicate masks every time you make a change.

shadows and higlights

4. Enjoy your face.

(I have no idea what's going on with the shape of this guys face...)


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