I am a veteran with Photoshop but somewhat of a newbie with Illustrator. I am working on creating this vector self-portrait...

I have a layer called 'Silhouette' which forms the main background of the portrait, which other shapes layered on top...

I'm just wondering, is there any way to easily select the portion of the image in Illustrator (which I have highlighted in orange in Photoshop for demonstration purpose... Magic wand tool: bam, done.) and convert this to a shape? Or do I still have to create the shape/paths manually?

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • You have to create the shape "manually" but you can use tools other than the pen tool to help you. Because you have shapes made around it, you can copy those shapes and use the pathfinder tool to leave what you need behind. Is the gray shape that you need connected to the neck/head right now?
    – CmdZzz
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 19:43
  • Or can you post a screenshot of the gray shape selected so I can see where all it goes?
    – CmdZzz
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


Pathfinder.. shape builder... live paint bucket... all possibilities. Hard to say without knowing how you got it orange.

You could copy it all, or at least the lower section, and then hit Divide, Merge, or Trim on the Pathfinder Panel, then everything is its own shape. But you will lose the silhouette (which is why I posted to "copy it all").

Pathfinder helpful info: In Pathfinder window, what is the difference between a shape mode and a pathfinder?

  • He got it orange by importing it into Photoshop.
    – user53083
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 20:29

To point only one method:

  • select all objects that have a common border with your target area
  • take the Shape Builder tool
  • click the area that needs to be selected

=> Ready, you have a new exactly fitting shape

NOTE: There must exist shapes and curves that limit the wanted area with no gaps. If a gap exists, you must temporarily fill it by drawing something that covers the gap. This seems not to be a problem in your case.

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