Hi I'm new and struggling with this if anyone has a minute to help explain what's going on here I would really appreciate it. I don't understand why specific parts of my drawings are filled in with either color or gradient. How do most of you go about coloring in Illustrator?

I'm also trying to figure out how to mask part of this shoe behind the pants. I tried putting the shoe on a separate layer and changing the drawing mode but this only seems to work with a fill object. How do people normally go about this? thanks for your time

  • your first image looks like you were using lines with fill. In this case illustrator will fill in the shape with the specifies color. You can get rid of this by specifying "none" as fill color. While having the tool selected click in the color chooser in the upper bar and then select for the fill color "none". It looks like white but with a red strikethrou - it should be at the very end of the color list.
    – BlueWizard
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 5:46
  • As long as you don't fill your pants with white color (or any other color) they will just be a buch of lines. And you cannot hide a shoe (also a buch of lines) behind some more lines. You have to either make the pants have a fill (and thus hide all layers below or remove all lines of the shoe that should be hidden behind the pants. You can use a layer mask - thus you only make selected parts of the invisible without removing actual lines
    – BlueWizard
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 5:49
  • 1
    This may help.... graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/86468/… -- after reading that.. realize that fills (solid, gradient, or patterns) should only be applied to closed paths not open paths.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 7:25
  • 1
    @JonasDralle Consider to write your texts as an answer despite the elementary nature of the question. The questioner definitely seems to have something that earns an answer.
    – user82991
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 8:25
  • Sorry i write from mobile device. For a full answer one might provide images of where excactly to click
    – BlueWizard
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


Solid Colors

You have already tried to fill the shoe by using the illustrator "fill". But your shoe is made up of seperate lines. Illustrator looks at every line as a different shape.

You can merge all the lines into a single shape and then fill might produce the correct result.

You can select all lines of the shoe and then use the Pathfinder tool to create a single shape from the lines. Alternatively look at the "Object" Menu. There should be tools for merging multiple shapes into one. (I am not sure how the tools in there are called, sorry)

Alternatively you can create a shape without border and put it below your outline. Then you fill this single shape. Your shoe will then have a color. You can create multiple of these for various colors if you want to.

If you do the same for the pants and then put the shape above all of the shoes layer this will effectively hide them.

Partitally hiding shapes

If you don't want to use the color shapes or you don't want to color at all then you might want to consider using layer masks. These are quite easy to use and you can find tutorials for them online.

Layer masks hide parts of a shape or a group (your shoe is a group of lines). With them you can hide the parts of your shape which should be hidden by the shoe. This is better than erasing because you don't loose any drawings in the process. You can later adjust the layer mask to show more/less of the already drawn object.

Personally i would've used a layer mask. I think the lines/color/shadows should be on seperate layers but this is mostly preference and everyone can manage their layers differently.

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