Creating a Colored Shape for Your Line Drawing Without Retracing It

Below is a tutorial I’ve written for creating a fill color for a line drawing in Adobe Illustrator. This is a method to avoid retracing around your line drawing.

I start with my line drawing that I did in Illustrator. Check out the the cartoon tutorial page for different ways to draw in Illustrator.

Next, I make a copy of the outline around the bear. If that outline is made up of several lines or shapes, you’ll want to unite them. You can do that by using the Add to Shape Area button on the Pathfinder palette.

Using the Direct Selection Tool, click on the inner part of the line on your new copy, then hit delete (you may need to hit delete more than once). This deletes the inner part of the line and leaves you with a filled shape.

Your new filled shape will be used as the background color for the bear.

Next, I change the color to the brown color of the bear’s head.

After I’ve change the color, I use the Align Palette to align my new shape underneath my black lines.

That is basically it. You’ve created the fill color shape without having to trace around the object.

If you’d like to see how I finished coloring the bear, you can see those techniques in my snail cartoon tutorial.

This post was written on Content copyright 2008 Cory Thoman.

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  1. 08/09/02

    Nice bear. and a helpful little tip. Thanks

  2. moataz

    greaaaat tutorials
    plz add more 😀
    like your way & style

  3. vikRAM

    Its really good assignment.
    It helps me very much…

    Thank You Very Much

  4. john

    hi i like this great job

    but was wondering if there is a way i could draw a bear for example but only draw one side then maybe copy it paste and then flip it so both sides are the same or is there an easier way.

    kind regards

  5. Cory


    I just wrote another tutorial on Symmetrical objects in my Beginner’s series:


  6. Alastor

    Is this image subject to copyright?