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How to Use Live Paint to Color and Paint Artwork in Adobe Illustrator

Live Paint is a function in Illustrator that allows fill color to be applied separately to overlapping sections in a group of objects.

This function is found in Illustrator CS5, CS6, and CC versions.

  1. Here are six circles creating a mandala design. The first step is to convert the circles to a Live Paint object. Select the all the shapes, then go to Object > Live Paint > Make.
    Object Menu
  2. Make sure Fill is active, then go to the Tool Bar, click and hold on the Shape Builder Tool and select the Live Paint Bucket Tool which is nested.
    Tool Bar
  3. Hover over different sections in the art and notice how the section highlights in red.
    Artwork
  4. Go to the Swatches Panel and choose a color, then click a section in the art to apply it.
    Swatches Panel
  5. Choose a different color in the Swatches Panel and apply it to a different section of the art. Continue switching colors to apply to different sections.
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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