Day 25: Applying Live Paint

With Live Paint, you can freely paint your artwork. It is like painting a kid’s coloring book where you have the line art and you start filling them will different colors. In this lesson, you will see how to break a star into different segments using Live Paint.

Creating a Beveled Star using Live Paint

I will show you an example of using Live Paint to draw a beveled star. Let’s turn on Smart Guides to make snapping of points easier. Go View>Smart Guide to turn on Smart Guides.

Draw a star on the canvas. Select the Line Tool and roll over the top anchor point. The anchor text will appear. Click once.

Click the second point at the bottom of the anchor to create the first line.

Continue doing this for all opposite points.

Here is the final wireframe.

Select all the shapes with Selection Tool. Next click the Live Paint and fill the first area with light grey.

Continue filling in different shades for all segments.

You notice the black stroke is still on. Select your star and click None for stroke.

Once you are happy with it you can expand the shapes to break it into normal paths.

This is our final beveled star.


Imagine drawing this beveled star using Pen Tool only, you will have to draw 10 different triangle segments which will definitely take up more time. You may even have problems aligning the points. With Live Paint, this chore is made a lot simpler.

Next Lesson: Masking using Clipping Path/ Opacity Mask »
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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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+Add Comment15 Comments

  1. Gravtar for Erika
    Erika August 7th

    I just want you to know that I am REALLY enjoying and appreciating this series that you’re doing, and I hope that you choose to extend it just because it’s so awesome. There’s so much out there about PS, that it’s refreshing to see some basic AI stuff out there. You can do all of the advanced stuff there is, but a basic tutorial will always teach you the stuff you manage to overlook!

  2. Gravtar for ArtConch
    ArtConch August 10th

    Thanks again for another brilliant lesson

  3. Gravtar for Khawla
    Khawla August 11th

    Thanks a lot for this lesson. I did not know how to use Live Paint. It is a great tool.

  4. Gravtar for Harto
    Harto November 5th

    Great tip !!

  5. Gravtar for ggaatt
    ggaatt November 28th

    lol hahaha thanx, before this tutorial i was doing it just like you say in conclusion – drawing 10 triangles and had problems with aligning them. Now i can do it fast and easy

  6. Gravtar for Jeffery Wright
    Jeffery Wright June 9th

    the pen tool just deletes the anchor points.

  7. Gravtar for josh noname
    josh noname June 12th

    Yeah, how do you avoid deleting the anchor points with the pen tool?

  8. Gravtar for josh noname
    josh noname June 12th

    The tutorial works exactly as described if you use the Line Tool after making the shape- maybe it was a typo?

  9. Gravtar for Tony Soh
    Tony Soh June 12th

    You can use both the line tool or pen tool. But make sure the lines snap to the star and don’t leave any gaps for it to work.

  10. Gravtar for josh noname
    josh noname June 13th

    The tutorial suggests using the Pen Tool to connect the top anchor of the star to the bottom anchor. The trouble is, when you initially click the top anchor, the pen tool auto-deletes the anchor point. I believe you have to use the line tool in addition to the pen tool. Could you clarify?

  11. Gravtar for Tony Soh
    Tony Soh June 15th

    Hi josh, your right. Using the pen tool will require you to lock the star layer to prevent deleting the point. Using the line tool will solve the problem. I have updated it. Thanks.

  12. Gravtar for sumit singh
    sumit singh July 28th

    adobe illustrator is very good site to work.

  13. Gravtar for Tomas Vateha
    Tomas Vateha April 21st

    really great site!

  14. Gravtar for Angela Leung
    Angela Leung February 7th

    Please Help !! I am using CS5.1 when I was filling in different shades for all segments using “live paint”, there’s only one colour tone… my star looks flat…

  15. Gravtar for Marielle Pteroudis
    Marielle Pteroudis April 4th

    I am trying to apply the Live Paint to one area, but it goes to the whole star.. I am using cs5. Any idea anyone what am I doing wrong??