How to Fill a Shape With an Image in Illustrator

By Kirk Bennet

Filling a shape with an image in Adobe Illustrator can open your graphic design to new possibilities. This technique enables you to create distinct graphics or textures and portray common images in unusual ways. Illustrator's vector-drawing environment enables you to create such complex graphics simply by drawing a shape over the image and creating a clipping mask.

Launch Adobe Illustrator CS6 and open an existing image or create a new image.

Click "File," "Place" and select the image that you want to use. Click "Place" to place it on the canvas.

Draw or move your shape over the image. You can draw a shape by using the Ellipse Tool, for example.

Press "V" to select the Selection Tool, or select it from the toolbox.

Hold "Shift" and click the shape and the image to select both items.

Click "Object" and select "Clipping Mask" from the menu. Choose "Make" from the submenu to fill the shape with the image.

Press "Ctrl-S" to save the image.