How to Use Live Paint Bucket Tool in Illustrator

In this article, I will show you How to use the Live Paint Bucket Tool in Illustrator to fill your shapes and drawings with colors. The live paint Bucket tool only works with enclosed paths and objects joining into a complete shape. Do not worry I will explain.

Starting, it can be challenging to understand how the tool works. Don’t worry if it seems annoying at the start. I faced the same problem starting.

However, once you understand the hang of it become a fan and easy to create cool designs. Additionally, there are some important steps that if you ignore, your live Paint Bucket tool may not work properly.

Before you start it is important to create a swatch of the colors you intend to use to avoid issues.

Adding Color using the Live Paint Bucket Tool in Illustrator

Step 1: Select the object or the group of objects you want to paint with the tool. Go to object>Live Paint> Make. This will convert your objects into a live paint group. If you miss this step, it will not work.

Live Paint 2

Step 2: Now that you have your live paint group and swatches, it is time to paint the objects with the swatch colors. Click K to pick the Live Paint tool and choose the swatch from the swatch panel.

Live Paint

Step 3: You can choose one swatch color for one pattern and another for the others. If you have not created swatches, you can double-click on the fill area to set a color. I will choose a blue fill.

Step 4: If you notice a prohibition symbol on the bucket, it is because the points on your shape are probably not enclosed. Normally you would select the 2 points and click control+ J to join.

However, this will not work because you have already converted the object to a live paint Group. 

Live Paint Swatches

You can either go back to it before making the live paint group and join any gaps. Alternatively, you can use the direct selection tool – shortcut A to bring the gap points closer.

When you now use the Live Paint tool, it works. To know how many gaps are there, select the object and go to Object>Live Paint>Gap Options. You can use this tool to color enclosed paths with different swatches. Here is an example.

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Live Paint 2

Related Content

  1. How to Use Live Paint Bucket Tool in Illustrator

    Click V to pick the selection tool. Click on the object you want to paint.
    Convert to a Live Paint Group by going to object>Live Paint> Make.
    Click K to pick the Paint tool.
    Click on the Swatch you want.
    Click on the Shape to fill the color swatch.

denis maina kamau

Written by: Denis Maina

I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.

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