Step 14 Choose the Shape Builder tool from the toolbar. Use the tool to drag a line across the two selected shapes – instantly they will become one perfect shape.


Step 15 You can also cut one shape out of another. Create a new shape and overlap it with your newly merged shape. Click inside an area you want to delete and drag away into open space – this will separate the shapes and delete any overlapping lines.


Step 16 Looking in the Layers panel, you can see how each time the shapes are being separated or merged into new paths or Compound Paths. Newly shaped paths cannot be undone, but compound paths can always be undone by selecting the object and clicking Object > Compound Path > Release. Try different overlapping objects and objects on top of each other with this great new tool.


About this tutorial


About the author: Colourful vectors and cheery, animal-filled landscapes are the trademarks of Ben O’Brien’s style. The Cornwall-based creative has made a name for himself with work for clients including Hasbro, Michelin and the Big Issue. 

His designs also appear on the range of art prints, fabrics and wallpapers that he runs with his wife, Fi.

His portfolio is online at bentheillustrator.com.

Time to complete: 4 hours

Software used: Adobe Illustrator CS5