Can’t create the right clipping mask

I’m trying to use a clipping mask to fill a design I’ve been working on. So far, when I clip them I get the message that the top object is very complex. When I press yes to go ahead, the outline, and detail of the image are clipped instead of keeping the lines (details) and filling in between the lines.

The design comes from an image trace, with some added detail, ultimately made into a compound path. (if any of that info is needed)

What I want it to look like, with the mask clipping the outline of the flower.
What I want it to look like, with the background only in the flower
What is currently happening post clipping mask.
After clipping mask
I’m learning illustrator, and after hours of scouring the internet/trying different options, I figured I’d reach out to some experts!


Here’s one way to do it:

  1. This is a vector flower illustration (Expanded from an image trace) over a raster image of a watercolour texture.

  2. Copy Ctrl+C the flower graphic and then do Paste in Place Shift+Ctrl+V, and do Object > Compound Path > Release, or Alt+Shift+Ctrl+8. Then open the Pathfinder panel and hit the Unite button. This will remove all the paths inside leaving a filled outline shape.

  3. Shift+click on the background, and now both background and shape will be selected, and do Object > Clipping Mask > Make, or Ctrl+7. Then Object > Arrange > Send to back, or Shift+Ctrl+[. This will move the clipped background under the original graphic. Select all Ctrl+A and Group Ctrl+G

  4. This is the result

Note: The shortcuts above are for Windows, for Mac use Command instead of Ctrl, and use Option instead of Alt

enter image description here

Source : Link , Question Author : Maddie , Answer Author : Billy Kerr

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