Written by
Brodie Jackson

Canva Tutorial: Glow Effect

Published on
24 September 2020

Glow Effect Using Canva

Canva is such a great tool for easy and hassle-free design! And there is so much you can do with it once you know the ins and outs and apply some creativity.

All you need for this glow effect using Canva is, well, Canva!

If you don't have Canva Pro, don't worry! I give the free version alternative steps also.

Follow along with this tutorial to recreate this image! 

Then put your new skills and creativity to the test for this week’s challenge. I will be sharing your entries will be on my Instagram @thebrodiejackson

Have fun! 

Jump Straight to the Challenge!

Step 1 - Set dark background

Make your background dark so the glow effect can really stand out. 

I use #171C1B for my backgrounds.

To change the background go to ‘Bkground’ on the side left panel. 

Click on the easel in the top left corner of the background tab. 

Click ‘new colour’ and paste in this hex code #171C1B

Step 2 - Selecting the image

For Canva Pro users:

Go to 'Photos’ on the left side panel and search the keyword ‘model’. You will find this image.

For Canva Free Version:

If you aren’t a Canva Pro user, download this image then go to the next step.

Step 3 - Removing the image background

For Canva Pro Users:

Select the image by clicking on it. Go to ‘effects’ on the top panel and then select the ‘Background Remover’ effect. It will automatically remove the background.

For Canva Free Version:

Go to remove.bg. Upload the image and remove the background 

Then upload the image to your Canva library by going to ‘uploads’ on the left side panel.

Step 4 - Resizing the image

Resize the image by dragging from the corners

Step 5 - Turn on the Rulers and Guides

You want to show rulers and guides for this effect. To do this, go to ‘File’ in the top left of your page and turn on ‘show rulers’ and ‘show guides’.

Step 6 - Setting the guides 

Click - hold & drag your guides from the rulers onto your workspace. 

Adjust the guides to where you want the colours of the glow to change.

Step 7 - Duplicating and aligning the image

Select your image by clicking it. If an image isn’t selecting when you click it, it can mean that Canva has made your image the background of your file. If this happens just right-click and select “Detach from background”. 

*To avoid this from happening, keep the image smaller than the file size* 

Select the image and Ctrl + D to make a duplicate 

Align the image so that it sits perfectly on top of your original image. This is easy to achieve. Thanks to Canva smart guides, Canva will intuitively align the images accurately.

Step 8 - Duotone effect

Go to ‘Effects’ on the top panel again but this time select ‘duotone’.  Double click on the ‘Cherry’ effect.

Select the first colour of glow you want and use the same colour for both ‘Highlights’ and ‘Shadows’. Make sure intensity is all the way up.

The colour I selected is #FD1EA4.

Once you have done this click the ‘Apply’ button at the bottom.

Step 9 - Send Coloured image to back 

You want this image to be behind the original image. To do this, right-click and select ‘send to back’. Or you can use the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + [

Step 10 - Achieve the Glow effect

The back image should still be selected, if you have deselected it, the way to select an image or element that is hiding behind another is by holding Ctrl and clicking the top image until the hidden element is selected. This works for any number of layers, just keep Ctrl held and click until the desired element is selected. 

Now you have the back image selected, go to ‘Adjust’ on the top panel. 

Increase the blur and brightness, these are the adjustments that will give the glow effect. Play te around with these settings until you have your desired look. Take note of the numbers you use as you will apply the same the remaining three colours.

I have used Brightness + 20, Glow + 60.

Step 11 - Crop

Crop the glowing image to the guides you had set previously, so it is only showing in the top left quadrant of your image.

Step 12 - Repeat from step 7

Repete this process from Step 7, each time selecting a new colour in the ‘Duotone’ effect, and cropping the glowing image to one of the remaining quadrants. 

The colours I used are: 

Top Left: #FD1EA4 - Pink

Top Right: #00C9FF - Blue

Bottom Left: #FFED00 - Yellow

Bottom Right: #46FF28 - Green

Step 13 - Edit original image

Select the top original image and go to ‘Adjust’ in the top panel. Adjust the settings for the top image to get your desired look. I have done saturation -100, contrast +50, brightness +10.

And you are done! It's really that simple!


Your Challenge:

Now that you know how to achieve this look, let your creativity run wild! 

Your task now is to create an original design using this new method you have learnt. 

Be sure to tag @thebrodiejackson on Instagram so I can share your creations! By doing so you will also be receiving entries into my giveaway.

And keep an eye out for updates! I will be having these types of tutorials weekly and there may even be some prizes up for grabs.

Let me know if you enjoyed this tutorial in the comments. And if you have any questions or comments about this tutorial, Canva, or anything else, drop them below! 

If you would like to give Canva Pro a go (which I highly recommend!). You can do so through my link by clicking here!

Thanks, creative fam!

See you for next week's tutorial.



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