How to Create a Glow Effect with an Outline in Canva

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Written by Casey Botticello

January 16, 2021

Sometimes, when creating a graphic design, you want to add flair or underscore the tone that a certain image conveys.If you want to help an image standout, using Canva to create a glow effect that outlines the image, can be a great option. Here are the steps to creating these types of image effects.

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Steps to Create Glow Effect

1. Select Your Image

Select the image that you want to add the glow effect to. You can add the glow effect to any image, but it definitely helps if the image has clear and distinct borders.

2. Create Transparent Background

Your image should also be on a transparent background. If your image has a solid or colored background, you can convert it to a transparent one by clicking on the image, clicking on the “effects” button, and then selecting the “Background Remover Tool.”

Note: This method only works for Canva Pro users. If you have the free version of Canva, and want to make you image background transparent, you can use RemoveBG as a free alternative.

3. Save Shape as JPEG or PNG

The next step is to save our image as a JPEG or PNG. When you save your image, make sure that you select the “transparent background” box before clicking download.

4. Upload Image to Canva

Next, we need to upload this image to Canva. To do this, just click on the uploads tab in Canva, click upload from device, and select the file you just downloaded.

5. Insert Newly Created Image

You can now delete the original statue of liberty imae (you now have a blank screen). Select the image you just uploaded from your uploads tab:

6. Make a Copy or Duplicate Image

You can now delete the original statue of liberty image (you now have a blank screen). Select the image you just uploaded from your uploads tab, and click on it twice to produce two copies of the transparent image:

7. Edit Your Image Using Duotone Effects

The next step is to edit your image using Duotone Effects, one of the built in effects offered by Canva. To do this, first click on one of your images of the statue of liberty. This will be your image background (the part changing color).  Select the “effects” button from the Canva toolbar. Next, click on the Duotone icon. Under Duotone, click on the option labeled “Pomelo.” This will create a yellow and orange stylized version of the statue of liberty.

8. Increase Image Blur

Click on your orange statue of liberty image (the image on the right, in this tutorial) and select the adjust button. Under the adjustment menu, increase the “blur” effect. You can play around with this setting later to perfect things, but as a rough template, increase the blur to ~17.

9. Adjust Images

Next, we need to adjust our original statue of liberty so that it is slightly smaller than our orange statue of liberty. You also need to make sure that the orange image is behind the normal image. You can do this by sending the orange image to the back or bringing the regular image to the front.

10. Align Images

The final step is to line up the two images. You can do this by dragging the images manually or by using the position tool.

The end result is an image of the statue of liberty that has a subtle yet eye catching glow, outlining the image. Depending on what effect you are trying to achieve, you can go back and edit the orange background layer and adjust the blur setting. If you want to change the color of the glow, select a different effect.

I hope you found this Canva tutorial useful! If you have any more questions or want to learn more about custom Canva design, check out our Canva tutorial page, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter which send out free Canva Templates.

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