User Tools

Site Tools

This page exists within the Old ArtZone Wiki section of this site. Read the information presented on the linked page to better understand the significance of this fact.

Glow Tutorial

Author: Jenn A

Tools Needed

  • Photoshop 7


Hi all…well a few people have asked about the glow effect I use on my images so I decided to try my hand at a tutorial…so bear with me this is my first time if something is unclear just email me at

Okay I guess glow tutorial is something of a misnomer. This is more like the making of Broken, an image where I used glow. So most of these steps can be skipped if all you want is the glow then just use the soft edge glow action shown in the tutorial. The higher the layer opacity the more intense the glow. Also the trick is to play around with things, do what you think is best for your image. I play around with things a lot, specifically layer modes and opacities. Just remember that nothing is written in stone and most importantly save your work before starting this, so if it doesn't work, you can still salvage your artwork.


Step 1 - Variations


I use Adobe Photoshop 7 and the effect that I use to create a soft look is specifically for Photoshop. (However, it should be usable with any paint program that supports similar features - you'll have to experiment to find the equivalent commands and filters)

The above image is what I started off with. From here I'm just going to play with variations. Image- > Adjustments- > Variations


For Midtones I generally click on More Yellow and then More Red and I then go to Shadows and click on More Blue. This is the result of Variations


Right now it looks like crap but don't lose hope will still have work to do.

Step 2 - Color Balance


The next thing we do is go to color balance. The above image is the result of color balance.


When you play around with color balance it's really a matter of personal taste. Generally in Midtones I play around with Yellow (ex.=46), Magenta (ex.=-20), and Red(ex.=24) and in Shadows I play around with Blue (ex.=26), Green (ex.=14), and Cyan (ex.=-28)

Step 3 - Soft Edge Glow


The next thing I do is go to Action- > Image Effects- > Soft Edge Glow and click play as shown above. This action comes with Photoshop. If it's not already loaded just go to the little arrow at the side of the box and load Image Effects which is in you Presets- > Photoshop Actions Folder. After the action is played you should have a new layer, turn the opacity of this layer down until you are satisfied. I usually go down to about 50%. Then you duplicate the layer and change that layer style. I used Screen with opacity about 30% and this is the end result


The next thing I do is take a snapshot


and then merge everything and duplicate the layer.

Step 4 - Colorize


I then go to Filter- > Blur- > Gaussian Blur with a radius of 6, as shown above. Then I change the layer style/mode to overlay and go to Image- > Adjustments- > Hue/Saturation or Ctrl+U and I select colorize


Then I lower the opacity to about 45% and then I merge visible.

Step 5 - Depth


Okay this is the final thing. I duplicate the layer again. Then I chose 2 colors. The foreground color that is representative of the skintone, generally a goldish or reddish color and for the background color I usually use a color that dominates the image….in this case black.

I then go to Filter- > Sketch- > Halftone Pattern and use these settings


I then change the layer mode to overlay and bring the opacity down to about 12-20%. Then I merge visible and save and that is how I get my glow. Now all I have to do is play around with lighting but that is maybe for another tutorial…Thanks for taking a look and I hope I explained this well…Jenn


Step 6 - Final Image


This is the final image but again if all you want is the glow just do step 3. This is also available in a clearer html format I can send you the zip if you want just email me and feel free to check out my Rendo Gallery.