How to Draw a Glowing Star in Illustrator
By Darrin Koltow
Draw a glowing star in Illustrator by applying a radial gradient and an effect from the "Effects" menu to a shape created with the "Star" tool. You can also create a glowing star with Illustrator's more manual tools, such as "Paintbrush." However, with the "Star" tool, you don't have to measure the angles and lengths needed to create a symmetrical star. To enhance your star's appeal, draw a suitable background. For example, fill the background with black and add smaller stars in the form of small, pastel-colored pinpricks.
Click the tool palette icon shaped like a five-pointed star to run the "Star" tool, then position your mouse cursor at any canvas location. Press and hold the mouse button to define the star's center, then drag to grow the star from this center. Release the mouse once the star has reached the size you want.
Click the leftmost control above the canvas to display the "Fill" gallery, which holds swatches for filling the star and other shapes.
Click the button in the lower left corner of the gallery to display the "Libraries" menu, which shows different sets of swatches for coloring the star.
Click the "Radial gradients" item to display a gallery of swatches whose tonal patterns, which feature central hues that are very light in tone, suggest glowing objects.
Click one of the swatches in the "Radial gradients" gallery to fill the star with the glowing effect, then click the "Effects" menu.
Click the "Stylize" submenu, then click the "Outer glow" item to display a dialog box whose controls let you adjust the glow that the effect applies to the star.
Click the "Preview" check box and then drag the "Opacity" slider to the right until the apparent solidity of the glow's border satisfies your tastes. Opacity is the opposite of transparency, so the more opaque the glow effect is, the less you can see through it.
Drag the "Blur" slider to the right until the haze surrounding the star reaches the size you want. Click "OK" to finalize the effect and view your glowing star.
- Illustrator CS5 Bible; Ted Alspach; 2010
Darrin Koltow wrote about computer software until graphics programs reawakened his lifelong passion of becoming a master designer and draftsman. He has now committed to acquiring the training for a position designing characters, creatures and environments for video games, movies and other entertainment media.