In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to use our sparkle brushes to create an abstract sparkling background in Illustrator.

To begin, if you haven’t already, go ahead and purchase and download our Fairy Dust brushes for Illustrator. If you don’t have them already, you can find them by clicking the button below:

Fairy Dust Sparkle Brushes for Illustrator

NEW: If you are stuck between getting the brushes for Illustrator or Photoshop, I have created a bundle, which includes the Fairy Dust brushes AND our Seamless Glitter Patterns for both Illustrator and Photoshop at a discounted price. Click the button below for the bundle:

Sparkle effect bundle

Step 1: Set up your background layer by drawing out a rectangle and fill it with C: 77%, M: 82%, Y: 91%, K: 78%. The color of your background dictates how the sparkles are going to look, so make sure you have it set at these values.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 2: Load up the Fairy Dust brushes. With the Brush Panel open (F5) click on the menu and go to Open Brush Library > Other Library. Navigate to where you downloaded and unzipped the file and open them up.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 3: Create a new layer above your background layer. With the Stroke color set to #D28833, I drew out a few lines using the round blurry scatter brush (#14). Set the Transparency to Overlay at 100%. Experiment with the sizing and make at least one of the stroke’s weight a little larger. In my example, all of the strokes are at 1pt except for one, which I put at 2pt.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 4: With the stroke set at the same color, I use the 4 point blur scatter #24 set to “Color Dodge” at 51%.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 5: Using scatter brush #15 set to Overlay at 100%, I draw another line.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 6: Keeping the stroke color the same, I drew some lines and applied the smaller dot scatter brush #1 on the edge of the art board. Set this strokes to Color Dodge at 100%.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 7: Change the stroke color to #D25036. Using the same scatter brush as Step 4 (#24) draw a few more lines. I have these set to Color Dodge. The line on the right is at 100% Opacity and the one on the left is 60%.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 8: Back to # D28833 I use a combination of scatter brush #14 and #1 set at 2pt on the stroke. Loosely create a few lines that are away from the main bulk of the lines so that you break up the background a bit. Set the Transparency to Overlay at 100%

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 9: If you would like to break up the background a bit more, you can add some custom blends above all of the sparkly strokes you just made. I am going to load up one of our Light Leaks to save myself some time. If you would like to purchase this set, you can find them by clicking the button below:

vector light leaks

Step 10: Load up the light leak set and for this example, I am going to use the upper left effect (Light Leak 1). Select everything on this layer, copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) into your sparkle file on a new layer.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 11: To fit the leak into my design, I moved around the elements so that most of the effects are in the upper right of my design. I also made a copy of the round blend and moved it to the lower right corner.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 12: Finally I create a new layer above the light leaks and draw out some more sparkles. For these strokes, I am using scatter brush #24 with the stroke color set to # F7F1D2 and the Transparency set to Overlay at 100%. I also lowered the stroke weight to 0.5pt.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 13: Here I have added a little cluster of lines with the stroke color set to # F4C6A2 and the Transparency to Overlay at 100%. Same brush as above, only set the stroke weight back to 1 pt.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 14: Finally using the #1 scatter brush set to 2pt stroke weight, change the stroke color to # D28833 and draw out a few more lines to add some more particles. Set the Transparency to Overlay at 100%.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Step 15: For the featured image of this post, I have added some text, which is set to #F2D6C2 fill color and Overlay at 100%.

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

Congratulations! You are done.

Before you go… remember how I told you in the first step that the background color is going to affect the brushes? You can change the overall color scheme of the design by adjusting the background color. Here is what it looks like with just the background color changed:

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator

abstract sparkling background in Illustrator