I recently found an interesting filter when using Adobe Illustrator and it is called ‘Glowing Edges.’ I ran my previous pixel art fantasy landscape (the one without the mountain in middle and sword on the warrior) into Illustrator, traced it in order to vectorize it than used this filter and got an interesting neon light style of a look you can see below.
I also used the pen tool to further work on the images such as the birds or planes (not sure what I want to make them) you see below and the moon. I then erased some parts to make the background come out almost like clouds but in a way the rear of the scene:
Here are the later images I created with further work:
As you see, Illustrator offers a lot of options in terms of effects and even glows or blurs that can be combined for interesting images. It also can produce interesting results when taking even pixel art or previously-drawn bitmap-based digital images (say using the iPad and Apple Pencil) and tracing them inside Illustrator, then running a variety of effects on them.
I tend to do this or even take an image of a pencil drawing on my iPad and insert that into Ilustrator and work from there using the pen tool vs. drawing something in Illustrator using the pencil or brush tools as I can’t effectively do that using a mouse as I can with a traditional pencil or stylus. Combining apps and media can produce really interesting stuff and I will continue to experiment with previous images and future ones with this neon light style.
Here is an image I kept working on all in raster after inserting the previous version into Instagram’s filters and adding further fixes:
Here is the pdf file for the last Illustrator-based version in pure vector format but without layer or editing capability.
By the way, here are some other designs I’ve been working on lately, although these were done almost entirely on iPad and not Illustrator or desktop software: