This week I’m going back to a subject I feature periodically and that’s hot air balloons. Having been fortunate enough to live in a couple of locations that have hot air balloons frequently, I have seen many different balloons during various stages of flight. This week I wanted to feature three balloons I have done using a simplistic abstract approach. All three are inspired by a “Desert Glow” event we went to in the Phoenix area a few years back. Fully inflated balloons are tethered to the ground after the sun sets. As the sky darkens, the balloons illuminate themselves as they turn their flames on and off to music….incredible sight to see. Keeping true to the dark background of night, I kept the colors of the balloons bright as the envelopes are lit up by the flame at the base. The simplicity of this technique allows the eye to focus on the color of the balloon envelopes.
With this technique, I start with ink strokes creating the envelopes of the balloon and the basket. I use strokes of different widths to keep it more suggestive rather than just a linear sketch. Using the same technique, I add just enough at the bottom to suggest a crowd of people and keep a focus on the flame itself. The fun part is recreating the colorful designs of various balloon envelopes I encountered at this event. Of course I was going to replicate the balloon with the large Saguaro Cactus on it since this was inspired by an Arizona event.
I have featured Hot Air Balloons a few times on this blog. I find them fascinating and have presented them in a variety of fashions from colorful abstracts to actual photography. Today I am featuring four art prints where I used a “gothic” technique that replicates an oil painting style of that same name. For us today in paintings, the style generally creates an old world look with rich and warm earth-tone colors that we generally associate with medieval Europe into the renaissance period.
I did this series for a client a number of years ago and featured one of the prints (not one I am posting today) back in 2014. I liked the series so much I ended up using it in one of our guest rooms.
Over the years, I have featured a number of prints from my Hot Air Balloons Gallery. I love hot air balloons and especially love to create prints that are not typical for them. You usually see pictures of the balloons floating in the sky, but I like a different approach. I find the process of preparing these big, bright, beautiful balloons fascinating. Watching them get unpacked, stretched out and then inflated creates an interesting visual experience which I have tried to capture. Over the years I have used a variety of techniques in my presentations. Today, I am using a technique that creates a slightly abstract approach, using bold ink pen strokes to outline the balloons and then filling in with bright colors and strong brush strokes.
This week I’m featuring three of my hot air balloons. The technique I used creating these three art prints was an abstract approach. I used the sketching to define the subject matter of the balloons and then filled them with bright colors. Not being one who every stayed in the lines when it came to art, I let the bright colors bleed into each other, creating an abstract look.
We are all attracted to hot air balloons rising and floating in the air. The serenity of the scene as one looks skyward and sees these bright colored balloons quietly drifting through the sky. What drew my eye when my wife and I did the adventure in San Diego, was the prep work of getting them inflated and launched. To me there was an incredible beauty watching these large bags of color transformed into what we see drifting across the sky.
As the balloons slowly fill with hot air, they go from laying flat on the ground to slowly rising and when you see the different stages of inflation with a group of balloons together…it really is a beautiful sight.
The art print I am featuring today is called “Lift Me Up”. The art print itself was created using a gothic oil technique, giving the hot air balloons an old world look. I put a personal prayer of mine on as an overlay, with the prayer and subject working hand in hand. I think all of us from time to time feel tired, weary and frustrated. I reach out with this simple prayer…..Thoughts?
I did a photo shoot early last that I covered in one of my blogs titled: Desert Glows – Hot Air Balloon Photo Shoot. As a result of that shoot, I created these two art prints using a fauvism (Fauvism: a style of painting with vivid expressionistic and non-naturalistic use of color that flourished in Paris from 1905) technique of hot air balloons lit up at night. This technique uses abstract shapes and variations of colors to create a unique look. The balloons lent themselves to this style of art because of the dramatic shape and colors of the balloons.
The event was the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Avondale, Arizona (Phoenix metropolitan area). The balloon envelopes were inflated in the early morning hours for flights and races. After that series of events, the balloons were deflated until the evening hours when the envelopes were again inflated, but this time they stayed on the ground. As evening turned into night with the darkening sky, the balloon operators shot large flames up into the envelope illuminating the brightly colored balloons. At this event the operators were synchronized to music, making the series of balloons rotate the glow to the beat of the tunes. This nighttime spectacular is referred to as The Desert Glow. It was a stunning scene to behold with the contrast of light and dark and the bright vivid colors of the balloon envelopes.
I wanted to share a couple of prints that I just added to my Hot Air Balloon Gallery. Both are from a series of photos I did last winter at a Hot Air Balloon Festival here in the Phoenix area. Using a couple of those shots as the inspiration, I have created these two prints using a pastel colored chalk technique.
When I think of hot air balloons, I think of bright colors. I think the color and the shapes are what attract us visually to them. In keeping with that aspect, I wanted to use bright pastel colors to represent the scene of this event. As I mentioned in an earlier post where I shared the photographs, the event is the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Avondale, Arizona (Phoenix metropolitan area). The balloon envelopes are inflated in the early morning hours for flights and races. After that series of events, the balloons are deflated until the evening hours when the envelopes are again inflated, but this time they stay on the ground. As evening turns into night with the darkening sky, the balloon operators shoot large flames up into the envelope of the balloon illuminating the brightly colored balloons. At this event the operators were synchronized to music, making the series of balloons rotate the glow to the beat of the tunes. This nighttime spectacular is referred to as The Desert Glow. It is a stunning scene to behold with the contrast of light and dark and the bright vivid colors of the balloon envelopes. Thoughts?