Premium Tutorial: Hot Air Balloon

hot air balloon

This tutorial will take you through the process of drawing a hot air balloon from scratch. We will create the balloon using the 3D Revolve effect and the Map Art option, we will draw a lot of things like the pattern for the basket and the pattern for the balloon, cables, burners, sand bags and so on. This tutorial is very detailed with easy step by step instructions. If you want to learn some new techniques, follow me!


Difficulty: Intermediate
Requirements: Adobe Illustrator

What will you get?

    • Instant download of PDF e-book (37 pages, 78 steps)
    • Comes with Ai file for easy reference
    • Detailed step by step tutorial to draw a nice realistic Hot Air Balloon

Tutorial Preview:

Draw the Shape of the Balloon

1. First open a new document. Take the Ellipse Tool (L), click on your artboard and enter the dimensions shown to create an oval shape. Now, you have to modify this shape a little and to do that, take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag the handles in the direction indicated. The red path is the final shape and it is there just so you can see exactly how much you have to drag the handles.

hot air balloon

2. Next, you have to cut the shape obtained. Take the Scissors Tool (C) and click on the top and bottom points. You only need the right side so delete the other half of the shape.

hot air balloon

3. Having the path obtained at the previous step selected, go to Effect menu > 3D and apply the Revolve effect using the settings shown below.

hot air balloon

Create the Pattern for the Balloon

4. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 600 x 600 px rectangle and while having it selected, go to Object menu > Path > Split into Grid. Choose 12 rows and columns then hit OK.

hot air balloon

5. Now we need to distort a little the resulting squares in order to make the pattern look more realistic once applied on the balloon. Let’s consider the red squares, the row that will pass through the middle of the balloon therefore we don’t have to distort it. To the others we will apply the Arc Upper and Arc Lower effects starting from the middle of the pattern (the red row) and going progressively towards the top and bottom. In the image below you can see the final result.

hot air balloon

6. In the next two images you can see the settings for these two effects. As I said the red square remains the same therefore we will start with the one above. Select it then go to Effect menu > Warp > Arc Upper and choose a 5% Bend. Continue with the next square and this time select a 10% Bend and so on.

hot air balloon

7. Now we need to fix the bottom sides of the squares and for this we will apply the Arc Lower effect. The second square remains the same so select the third square then go to Effect menu > Warp > Arc Lower and choose a minus 5% Bend. Continue with the following squares and increase the Bend value as shown below. As a result of these actions all the squares will fit perfectly.

hot air balloon

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