It's been a long time since I last made some Dragon Ball fan art. Recently, a good friend of mine commissioned me to illustrate a portrait of his family, including his two dogs. The best part was that he specifically wanted it to look like it came from Dragon Ball. That certainly makes for a unique and personal piece to hang in his family living room.
I used this as an opportunity to make a second version of his family portrait using the Dragon Ball characters we all know and love. I decided to go with Son Goku and his family. I considered using Vegeta, Bulma, and Trunks but thought it would make more sense to use Goku given the setting of Roshi's Island.
The Wire Frame
I spent a good amount of time repositioning and resizing the cast in front of the Mast Roshi's home. I wanted them large and in front, but then the iconic Kame House would be covered up. And having the family in the front porch area would crop away the rest of the building, including the Kame House sign on the front. I definitely wanted that to be visible.
I used to draw Dragon Ball Z fan art as a kid all of the time. It's one of those shows that really left a big impression on me during my school years. It was second nature crafting the sketch for these beloved characters. The Akira Toriyama style is instantly recognizable and I tried my best to replicate it for an authentic look.
The Line Art
I used the perspective ruler tool in Clip Studio Paint to accurately draw the Kame House. It helped me establish a two-perspective grid complete with horizon line. Using this, my brush and line tools were set to snap to the rulers, which meant that my every line would accurately angle appropriately to give the house realistic proportion and depth.
Drawing buildings is tedious and takes me longer to do than a character design, but I was pretty proud of how the Kame House turned out.
The Flat Colors
I took come creative liberty with drawing Goku and his family. For the Dragon Ball fans, they will recognize this particular era as being the time before Majin Buu was resurrected. Goku should technically have a halo around his head since he's dead at this point. Gohan is wearing his high school uniform.
Goten's appearance matches what he looked like when he was first introduced. Chi-Chi is wearing the proper apparel for the era but I let her hair down the way she looked when she first married Goku instead of the mom bun.
The Finished Illustration
Cel-style shading is quick and easy and matches the style of the show perfectly. The seven dragon balls were thrown in late into the illustration for good measure. There was some extra space so I figured, why not? I gave the background a texture overlay and I used a plug-in called Filter Forge to make the colors vibrant and the sun really glow on the ocean horizon.
It was fun to revisit these character again for a new piece of art. I've never drawn Chi-Chi before, so that was a first. Gohan is my personal favorite. Prints are available on my website for purchase.