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Dragon Quest XI Box Art Remaster

Though the work of Akira Toriyama holds considerable influence over my own, the cover illustration for Dragon Quest XI was my first up-close encounter with his digital colouring skills, and I wanted to see if I could provide the piece with some additional clarity. This is how I did that.

On the left, Toriyama's original illustration; on the right, my edit.

On the left, Toriyama's original illustration; on the right, my edit.

The first step was to clear the lines of Toriyama's colours. As no hi-rez version of the full illo exists online, I had to reconstruct what I could from promotional variants.

The first step was to clear the lines of Toriyama's colours. As no hi-rez version of the full illo exists online, I had to reconstruct what I could from promotional variants.

Next was re-inking from scratch, taking care to match Toriyama's original lines as accurately as I could. Easily the most gruelling stage of the project.

Next was re-inking from scratch, taking care to match Toriyama's original lines as accurately as I could. Easily the most gruelling stage of the project.

My cel shade technique is typically not done in discrete stages, so the next few images are reverse-engineered from my final PSD. The flats.

My cel shade technique is typically not done in discrete stages, so the next few images are reverse-engineered from my final PSD. The flats.

Basic shadows.

Basic shadows.

Sundry layer modes and light rendering.

Sundry layer modes and light rendering.

The final image.

The final image.