Shenron - the Dragon Ball 'Dragon God' by Annabel Hoogeveen

With the promise of a new Dragon Ball movie coming up this year, and the current Dragon theme, it was about time to come up with a special Shenron design.

Shenron is a magical, wish-granting Dragon in the very popular Dragon Ball manga series. He has always been called upon by the Dragon Team in times of peril, in the hopes of using his powers to fix the damage done to the planet or people by the villains. But he will only appear if all seven 'Dragon Balls' are gathered.

For this design I used a few characteristic elements: Shenron, the seven Dragon Balls and some Japanese looking characters.


TAG 1-Stroke Leaf White

Arty Brush cake 'Teddy Bear'

Global palette 'Hero Power' (the yellow split cake)

Mehron White

Mehron Beach Berry

PartyXplosion White

PartyXplosion Black

Mehron Strahlend Black

1/2 inch angle brush, short bristles (

Loew-Cornell #1 round brush

Loew-Cornell #2 round brush

Loew Cornell #4 round brush

Cameleon Blending Brush

Mark Reid Chisel Brush 

Stencil Brushes different sizes

Bad Ass Mini Stencils - Stars 

Badass Small Scale Stencil (I used a free gift stencil - not for sale)


Step 1: Composition

Using a 1/2 inch angle-brush and a green split cake I painted the green part of Shenron's body and the base of his head with the small 'horns' on one side of the face. Next I painted the seven Dragon balls on the other side, slightly overlapping and increasing in size towards the cheek. For this I used two different sized stencil brushes and a yellow split cake. I tried to make a nice flowing composition with Shenron looking at the largest Dragon Ball.


Step 2: Adding more colors

For Shenron's 'belly' I mixed the yellow from the split cake with some Mehron white to make it a bit lighter. With a #4 round brush I then added a light yellow line next to the green on his body and underneath his head. With the same brush I painted some highlights on the right sides of the Dragon balls to create more depth.

Next I painted the 'wooden' horns using the same brush (#4) and two colors from a brown split cake and the red stripe and eyes using a #2 round brush.


Step 3: Adding texture, stars and 'sideburns'

Using the different stencils I added the dragon 'skin' on the green parts of Shenron and the stars on the Dragon Balls: one star on the first, two on the second, three on the third etc.., making them smaller and less clear gradually. With a #2 round brush I then added the 'sideburns' on the Shenron's cheeks.


Step 4: Outlining

Using a chisel brush and a baby wipe I pulled some color from the (bottom of the) dragon and the smallest Dragon Ball to create a softer transition. Next I gave most of the design a simple outline with some black and a #2 round brush. Shenron's belly I 'divided' in parts. I didn't outline the 'sideburns', but added some short black lines at the base for more dimension.


Step 5: Adding the 'Japanese' signs, highlights and some shadow

To tie the design together I painted some Japanese looking signs on the left and right side with a #4 round brush. Again trying to achieve a nice flow. Next I tried to create some depth by adding a bit of a shadow between the horns and eyes and also between the Dragon Balls with black star blend powder and a blending brush. The final step was adding a few small highlights with white and a #2 round brush.


Additional info:

With designs like these it is all about flow and composition. Shenron is the main character in this design. That's why I placed him on top. His face and horns are following the 45 degree line that is often used in facepainting designs. The Dragon Balls are used as a 'counter weight' for Shenron and the first one is placed on the same line as Shenron's face, creating a continuous en endless flow: from Shenron face to the Dragonballs (from big to small), then to the signs, then to Shenron's body and again his face....;-).

Tip: Here is your step-by-step guide for learning how to face paint.


Annabel Hoogeveen is the owner and founder of 'Blije-Snoetjes Kinderschmink', a Facepainting company and school in the Netherlands. She is painting for about 10 years and is passionate about teaching others how to facepaint, 'because the more face painters there are, the more kids we can make happy'.

Annabel likes colorful and easy 'on-the-job' designs. But, as a former vet, she also has a passion for painting realistic 3D animals.

She is an instructor at Olga Murasev's International Face Painting School (, has written several Facepainting blogs and recently won the 'Black Panther' competition here at

You can see more of her work on her Instagram and Facebook pages.