Finding the Perfect Base

Doll by DaeneliaA base is half a doll. More than half, if you are new to dolling. Picking out a good doll base to go with your style and your level of dolling skills is important for how good your doll will look. This article will look at different bases and give a Top Ten of July 2012 for Starter’s Doll Bases.

As a dolling newbie, learning how to make pixel dolls, you start with picking out a base. In the past it was easy: there were only a few bases around such as the prep or silents. But today there are many different types of bases, big or small, pixel or even tooled.

Picking a Base

Bases for making pixel dollsPicking a base can make or break your doll, so pick wisely. If the base is not very good, you need to be able to edit most of the base. If you can’t edit bases well, you have to pick a base that has good proportions and skintones. And it has to match your shading style, tooled, pixeled or dithered.

Most new dollers will not be able to edit a base very much. It is better to concentrate on getting the clothes and hair right first. So choose a pixel doll base that is perfect the way it is: pose, style, size and shading.


Pixel dolls in different posesSo many poses, so much choice! But for your first few dolls I recommend you stick to simple frontal poses. Even better if the pose is symmetrical. The reason for this is that you can easily outline and shade one side of the doll”s outfit and the copy and mirror it to suit the other side. This saves time and effort and is a great trick for newbies. As you get better, you will want to edit the shading to be less symmetrical, and to tweak the outline a little. But as a new doller don’t be ashamed to use this trick.

Base is by PinstripeStyle

There is the choice between realistic and cartoony bases and every variety in between. This should match your own prefered style. If you want to try making realistic clothes and hair, go for a realistic base. This can be tricky for new dollers, because it has to look real. You will have more leeway with a cartoon base. Going for simple outlines on a simple cartoon base may be just the right thing for a new doller.


Base by QuinquiFor starting dollers I would say: not too big, and not too small a base. Too small and you need to work out how to get some detail in. Too big and you are likely to lose interest in finishing half-way through. Choose a base between 125 pixels and 200 pixels high. This size will be easy to manage in an hour or two. There will be enough room to get some detail in, but nothing too elaborate. Big enough to shade properly and small enough to keep your attention.


New dollers are almost always pixelshaders. If you are, you have to find a base that is pixelshaded as well. Most bases are. Take into account in how many shades the base is shaded. if it only uses and outline, main colour and one shading colour, you will have to match this in your outfit. If it has many different darker and highlight colours, the outfit will also have to be shaded with more shades.

Super Starter Bases

So now you know what to look for in a perfect base. Here is my list of 10 Super Starter Bases, as of July 2012. The doll bases are listed in no particular order. And there may be lots of other good bases out there. This is just to get you started!

Quinqui q-Mix
Kawaii Hannah
La Leche Dolls

And if these don’t inspire you, search for bases on Pixistar!

Dolls by Daenelia, bases by Daenelia, Pinstripe (woman in orange coat) and Quinqui (girl in golden dress).

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