On the Subject of Bases
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Fellow People of Deviantart,

I am here today to talk to you about Bases and Dolling.

Re-content by HeatheryAmethyst Base: Dude by Rami-crazyfox   Practical :base: by wishuponapixel

I am not asking you to do it, or even to like it, but just to put out a standpoint that is sorely missing from this ongoing row over what a Base really is.

Nolua base by oOAngeliceOo Lina Base by TheHWord Dimitre Base by LieutenantSheesha

You may think a base is a large traced piece from anime with no skill and that the people who draw on top of them are lazy artists who just don't want to learn how to draw. Some bases are traced, but not every base.

Picco Base by dt8thd--pixels Just sittin' around by aerieyena Base - Duckling by dnya

Dolling is a hobby, something that is done for fun, and not every doller out there wants to be able to draw like a whiz kid. A lot of people hold down jobs, or full time education and just want a little fun. And so they are able to use a base that they like and draw some clothes and hair onto it, often very skillfully.

The 3rd Rozen Maiden by Felirile

Many doll bases are hand drawn by artists like myself. Yes Tracing is rampant, but the best of dolling is untraced and comes in every shape size colour and style you can think of.

Mature Content

Em by TheHWord
Trevor:The Base by kaileighblue Siblings Base by Pathetic-Krypton

I share my ability to draw because I can, and I don't see the need to hoard my talent whispering "Mine.. My Precious" and so it is my choice to share that with the world, and I don't mind anyone dolling or drawing from my resources, no matter how good they are.

The Fairy Base by FionaCreates The Baseless Collection by FionaCreates

Dolling is a community, and without sharing and friendship and other mushy stuff we could not thrive. I myself still use bases occasionally because there is something undeniably fun about starting from a blank body and being able to take it any direction. But also in seeing what someone else did with the same starting point.

OxiFoxi by VallyFatality I do love this base by Odyrah Holiday by Chaliosa Me a la Gypsy by moogle-licious .:Gift-Art:. Queen Zelda by Metroid-Tamer

I do not claim we are all super talented, or even want to be, but as a group of artists we share and share alike and most importantly have fun doing it.

The best thing about bases is that when hand drawn we gain a vast array of drawing styles to play with and match our own styles with.

Sorrow base. Portrait. by Rami-crazyfox w r e n by Consonanta :thumb190091277:

Call dolling lazy for using a base, because it is a little, but it's fun, and it's legal to share resources like we do, so it's  like photomanipulation and like colouring in lineart, or any other style of art that relies on a collaboration of talents. Sometimes the end result is amazing, and sometimes it is lazy or by someone poorly skilled. Some of us even used to trace and have now learned to draw and continue to improve every day and would never ever trace again.

- Mandarin 2 - by base-o-holic   Strength Base by refiapixel Male Base Set- Jaris by lithriel

But there is much more to it than traced anime. Tracing is never good not for any art form including dolls despite it's popularity we don't like it either.  I just wanted to take this moment of your time to introduce you (or remind you) that while there's a lot of bad things in our gallery, there is a lot of good too.

Thanks to the fantastic dollers featured in this journal.

The current doll CV is IridescentStardust and if you find any dolls or bases you would love to see featured as a DD please drop her a note. :D


Thank you for your time.

CSS Journal Coded by FleX177

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Hello everyone! I want to talk to you about bashing dolls and DDs in general. I must say this has been brewing in me for well...a very long time now and though I personally haven't been hit with this yet, it breaks my heart when I see it done to others. So you get to listen to me for a few minutes. I was literally going to make you listen to me. I was going to record a video for this but I've been sick and way too busy for that. I am going to break down this journal here in case you feel like jumping to different sections. I. - Doll Basics and where to read about them II. - My take on everything III. - DD's and DD Etiquette -- This was
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Comments (203)
ThornxThunder's avatar
ThornxThunder|Hobbyist Interface Designer
THANK! YEEEOU!
Reply  ·  
Sugar-Wishes's avatar
Sugar-Wishes|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dolling is a hobby, something that is done for fun, and not every doller out there wants to be able to draw like a whiz kid. A lot of people hold down jobs, or full time education and just want a little fun. And so they are able to use a base that they like and draw some clothes and hair onto it, often very skillfully.

YES!! This is what Ive been saving for a long time :D I love dolling and it's a hobby for me too ^^ It's super fun for me to create my own characters and such and I cannot draw all that well so it's a good art outlet for me! :)
Reply  ·  
FionaCreates's avatar
FionaCreates|Professional General Artist
I find those who get addicted and learn to make good clothes and characters on bases, often then take the extra step and DO learn to draw because they're fed up of the same old poses all the time and having no control, and it's hard but they found their motivation to do it. imo in order to choose to want to learn something, people need some reason to want to, and so bases are a nice thing at the beginning that can later on get people into their own drawing. Or some people choose to continue using bases forever. Who gives a crap XD (so long as the bases are freely given by the artists who made them, I still don't abide by tracing any old art you find just cos you like the body shape... esp if you don't have permission)
Reply  ·  
Sugar-Wishes's avatar
Sugar-Wishes|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow that's a long reply o.o'' I agree with you ^^ I don't encourage posting traced art either, but if you trace just to get the poses down that's fine with me. Just don't post it on dA since the art isn't owned by you.
And wow we have like the exact same thoughts on this so I really don't have to give a huge reply back.  x'D 
Reply  ·  
sandtree's avatar
do you have more links to groups/ artists who do orginal Bases?
When I look at at the "Base" category here on DA there are 99% wrongly submitted traced Bases or adopted Bases in this category and I find it hard to find orginal Bases
Reply  ·  
FionaCreates's avatar
FionaCreates|Professional General Artist
I half follow #Original-Bases-Unite #BetterBases and #Original-Bases otherwise various doll groups don't allow tracing you'd have to look up each individual group. Raiding people's favs is also a good way to find bases. Someone who is anti tracing will tend not to fav traced bases.
Reply  ·  
sandtree's avatar
Then I will take a look and go through your Favs,too
Reply  ·  
tenchibaka's avatar
if you are still looking my favs is a good spot to look
Reply  ·  
Forbidden-Dragon13's avatar
thanks for writing this!!!
Reply  ·  
Luraia123's avatar
Luraia123|Student General Artist
Beautiful. I hope this gets through some base-doll haters.
It's really sad to see a very good doll get hated on just because it's traced or because it's somebody else's work.
When I come to a very good doll, I see comments like "DO DIE U F*CKIN STEALER!!!!1!!! DO UR OWN ART!!! TALENTLESS LOOSERRRR!!!!!1!!!!!!!!1111!"
But, now-a-days, base hating has decreased. It makes me really happy that people like you are supporting the dolling community.

Thank you!
Reply  ·  
MachineMistress's avatar
MachineMistress|Student General Artist
I cant find any manly bases that ARENT traced...do you have any?
Reply  ·  
FionaCreates's avatar
FionaCreates|Professional General Artist
None of my bases are traced, and the group #Original-Bases deals only in non traced bases.
Reply  ·  
Metroid-Tamer's avatar
Ohgod. I found this in someone's faves while browsing so I decided to read it. Then I saw you featured my Zelda doll. ;w; That may explain the lil' surge of attention it had last weekend. I had to leave a comment to thank you for that. :heart: And I approve of the message made in this entry. A lot.
Reply  ·  
FionaCreates's avatar
FionaCreates|Professional General Artist
Thanks :D And yeah I did mean to go round and link all the people I thumbed the work of but never got round to it cos I'm a lazy sod XD
Reply  ·  
Metroid-Tamer's avatar
XD Ha, I know how that is. Been there, done that.
Reply  ·  
HeatheryAmethyst's avatar
HeatheryAmethyst|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for helping the dolling community <3

This really is important to all of us to respect this community and want to give dolling a good name.
Reply  ·  
Randromeda's avatar
Also, this.

To quote: "With how much work I put into editing the base, I probably could have created it from scraps easier, however I often enjoy working with other artists bases and the collaborative feel that it has, and because other artists also think differently then me, coming up with different poses then me, which helps widen the area in which I doll."

So that debunks any "bases are lazy" thoughts anyone might be harboring. :D
Reply  ·  
FionaCreates's avatar
FionaCreates|Professional General Artist
yes that. The ability to work with other people's body styles, for me not so much face styles as I tend to redraw them, but mostly what I find exciting is being able to use the exact same base as someone else, and come up with something 100% mine. Like when I use something like a DHF base most people can't tell. That makes me happy.
Reply  ·  
subvertingthegenre's avatar
I have a question about bases. I'm not sure if what I do counts as a base. I use photographs, like the covers of magazines, and trace a few lines of the outlines, so I know where everything should roughly be.

Is what I'm doing the same as what that other Deviant was talking about?
Reply  ·  
FionaCreates's avatar
FionaCreates|Professional General Artist
Well things like the covers of magazines are under copyright to the magazine, so you shouldn't be tracing them really.

You can however look at them and draw freehand from them.

If you want to legitamately trace, you should use some of the deviantART stock. These are photos that people provide in the Resources section specifically for people to edit, either by tracing them, or by making photomanipulations etc.

Personally I would suggest just freehanding it every time. Tracing can be like riding a bicicle with the training wheels. You can ride the bike really well but when you take them off you might fall over sometimes until you learn how to do it right.
Reply  ·  
ScarletDevil1503's avatar
Thank you so much for writing this. :hug: I agree with everything you said here. Art is about expression; dolls are just one of the many canvases that can be used.

There aren't enough people like you on dA! :crying:
Reply  ·  
Lil-Hawk's avatar
Lil-Hawk| General Artist
I think what most people who go and judge bases and base users don't understand is that "dolling" isn't "drawing" or "painting". It's its own form of art. Just cuz someone uses bases for dolling doesn't mean they're too lazy to draw (or try to draw) baseless art that may or may not be dolls.

Personally I'd never use traced anime bases cuz I think they look horrible, no skill or effort put in them and it shows. Plus I don't see any usefulness in them in general, their poses tend to be too random and uninspiring to me, and too often their bodies are cropped in unappealing ways since the original material they're traced from is cropped the same way. And then of course there's the copyright issue. So I don't like them.

I'd never use any kinda bases for drawing but I do sometimes use bases for dolling. Not claiming I'm skilled at either, and I'm pretty much a beginner at dolling, but for me it's not about laziness or whatever... I don't go looking for bases to supposedly make my job easier. I look for a base to make a doll. If I wanted to draw a character, I'd DRAW it, not doll it. 2 different forms of art on their own rights. I also write, make plushies, jewelry, traditional art, you name it including performing arts... are you gonna tell me I use fabric cuz I'm too lazy to translate my vision for a plushie into paper and crayons?? :o

Yeah I know there's people who use bases cuz it makes it easier for them, but then again that's one of the purposes of bases and there's nothing wrong with it, I actually think it's part of the fun of dolling, seeing what other people have been inspired to do with the same base. Which usually makes me jealous cuz I'm pretty bad at dolling on bases LOL, I'm not very comfortable with bases mainly cuz I lack the skills to transform them in a way that remains consistent to the base, but also cuz it's hard for me to find bases that inspire me to doll something on them so I'm usually more comfortable making baseless dolls.

People who put bases and base users down don't understand that dolling on bases, and doing it WELL, is an art form that requires its own set of skills (I know from my own failed experiences). They claim it's just laziness, or lack of artistic skills or whatever. Have they, with all the artistic skills they boast of, ever tried their hand at dolling on a base? IMO being able to work well on a base is something to aspire to in the dolling community, not something to condemn. :o

Just my 2 cents :)
Reply  ·  
midsneypixels's avatar
midsneypixels|Hobbyist Digital Artist
nooo! weave your own fabric! but wait, that's not enough-shear the sheep, wash the wool, card it, spin it, AND weave ti!
Reply  ·  
The-Golden-Knight's avatar
The-Golden-Knight|Hobbyist General Artist
That's cool, but sadly, I still note a statistically substantial amount of "bases" used by kids with relatively limited resources and/or patience...Even though your article here is valid.
Reply  ·  
anonymous's avatar
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