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On the Subject of Bases

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 7, 2012, 3:29 PM
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.

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:iconthornxthunder:
ThornxThunder Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2016  Hobbyist Interface Designer
THANK! YEEEOU!
Reply
:iconsugar-wishes:
Sugar-Wishes Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2016  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
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2016  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
:iconsugar-wishes:
Sugar-Wishes Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2016  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 
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:iconsandtree:
sandtree Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
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
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  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
:iconsandtree:
sandtree Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Then I will take a look and go through your Favs,too
Reply
:icontenchibaka:
tenchibaka Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015
if you are still looking my favs is a good spot to look
Reply
:iconsandtree:
sandtree Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2015
Yes, I am still looking.
I will go and take a look, maybe I find some Bases I like
Reply
:iconforbidden-dragon13:
Forbidden-Dragon13 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012
thanks for writing this!!!
Reply
:iconluraia123:
Luraia123 Featured By Owner May 18, 2012  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
:iconmachinemistress:
MachineMistress Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Student General Artist
I cant find any manly bases that ARENT traced...do you have any?
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
None of my bases are traced, and the group #Original-Bases deals only in non traced bases.
Reply
:iconmetroid-tamer:
Metroid-Tamer Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012
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
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012  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
:iconmetroid-tamer:
Metroid-Tamer Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012
XD Ha, I know how that is. Been there, done that.
Reply
:iconheatheryamethyst:
HeatheryAmethyst Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  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
:iconrandromeda:
Randromeda Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012
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
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  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
:iconsubvertingthegenre:
subvertingthegenre Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
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
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  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
:iconscarletdevil1503:
ScarletDevil1503 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
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
:iconlil-hawk:
Lil-Hawk Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012   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
:iconmidsneypixels:
midsneypixels Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  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
:iconthe-golden-knight:
The-Golden-Knight Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
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
:iconfreakiegeekie:
FreakieGeekie Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've tried dolling and I fail at it. I know I could get better with practice but until then, I'll just use the awesome bases people make as references for drawing and drool over the pretty dolls others make.
Reply
:iconsilk824:
silk824 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Well said.
Reply
:iconlithriel:
lithriel Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Hey I know this is totally off topic but instead of having a traced base category (how many of them will actually even put their bases in that category?) why not have an original base category instead (with some way to differentiate between dolls on original bases versus actual original bases). The traced base category is not being used properly. I see traced bases all over the place still.
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
Not really my option to deal with that XD
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You know, to me the problem with bases is that they kinda symbolize lazyness to me.
I mean, Do you know an Old Master who used bases? Look at Klimt, look at Bosch, look at El Greco, look at William Hogarth, look at Goya, I guarantee you - You will not find one.

Another example - A very Captain Obvious one of that - is with modern animated and CGI series. Just look at any modern TV show - especially those made in Italy - take a random group, and turn it into bases. What you will see?

THEY ALL LOOK PRACTICALLY THE SAME! Like Clones! I mean, seriously, Are modern animators too lazy to draw every single character from the scratch?

I think the Angry Video Game Nerd put it best:
'The stages are all the same thing, except they change colors. No effort, Time is money. Don't design another stage, just change the color, and kids will think it's different. Did they think we are idiots?'

Well, I guess modern audience are idiots, because they constantly fall for that.
Reply
:icontenchibaka:
tenchibaka Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012
do you know an old master who started out being great at creating? for a very long time and even now artists are taught to practice off of the old works, even el greco and goya started out copying the old works, you are disregarding a very old and time-honored practice of copy-catting for practice, the only thing that could validate your point is that the masters all moved on(though many paintings are uncredited collaborative, where an apprentice created parts of the art to make it easier on their masters as well as teach /them/ how to create art too) and some base-users do not, though you don't seem to understand those things so maybe it is a moot point to bring up. long and short of it you are glossing over everything but the very worse and have not seemed to read the journal, looked at any base or dolls and know too little about the practices of painters.

i don't want this to be an argument though and would rather not have you repeat what you said in your first post as if i merely need to hear it again for it to magically make sense so i am going to stop now and end this with a blank and gormless smile so you can just assume i am one of those 'idiots'. goodbye random troll person
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:iconmidsneypixels:
midsneypixels Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"do you know an old master who started out being great at creating?"
Ever seen Piccasso's early work?
Reply
:icontenchibaka:
tenchibaka Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012
why are you talking to me? also i don't like picasso, a lot of his art is really unappealing looking to me
Reply
:iconmidsneypixels:
midsneypixels Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
same here, but if you lookat his very very early work, it was amazing.
Reply
:icontenchibaka:
tenchibaka Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
i was fond of his blue perion is all, i am not sue when that was though
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Don't call me a troll just because I have my personal opinion, Wise Smurf.
Reply
:iconthe-golden-knight:
The-Golden-Knight Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
Love the AVGN quote! :clap:
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
Wow.

Did I ever say that people who use bases want to become Klimt or El Greco? Where did you get that from.

We're not out to be themostawesomelyoriginalartistever. Dollers just want to have fun.

Just because I like to play badminton doesn't mean I want to be on the Olympic team. I just like having fun with my friends. Does that not apply to art too, or do we all have to want to be geniuses because some artists are?
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Another question then: What art is about? Money - No! Well it can be, but mostly it's about fun.

Bases steal like 70% of fun in drawing a character. Besides, they are very limited in poses - I have never a pose that feauted a lot of movement or quickly changing emotions. Almost all of them are about love, passion or making pole dance moves.

And, really, bases won't teach anyone how to draw - the only good way to learn drawing is by copying former masters (This painting by Jan Steen is a proof: [link])

And, before you go mad at me because of my belief, let me assure you it's all based on my personal experience - I got a lot of babycrying fangirls, who boasted they can draw better than me. I almost told them to prove that by recreating 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Ivan Albright le Lloraine.

Not just because it's my personal favourite, but also because it's a perfect challenge for anyone. And none of those girls even tried - Apart from constanlty saying 'because it's ugly' , my guess they lacked all those skills they were boasting about.

And I knew what I was saying - I personally tried to recreate that painting twice (with less, and later with more experience), so I know What I was talking about.

If you wish for a challenge, then please, try doing your own version of it (This is mine, with more experience: [link])
Reply
:icondaenerys:
Daenerys Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
Ah, maybe you;d be interested in this then: [link]

A base used to recreate a painting. Awesome, no?

And this one: [link] as well as this one. I think they are great. Recreating a painting can be a lot of fun.
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Maybe. But try looking at the topic with my eyes - I was raised when having a PC was a luxury, and no one heard about Photoshop and so on. We were taught to do anything by ourself, from the scratch.
Some forgot those lessons, I didn't - As a model-maker, diorama-builder and now as an Outsider pencil artist, I do everything from the scratch - I literally put myself in my creations.
Bases do not give such a possibility- in fact, I consider it cheating. True, you may make a good picture with them, but what good is that, when we know it's not 100% made by you?
And again, I know there were artistical cooperations ( such as this one ([link]) where one of the duo was responsible for an eagle), but it's not the same for bases, because of two words: Mass Production.
Reply
:icondaenerys:
Daenerys Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
How do you cheat at having fun? Because that is what dolling is: it is not an artform that is displayed in galleries or on the walls of houses. Or is it mainly cheating because dollers have fun?

Personally I think it a bit lame to say that 'because in my time computers were not used for such frivoloties' you can't see that computer art, made by the tool 'computer' by an artist, is actually not as easy as you make it out. True, using bases cuts down on the time you spend making a doll, but it allows me to have fun in the little free time that I have. I am not a full time artists, I am just having fun with computer art programs. Like David Hackney, an older artist, on his ipad. [link]
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You know, if I had a teacher, I might enjoy using graphical programs. But I never had that chance - And only a teacher can open my eyes to certain things.

As for the whole scenario, I have a proposition for you: Take a random base, and create a random character with it. Once you finish, take a blank piece of paper, a set of B-pencils and try recreating that same character. Once you finish, try remembering what you felt when you were using those two, completely different techniques.
Reply
:icondaenerys:
Daenerys Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
I do draw a lot on paper. I do not recreate someone else's base on paper to draw a character. Since I keep my art on my computer and I have a tablet (which I know is a luxury I don't deserve) I do draw a lot using a graphics program, which are really not that hard to use. There are plenty of tutorials out there, with the free programs that are available. Anyway, most of my bases started with a sketch on paper, which I then 'perfected' on my computer. Your suggestion that I don't draw is kinda... silly.

Don't limit yourself. Spread your wings, learn how to work with the computer to make different art then you are used to! I love pencil drawings, and oil paintings, and all sorts of media! Computer art is just one of those things! You don't need a teacher, that is the beauty of being online and having all these helpfull tutorials at your fingertips!

By the way David Hackney is in his 70s or so. His work on ipad drawing is skillfull and awesome. You really should check it out.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icons-alish:
s-alish Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
There you have it. Within your statement - "I was raised when having a PC was a luxury" - is your answer.
Between you and I, there's a time gap. Of course there are still painters and those who prefer pencil sketches to digital art, but this, right now, is the age of technology. Those who were born and raised with computers and laptops will more often than not prefer digital art over a thing of the past.
It doesn't make your version of true art any better. There are no rules to art. Art changes with the rest of the world - it's the way it works.
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Some things never change- except for their exterior.
Reply
:icondaenerys:
Daenerys Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
True. People don't really change. Once you're a sourpuss, it is very hard to change into a dancing happy nymph.

Art, now that changes as much as language does. A lot.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icondaenerys:
Daenerys Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012
I so dislike not being to edit my own comments... But i forgot the piece de resistance: [link]

Awesome. Base used. Vermeer.
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Professional General Artist
I'm not mad. I respect what you're saying, but you have to respect that not everyone feels the same way as you do.

70% of the fun for you might be drawing the character, but perhaps not for other people.

As for me I take no pleasure in recreating a painting. As you imply if 70% of the fun is in creating your own character then why bother recreating a painting? You learn to draw by studying real life, real human beings, not by copying existing art.

I'm sorry you feel you need to prove yourself to me, and to dollers as an artist, but I'm ok with what I do. I'm not asking you to make dolls too so what harm does it do if me and all my dolling mates are not having as much fun as you appear to be having recreating pictures that already exist.
Reply
:iconanaspieinpoland:
AnAspieInPoland Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It was never about 'proving yourself an artist'. It was about proving your skills.
Before I begun a way of an outsider artist, I was a model-maker (and still I am, just don't have a chance to build a new diorama). And if there is one thing my hobby taught, is that you should always do everything yourself - It teaches you patience and precision with your work.
Even if we assume dressing up a base is fun, well what fun is dressing somebody that was not drawn by you?
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