Making a doll base

finished body

Title: Doll Base
Software: Corel PSP x6
Author: Sheryl
Home: SherylsPage
Tutorial Home: PSP
Skill Level: Beginner but previous experience in working with Pixels is required.
Description: Creating a doll base.
I will be explaining how I get the bodies for my dolls. If you've never worked with pixels, please be sure to check out my Pixel Art tutorial first.

In PSPx6, there's three different work areas. Manage, Adjust, and Edit. My tutorials are all done in Edit.

Terms of use: You are welcome to use your finished product how ever you like but please don't copy anything from this site and call it your own.

Let's get started

I'm not an artist so I like to use pictures as a model for my bases except for the head.
I draw the head separately.
The base I will be drawing was made using a picture of my young niece's body. If you don't have any pictures, try searching the internet for women's bathing suits or lingerie. The less clothes the easier it is to get your outline.

This is the picture I'll be working with. You're welcome to use it.
Right click and save it to your computer.


Step 1

Open your picture in PSP.
If your picture has a background or other images that you need to get rid of, follow along with step 1. Otherwise proceed to step 2.

Duplicate the layer.
Layers>Duplicate or right click the layer on the layer palette and say Duplicate.

layers1 layers2

Turn off the original background layer by clicking the eye next to the layer.


You'll be working on the duplicated layer.

Zoom in on your picture so you can see what you're doing and open your background eraser tool.

background eraser

You can start with the default settings but if your picture is a lot smaller then mine or much bigger, you'll need to adjust the size of your eraser brush.
Just move the arrow up or down.

background eraser

Start erasing the background being sure you don't erase any of your model.
You may need to adjust the size of your eraser brush while doing this.
You don't have to be too concerned about getting rid of all the background. That will happen once we outline our model but you do want to try and get rid of any pixels along all the edges because we will be re sizing this to about our finished size.
If there's stray pixels, the size may end up wider or longer then you want.
If your background eraser isn't getting rid of all the background, switch to the regular eraser.
You will see it in the image above. Change the size if need be.

This is what I have so far.


Step 2

Time to re size. This is just a matter of choice.
I want to try and make my doll about 135 pixels tall so I'm going to re size the body to 110 pixels high, which will leave me room for the head.
The width will automatically adjust to what ever height you choose.
To re size, go to Image> Re size


Set the height under Pixel Dimensions to the height you want the body.
Be sure to have pixels chosen.
Take the check mark out of re size all layers.
You just want your current layer re sized.
Click ok.

resize settings

If you're satisfied with the size of your body, continue to step 4 otherwise continue on to step 3.

Step 3

Step 3 will make the body a little fatter.
Open up a new image 300x300 with a white background.
Copy and paste your body image as a new transparent layer.
Duplicate this layer.
See step 1 for duplicating.

Using your freehand selection tool, draw around one of your legs.
It doesn't have to be exact.

freehand selection

Our base is going to end up being symmetrical with both sides the same so if your legs are different,
pick which ever leg you want the two legs to look like.
Once you've drawn an outline around the leg, click inside the outline and it will select everything just inside your selection.

This is what my leg looks like.


Cut and paste as a new layer.
With the move tool, put it back where it was.

move tool

Click on the pick tool. That's the first option with the move tool.

pick tool

This will put a large rectangle around the image of the layer you're on.
Pull the handles out to make the leg a little fatter.
You can also pull the handles up or down to change the size of the leg.

pick tool

Use this same approach to make an arm wider or thinner. Which ever you choose.
Remember that the base will be symmetrical so we only need to work on one side.
If you're happy with the size of your leg and arm, turn off your bottom layer.
This will be the white layer.
Turn off your duplicate layer if it's not already turned off.
You should only have the cut body and it's new leg and arm.
Right click one of the active layers and merge visible.

merge visible

Turn your background layer back on. That would be the layer with the white background.

Step 4

Now it's time to outline our model.
We're going to make both sides the same so you only need to draw an outline around one half of the model.
For those who didn't do step 3, pick which ever side you like the best.
Add a new layer.
This step is done using pixels but we don't need the grid turned on quite yet.
Zoom in to 800%.
Set your paintbrush at one pixel and pick what ever color you want for drawing the outline.
I'm just going to use a dark color. This will all get changed when you do your actual shading of the body.
Starting at the center of your model's neck, do a rough draw around one entire side of the model.


Duplicate this layer and go to:
Image> Flip Horizontal.

flip horizontal

Turn off the layer with your model so you can see what you have so far.
If it's anything like mine, it's not going to look that great.

rough body1

Step 5

This next step will be cleaning up all the extra pixels and making sure your body is symmetrical.
I can't really tell you how to do this since every model will be different.
You first need to turn your grid on and be sure you're zoomed in to 800%.
You can work on one side and then duplicate the layer and do a horizontal flip.
This step requires a lot of zooming in and zooming out so you can see what your body is looking like.
To remove pixels, set your eraser tool to size 1 and remove each pixel.
Be sure your legs meet in the center of the body.
It should be at the same point as the center of the neck.
This is what my cleaned up body looks like.

body outline

When you're happy with your body, turn off the bottom white background layer.
Be sure just your outline layers are on and merge visible.

Step 6

Turn on your background layer.
I use vectors to make the head.
Don't worry. This will be easy.
Click your preset shape tool.

preset shape tool

Click the arrow that brings up the preset shape list and find the ellipse.

preset shape tool

Be sure to take the check mark out of Anti-alias and have the line width set to straight and 1.
Draw an ellipse on top of your body by placing your mouse around 32 pixels higher then the neck and a little to the left of the body.
Don't worry if this isn't precise, You'll be able to stretch the ellipse to make it the right height and width.
Just grab the handles. Refer to step 3 and pull out or pull up.

vector head

Once you have your head set, right click on the layer and convert it to a raster layer.

convert to raster

Make sure each side of the head is the same size just like with the body.
Turn off the background layer and merge visible.
Save this as a pspimage and then use it to continue on with my doll tutorials.

Doll Base