Every doll creator has their own style and techniques for drawing dolls. What I offer here is a step by step tutorial on my method of creating dolls without the use of bases. No part of this tutorial may be copied or distributed without my express written consent. I hope you find it helpful and enjoy using it. This tutorial is easiest done with a program that works with layers but I am going to explain it in a way that MS Paint users can do it too.
The first thing you need to do is find a picture that you would like to draw and resize it to the standard prep size of 135 pixels. I found this simple outfit and pose at J.C. Penny .com.
Next you will need to copy and paste the photograph to a new canvas in order to give yourself plenty of room to work.
If you are using a paint program that has layers then add a new layer....if not...never fear, I will be explaining how to do this without layers as well. Begin by choosing the darkest shade from your palette that you will be working with. I have created some color palettes for you to use here. You then trace around the entire photograph as I have done above. We are only going to work from the neck down at this point. I like to create my head as a final step.
Now choose one shade lighter from your palette and trace along the inside of your first line.
Repeat step 4 with another line of outline of color one more shade lighter.
You will now fill in the rest of the space with your final lightest shade from your color palette. You can do this easily by using your flood fill tool.
Now we will add the head using the shape seen here. You can alter the appearance of your doll by experimenting with different face shapes. This is my favorite. Notice I used the same shading technique that we used on the rest of the doll.
Next we have added hair using the same shading technique.
Now you will add your face. Faces are certainly a matter of personal taste and you may already have your own style that you will choose to use. This is one of the ways that I like to make faces. If you are working with layers you can now finish your doll by deleting the bottom layer...the photograph, merging layers, and adding transparency. If you are using MS Paint, continue with this tutorial.
We are nearly finished but first we have to clean our doll up a bit. Do this by selecting a color that is not found anywhere at all in your doll. Then trace around the entire doll, right next to your darkest shade.
Now finish filling in the background. You can enlarge your paintbrush to make this faster and easier. And finally make your doll transparent.
We have now transformed ....
This: Into this: