Back when you were a little girl, you (well, some of you) probably played with dolls. You would dress them up, brush their hair, add the little accessories, then sit back and admire how pretty they looked. Well, that is sort of how cartoon dolls are made. These new pixel shaded works of art have become the Internet's newest craze, and there are hundreds of doll artists that have proudly presented their own dolls on their web sites.
What are Cartoon Dolls?
Cartoon dolls are basically like any other graphic. You use a paint [graphics] program to create them. Most people use Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop, but you can use any paint [graphics] program you want for this.
You can then use your Cartoon doll to dress up web pages, add to your online signatures and profiles or print them out to decorate your stationary or other paperwork.
Learning How to Make Dolls
Doll-making itself isn't a very difficult process. It comes naturally to some, and for others it takes a bit more concentration and practice. There are many tutorials on how to make dolls scattered throughout the web. Guineveres dolls is a very popular doll site that offers many different tutorials for base-making, clothing textures, etc. You can also check out the Web Doll Online Resources at Kids' Turn for more help.
The first thing you need to do when creating a web doll is to create the base. The base is the doll's face and body. This is probably the hardest part if you are unable to draw human faces and bodies. Fortunately, this stage is optional, since so many doll sites have bases ready for you to use. Random Doodles, for example, has an excellent selection of doll bases, like the one to the right, that are available to save and use.
If you decide to use another persons base to make your doll, there are some rules that are VERY important to follow. Many, if not all doll sites post their own rules for using their bases, but here are a few basic rules that you must follow, that is, if you intend to post your work on a web site:
- Always give credit to the person that made the base
- Link back to the site where you got the base
- Never hot link [link an image from another web site]. This is stealing someone's bandwidth. ALWAYS save the doll base to your own computer before uploading it to your site's server.
- Don't Frankendoll. This means, no taking parts of a base and adding it to another.
Then comes the fun part. Using your paint [graphics] program, you draw the hair, clothes, and accessories over top of the base to create your own personalized cartoon doll.
It takes a little bit of practise but once you get the hang of it you can create some pretty impressive images.
A lot of doll artists have special links on their sites called Sister Sites. This is completely optional, but a lot of fun. If you know someone who has a doll site, you can send them a doll that you made as a gift for them, asking if they would like to be sister sites.
I suggest you know the sister somehow. It could be a friend or family member. For example, I know my sister site (Josie) from Kids Turn Central chat.
Creating cartoon dolls is a lot of fun. It's a great way to be creative, learn about graphics and to meet other doll makers online. There are lots of us out there! You can visit my doll site at Between Worlds.