Drawing a Chibi Base
With all of the above information in mind, here's a quick example of how I draw a chibi base. With chibi bases, I don't generally bother with a skeleton, because I like drawing tiny jelly-bean bodies.

Step 1.
Draw a circle. (No, really? Yeah...)

Step 2.
Draw a jelly-bean blob shape underneath the circle. This will become the body, so feel free to make it long, short, skinny, chubby, or even to split it slightly into two sections (torso and hips).
Step 3.
The jaw-line. Nothing revolutionary here. I often use quite rounded jaw-lines for my chibis.

Try any jaw-line you like - a superhero one would be highly amusing.
Step 4.
Arms and legs! These are also really basic. Literally just cylinders.

I have flattened the cylinders off at the bottom to indicate feet. You can make the feet larger if you like. Or longer arms/legs.

So far, this base sketch has taken about 40 seconds Far less time than to write about it D:
Step 5.
Decided to turn the sketch blue so I could see the final body lines better. The final lines are drawn in the base outline colour.

You can see that I moved the body inwards a bit on the right hand side, slightly shortened the arm/hand on the right hand side and drew the top of the head on the inner part of the sketch circle. Added an ear too, that I forgot to draw in the sketch
Step 6.
Sketched a face on. Remarkably, it's not that sketchy...

I've tried to keep the face fairly simple. The mouth is literally just a "u" shape.

Also opted for some swirly cheeks for a change. Normally I just change the colour so there's a slight blush, but meh Change is fun?
Drawing a Chibi Face

Above are the steps I took in drawing the eyes. You can see a non-animated version here. If you cross-check them with the steps for the larger base, I've used the same steps, minus the mascara effect this time Could probably have made the eyelashes a bit thicker though.

On the left I've finished the face off ^_^ Basically it's just anti-aliasing the eyebrows and the mouth. I've changed the colour of the swirly cheeks too.
Shading a Chibi Base
This is the last step - adding shadows and finishing off the base. I've only done very basic shades for this base. Click here for the non-animated version.

This chibi base is almost all cylinders Even the body. Don't feel limited to chibis just standing there either, change the pose and have them jumping all over the screen! If you have some dolls in mind, that should help in creating poses
Ideas & Thoughts
So if you're struggling to come up with a base idea, or just like to consider other options, here are a few things that I go through when brainstorming base ideas.

The personality of a base can help to determine poses and face style.
For example, a shy base, might have larger, innocent eyes, with modest or timid poses. A glamorous base might include lipstick and the poses may be more confident or flirtatious.

A base set could be made up of both types of poses, with alternative faces. It all depends on what you want to make.
Base Props
While many pixel doll bases don't come with props, sometimes it's neat to build them in. A base set built around reading glasses would be an interesting change. Or an artist base set with many poses suited for sketching or with pencils/pens.
Under 50x50 pixels - between 70 pixels and 100 pixels tall? Or a really large base, that's 500 pixels tall?

If you create a base sketch that's too big or too small, you can always resize it to the size you need and trace over it ^_^
While the personality might help to determine style, sometimes you might want to include other things as well. Perhaps eye styles, or the overall drawing style (realistic, anime, chibi).
Alright, right before the end, here, have another eye-step-by-step This one is drawn using 4 colours.

And that's it for this tutorial! I hope you have fun drawing bases for your pixel pieces~
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I've had a lot of questions asking how I draw my pixel art, so I've tried to explain my work process here ^_^

Drawing Bases
20th April, 2012

Drawing both a chibi base and larger anime-styled base.

Beginning Pixel Art
4th March, 2008

The very basics of pixelling to get you started making your own pixel art.

How to use Microsoft Paint
3rd March, 2008

Using Microsoft Paint to create your pixel art and pixel dolls.

Basic Pixel Doll Tutorial
5th March, 2008

Step by step examples showing how to sketch and shade a pixel doll.

Shading & Lighting
8th April, 2010

Using basic shapes to illustrate shadow and light placement.

Adding a Pattern
21st January, 2012

Adding patterns when making a pixel doll.

Animation Tutorial with GIMP
27th January, 2010

Introducing animation using GIMP by making a pixel doll blink.

Making a Deviantart Icon
28th January, 2010

Creating a 50x50 icon for use in places such as DeviantArt.com

Palettes and Theme Generator
12th February, 2010

Various colour palettes for pixel art, as well as a random theme generator.