Dog Portraits

Years ago I read an article about an artist who bought old masters' portraits at thrift shops then painted dogs faces over the peoples' faces. I scoured the internet but couldn't find any examples. If you find them please send me the link! Hooray! Jocelyne De Montblanc from Belgium sent me the link, check it out: 

Take my word, they were cool looking (in a spooky portraits-who-eyes-follow-you-everywhere kind of way). I mean, who wouldn't want their dog to look like King Henry VIII or Marie Antoinette?

Unfortunately I have never found an old master portrait in any of my thrift shops, my painting skills are not up to the challenge and I'm not sure I have the courage to paint over an old master. But I do love cabinet cards. They are all over the place and pretty inexpensive. You can download this photo here. (female version is here) I figured I could use my Photoshop skills to make my dog into a guy who sits on a chair.  (I think I have too much time on my hands) 

Open up the cabinet card and a picture of the head of your favorite dog. It helps if they have the same dpi. 300 dpi is best if you wish to print a copy.

Make a duplicate layer of your head and erase the background on the copy. If you erase on the first layer, the background is opaque. If you erase on the new layer, the background is transparent. (It's PS thing) You want a transparent background. (you need to throw away the first layer or at least click off the eye symbol to the left of the layer to hide it)

With the move tool, drag the dog head over the head of the person. Resize it until it looks about right. Reduce the opacity of the dogs head (see red square for location of the opacity slider) and line up at least one eye of the dog with the eye of the man. You may want to change the opacity from transparent to opaque and back again while you work to get the right fit.

Make the dog opaque (100%). Zoom in and with the dog's head layer selected, erase the edge of the dog's neck until it fits into the man's collar. Use your opacity slider as needed. You will notice that the guy's hair is showing above the dog.

Highlight the bottom layer and using the clone tool, cover the man's hair. 

The dog's head most likely will not match the color of the photograph. You may never get it perfectly but if you highlight the dog head layer and open HUE&SATURATION you can get close. Since the photo is sepia toned, you need to click "colorize" in the H&S dialog box. This will turn the dog's head a strange sepia tone that you need to tweak with the hue, saturation and lightness sliders to make it match the photo. 

He's not exactly King Henry, but he could be the founder of your bark bank.


Kim said...

Wow - that IS creepy!!! (In a great Halloween way)

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I think this is wonderful! A little beyond my photoshop ability but still a wonderful photo. I bet you could sell these to other pet owners.
Hugs, Sherry

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

LOVE IT! Hysterical!
Best regards,

Leah said...

Just my style, I love it!

Bella said...

Gail, as I sit awake at 2;30 in the morning, because I can't sleep, I'm all stuffed up and bad cough, sipping on a cup of tea, working on my blog, and saw my last entry on the party. LOL, this is great. The dog looks like true gentleman. I love it, totally cracks me up, and Im not sure if thats what you were going for, but I like it. I agree with Sherry that pet owners, would prob totally like this. I have a cat, not sure how that would look, but THANK YOU for linking up, and I am setting up another party now. Starts every Tuesday, so stop by, and link up again. I appreciate all the support. Bella :)

jet said...

wooow i love this, soooo welldone, too of colour the doghead on his body,
I'm working too with photoshop so i know that you did a good job;-D
thank you for the greate tute and the sharing, i think i willl try out your steps with a cat head.LOL

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I really think this is a fun idea, thanks so much for sharing!

Melissa said...

You did a great job - what a fun idea.

dogsmom said...

I know William Wener dresses his weimers in human attire and does all kinds of cool things with them, not sure of a painter tho.
Since digital has become so much fun to work with the girls in our dog club have been sending all sorts of doggie masterpieces across the airwaves. I have to learn how to do this. You are right, has a cool Halloween or Fri 13th vibe.

Megan said...

What?! This is kooky and great! You've got some good photoshop skills and I enjoyed your pun in the closing line.

samsstuff said...

What a cool tutorial!

the cape on the corner said...

this totally creeps me out, but i love it! such a great idea for halloween.

Dee said...

Thanks for the detailed tutorial! Love this idea!!! I see a sheepdog family portrait in my near future. I use PS but it makes me want to pull my hair out occasionally!

Mark and Ashlie said...

This is so funny! Thanks for sharing your great tutorial! Come back to Sister Sister Sunday and share your great tips again!

Van said...

I love quirky crafts like this, very cute!

Dee said...

Loved it so much I made some for myself and then blogged about it here

I linked back to you! Thanks!

Theresa said...

Love this! Thanks for the tutorial, I don't have photoshop but I'm going to try it on piknic. Our dogs look pretty similar, I hope I get results as cool as yours! Theresa

Sue said...

LOL! Love it!

Sue @ Beach Bungalow

Katie's Nesting Spot said...

Wow too fun! I know many a pet lover who would dig this! Great idea to make your own version:) I wish I was as good at capturing layers like you did of your dog's head. Thank you for joining us at A Crafty Soiree! I hope you'll come back next week and link up again!

Brambleberry Cottage said...

I'm so impressed with your Photoshop skills. I would not have known where to start to do what you did, without your tutorial.

I'll be featuring it Thursday night for Talented Time Travelers.

Thanks for linking to my party. I would love to have you join me each week.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

malia said...

very cool! thanks for joining us at a crafty soiree... hope to see you tomorrow

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

I bet getting the coloring right was the hardest part! Looks great! Thanks for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's.

Sue said...

i am a new follower and would love a follow back'

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

I love this project!! I would like to try this too- but I had a heck of a time even figuring out how to add text to my blog button!! Aye! Maybe at some point! I'm having a decorating inspiration party this weekend at my blog if you would like to join in~ super cute project!! :)

Curtains In My Tree said...

Look at that. Darnest things happen here in blog land. I love the dog


Baye said...

I have to include one of these on the wall of family shots. Talk about a touch of whimsy! Thanks for the idea and the tute.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Hi there! I had to remove your post from my list because you didn't add a link back to me in your post. (That is my one guideline for joining this party) If you'd like to add my button or a link-back, please feel free to join the party. We'd love to have you!

TracyMB said...

This is SO much fun! Can't wait to try this; thanks for the inspiration! :)

Envy My Cooking said...

Just found your blog through links. If you ever need new recipes or would like to be featured than please come visit us and become a follower than email us a recipe, find or a picture of your kitchen.. we would love to feature you

Kristi Flanagan said...

How funny! I think I should do one for our dog on our "family wall"!

Thanks for planting your creative seeds at Plant a Punkin Seed Party!

Punkin Seed Productions

Lorie said...

Bwahahaha! I love it! What a great tutorial! Thanks for linking up to Show and Tell Saturday!

Cheryl said...

My kids would find this hilarious. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday - would love if you added the party button:)

jennoreilly said...

this is awesome! We did this with pictures of our kids when they were younger, switched our daughters head with ours and vice versa! It was so funny!!

Here from tidymom, hope you're having a great weekend!

Becolorful said...

Gotta love a fun and unorthodox project like this one. So glad you linked it up to my Motivated Monday.
I may have to go get a dog so I can bring this look home. :)
Love it. Love a project with a sense of humor.
Pam @ Becolorful

Lori@Paisley Passions said...

Haha! LOVE it! Thanks SO much for joining in on Thrilling Thursdays @ Paisley Passions. I love to see the creative talent of other fellow bloggers. Hope you to see you again soon :)
~Lori S.
Thrilling Thursdays @Paisley Passions

Debra@Common Ground said...

How AWESOME!! This is so funny and you did a great job! I need to get photoshop, but then all I would do would be "play" all day. Thanks for linking this up it's just hysterical!

LambAround said...

HA! I am so totally making a Pica and Biscuit photo gallery like this. I bet it would make a great xmas gift for hubby :)

If you get a chance, I'd love for you to link to this on Not "Baaad" Sundays with LambAround!

Robyn said...

SOOOO INCREDIBLY CUTE! I love it! PS totally rocks! Thanks for sharing on Funky Junk!

AUDRA said...

SO funny! I've actually seen pictures like these.
Thanks for linking up to Socialize with me Monday til Sunday

Meg said...

You're a computer pro! This is so great. Perfect for Halloween! Thanks for lining up this week! I love it!

Stacy said...

ROFLMAO! I am going to do this to my dogs. I found you through the blog hop on Lamb Around ( You are very creative!

StepThruCrazy said...

I love this! It reminds me of the dog-headed bit from Sesame Street. Hopefully someone knows what I'm talking about!

Jenn Erickson said...

OMG -- I absolutely love it! I saw your link-up at LambAround and had to come see how you achieved this awesome vintage look! I love vintage photos and dogs, so the combination is just sensational! Thanks for the tutorial! Jenn/Rook No. 17

Julie (Legacy Crafter) said...

That is awesome!I'll have to try that with my Dakota doggie. Well done

TracyMB @ Crows Feet Chic said...

So glad I could still find this! Made one in 2010 and now I'm making another. Thanks for this! :D

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