06 Mar 2020 | 5 MIN READ

Animals in Famous Paintings

Marina Alojants

Humans were almost always the heroes in paintings until the 20th century when artwork became more affordable. Only the wealthy could order a painting of their favorite pet. Today you can capture images of your furry, scaly, or winged friends with a press of a button! Pet photos and videos are filling the internet in waves. Imagine having animals in famous paintings as heroes in historical events! 

Cat Attack

Jacques-Louis David’s painting The Death of Marat originally shows the death of a French revolutionary leader. A quick edit and the man transforms from a victim of political activism to a drama queen. It is only a scratch Jean-Paul Marat, get up and feed the cat!

Pro tip: I bet you did not notice the missing knife in the edit. You can easily remove objects with the Magic Brush.

Portrait of Prince Husky Woofster

The portrait of Prince Andrei Obolensky captures the wealth, influence, and status of the person. Who said animals in famous paintings cannot be royalty? See how well a princely attire and medals can suit a husky! Careful what you think of the dog next door, maybe it’s an agent like the platypus from Phineas and Ferb.

Pro tip: To add a yellow tint to the husky’s brilliantly white fur, you can use the Sepia setting in the Adjust option. 

The Woodcutter’s Raku

Paintings were not always about the rich and noble. Sometimes, artists, like Leon Perrault, would depict a mundane scene or common folk. In some parts of the world, raccoons are more common than cats or dogs. So, why not give them some justice and make it The Woodcutter’s Raku.

Pro tip: The painting’s hazy imagery can be mimicked in the raccoon with the Grain setting in the Adjust option.

Portrait of an Old Gentlepug

In case you did not notice, people often posed at a ¾ angle with straight and composed expressions. This is why the Old Gent by Joshua Reynolds looks grave, proud, and serious. Ever seen a dog give you a side-glance? This old gentlepug caught its owner hiding his treats, very disappointing.

Pro tip: To avoid the edit from looking like a photo collage, reduce the cutout’s color Contrast in the Adjust tool.

The Camel at a Ball

If raccoons are common in North America, then camels are a usual sight in North Africa and the Middle East. Is it not unjust to crop them out of paintings? A quick cut and layering can transform Vermeer’s oil on canvas into The Camel With a Pearl Earring.

Pro tip: Notice how the girl’s shoulders shrunk in the edit to match the camel head? This trick can be repeated with the Distort feature.

Portrait of Her Whiskership

Frans Hals’ Portrait of a Woman sounds plain and self-explanatory. What about a Portrait of Her Whiskership? You are no longer sure of her status or what is on her mind. Is she a Lady? Is she brilliantly white from milk masks? Actually, these are the last moments of Her Whiskership’s clean hair before she went down a rabbit hole!

Pro tip: An animal’s fluffy fur can be preserved with the Hair tool, to look like fine brush strokes of hair and whiskers.

Count Barkov

A golden retriever has as much dignity and status as the Count and military commander, P.A. Stroganov in George Daw’s painting. After a brisk photo retouch, I proudly present- Count Barkov! The brave General and finder of treasure bones. 

Pro tip: If the painting you are trying to edit has a yellow tint, try and Adjust the color Saturation and Vibrance.

American Zookeepers

You can cut and layer as many animals in famous paintings as your heart desires! The more the merrier and strange. Grant Wood’s famous painting, American Gothic, can easily become a scene from Disney’s animation Zootopia! 

Pro Tip: Some photos are of very high quality and lighting, which doesn’t fit an old oil painting. Reduce the Vibrance and Gamma to blend the layers better.

How to edit animals in famous paintings?

Here’s how! The process may not be exactly the same for every painting or animal you choose, so please refer to the tips under the animals in famous paintings above. 

1) Open Pixomatic’s Photo Editor and upload the famous painting as a background. You can use your personal Photo gallery or use the Web search in Stock.

2) Then, add an image layer of an animal. This is the tricky part because you will need to consider the animal color and posture to fit the painting.

3) The next step is to Cut out the animal’s head. (No animals are harmed in this procedure).

4) If your animal is furry then use the Hair tool to make the cut edges fluffy.

5) Afterward, position the animal over a person’s face, reduce its opacity, and Refine the cutout by erasing excess parts.

6) BONUS TIP: If the face of the person in the painting is still visible from under the animal, simply use the Magic Brush to mask it away.

6) Finally, you can Adjust the cutout’s light and color settings to match the background.

And voila! You have your favorite animal in a famous painting!