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Custom Medieval Pet Portraits

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Sometimes the attitude is everything


I am attached to every portrait I create. Each one is unique and always surprises me when it is completed. I don’t think there are any ugly pets, and I think they are not well represented most of the time. Below is a selection of some portraits that really surprised me in a lovely way. I can’t forget them, or worse, I can’t imagine them in any other way!

A CUTE COMMANDER – A child-like, sentimental Great Commander at the same time, isn’t the description of your cat?

When I received a photo of this sphinx lady, with her huge ears and fixing eyes, the owner wanted her to be a queen with a large collar. I didn’t know what to say. I looked at her long skinny neck, and I asked myself “Let’s see how she will look with a beautiful large and ruffled collar.” When I finished the portrait I was hypnotized. I think I was under her spell while I worked on the portrait because I could not take the eyes from her asking myself in a loop – She is beautiful!  Is she beautiful?!   She is beautiful. Is she… ??!
It still is the most curios Queen  Isabelle I’ve ever created… and I made some!!!

For Mowgli, I received two photos,. One pretty standard and it came out beautiful in a portrait  of the gentleman with pipe and a curious one, where I could see vague some teeth smiling on me. The owner wanted the pirate…

Definitely, this dog was born to be a pirate.

This regal canine poses like a model, isn’t he? I can’t imagine a better background choice. He is the proud and handsome king of the neighborhood, no doubt about it.

Well, guess what the name of this iconic lady-dog in the photo is? She is  Sophia Loren. The main image for her was a princess – a beautiful princess… but I could not resist  trying  it in Sophia Loren’s skin. And was it worth it! What on earth be shaved allover when it looks so sexy to have hairy arms?!

The black cat gentlemen in the portrait is named Klaus. Before started the composition, I presented the owner more examples to choose the one that she could choose from. She decided on the portrait with a lot of black and white pigeons, and liked the gentlemen with a pipe. I made the black portrait with white pigeons, but the back cat on black background was not the best choice… in the end, I made Klaus as gentlemen with a pipe. The owner liked it but said: 

Where are the birds? He likes birds!!!  So I added birds and voila! I can say simply say this portrait represents the tom-cat entirely.

This is Sammy – a female cat. Why the owner chose Dracula for a girl? We will never know!  In that particular week I worked two girls as Dracula LOL. Both were amazing in Dracula’s skin, but Sammy cracks me up. We can only imagine the little mouse on the shoulder trembling as it writes a blacklist, or maybe even making a list of menu items!

When I received the photos with Gulliver, the girl told me that she would like to be a rapper. Hmmm, I thought to myself, what an interesting choice! 

What the girl didn’t know I was/am a rapper fan good while ago. Life is changed now. I changed the music style I’m listen to, but the soul never forgets things that it loves… It was enough to put Eminem loudly, to close my eyes to start the travel in time in the moment I was in love with this music. As designer I work in this way many times. I need to enter in the atmosphere at work I’m doing. So, I started working on the portrait. I really wanted Gulliver to look like a real rapper, to feel comfortable in his loose clothing, jeans, the hat with his initial name, poignant gold chains… 

Rap is personal in style, dance, music. RAP is ATTITUDE

This portrait offered me a wonderful travel in time – made me smile. It’s a special portrait for me.

Some expressions say everything you have to know. The dog believes he is the owner. Perfect attitude…. How often can you find such a perfect match?

This composition started vise-verse. With such a pose you can’t do a prince or princess… but you can exploit to look dream-like.  If you ask me “this is how heaven look like”.

If you ask me which is the dream for a Chihuahua-girl that lives in California and have everything in the world – of course, she was born to be model, an actress that can step on the red carpet with her owner-servant… and all magazines will write more about her than others .

… and because we are talking about girl-models, why not to show a super boy-model. Robert Dudley was a handsome man. We all agree with Elisabeth I taste, don’t we?

This is a recent composition that seduced me. Aristo-Cat till the nail-finger and back with a distracted element that came back to earth – the fishes. Something smells here… Does something smell fishy to you?

I named this image – One Man Show – and it’s one of my favorites by far. This is what I call “ATTITUDE that MAKES EVERYTHING” – one of thousand portraits can fit so perfect. It’s so ALIVE!

Who likes a skinny pet? We don’t like skinny pets. We want them to be round, fluffy, to fill our eyes and hearts entirely.

I can read on his face, “Innocent forever!”
Don’t believe him.

This is my OXFORD science cat. I can tell he knows  everything about birds, fish, and human behavior. Of course, we have a lot to learn from him. Nine lives of knowledge is all that separates us.

Who said dogs can’t sing?! 

They can sing, they can dance, they can be anything they want to be! They are  sooo convincing!

How to choose the right size of a Pet Portrait


Some of the visitors to my shop specialized in Digital Pet Portraits are wondering why there are multiple sizes available.

The size that you choose at checkout is the optimal size when printed at high-quality using premium materials and equipment. 

These files can be easily scaled, but not without a loss in sharpness.

Because I am committed to giving only high-quality artwork to my customers, I have to work on each picture until it looks excellent.

The larger images are more expensive because there is more work to do.

Any imperfection is more visible on larger images, and there are more details. For example, a 16*20” painting is four times the surface of an 8*10”.
I feel that it is fair if the price reflects the amount of work needed.

The rest of this article is of interest only for people interested in printing a digital version of a pet portrait. For the physical version, you can choose a size according to your preferences.

There are two types of digital images: bitmap and vector. Each type comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Bitmap images

A painting or a photo in a digital format is composed of tiny elements named pixels.

A pixel is the smallest part of an image that can be printed or displayed on a screen. 
If there are more pixels in an image, anyone can see more details, but only if the color of the pixels is accurate.

 

Bitmap image magnified to show pixels

Vector images

Vector images are composed of objects, rather than pixels, like lines, curves, squares, defined by mathematical equations. An object can have different colors, fill, or outlines.
Vector-based images are scalable, and you can print or display them at any size at the maximum quality, but only when using the native format. Almost all images displayed on web pages are already in bitmap format. Some minimalist, modern artwork is available in vector format. 
The real-life is much more complicated, so we have to use bitmap (raster) images.

Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image, usually measured in DPI (dots per inch). Professional artwork is traditionally printed at 300 dpi. If you want to print to a pillow or duvet, you can go to 100 dpi.

An image intended to be printed on canvas or paper needs many more details (pixels) than one that will only be displayed on a computer or phone screen. The quality is even more important than the quantity.

Increase the size of an image

An image can be made larger by resizing it, and it means that the pixels will be larger. The human eye will spot this easily.

A better option is to use interpolation. Many pixels will be added to the image, and the software will calculate the color of new pixels from the color of the surrounding pixels. The results will be better. After making more than 500 pet portraits, I know that the vast majority of pictures need to be enhanced, and the final version will already include a special kind of interpolation.

I am using my own combination of techniques to enhance the quality of the image that includes color and contrast adjustments, hair transplants, and manually painting over with a digital pen.

How to choose the right size of a Pet Portrait

  • If you only intend to use the picture online or on social media, choose the smallest version at checkout. It is more than enough, but it is also the least expensive.
  • If you intend to hang the painting on the wall, you will print the artwork on canvas or paper. In this case, you should choose the size you intend to print.
  • For pillows, blanket, duvet, or other textile material, you can choose a lower resolution of 100 dpi. It will still look great.

If you have sharp photos, made with a DSLR, you may have a pleasant surprise. If I can, I may give you a free upgrade to the next size.

Before
After

Can a digital painting be printed at a smaller size?

Yes, the image can be printed on a smaller scale without quality loss. Sometimes it will be sharper, but it also depends on the printing device and inks.

How to choose between a digital portrait and a physical one


Until recently, I was able to offer medieval portraits only in digital format, but now I can offer both  versions.
I am going to explain what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option so that you can make an informed decision.
Everything in this article applies to dogs, cats, other pets, but also for  people.

Digital Portraits 

You will receive several digital files suitable for printing or sharing online or on social media.

I don’t want to reduce the quality by using compression. I want the maximum quality from the printed images. I will prepare several formats.

 The files are rather large for email delivery and are available on Google Drive. 

 

An example of GoogleDrive content file

Because some printing services have different requirements, I will prepare several versions. I will also add printing marks and instructions for cutting.

You will find a smaller file, suitable for sharing on social media.

Please download everything from Google Drive, and keep the files locally or in your cloud. 

The digital format has a significant advantage: you can keep the files for decades or more, without any alteration, without any modification, fading, or colors turning to yellow. Of course, you can keep all the data when moving – no physical space is needed.

You can print the artwork several times, now or in the future, on different media: canvas, photo paper, metal, wood, mug, pillow, etc. 

And now the best thing about the digital version: delivery time

You will receive the final version as soon as I finish it. I still need time to work on the artistic part, but you don’t have to wait for shipping.

You can print at a local or online shop, or you may have access to a color printer. Use special photo paper and an inkjet printer if you can. It will look like a glossy magazine.

The digital format is a right choice for customers outside the US, EU, or Australia. They will be able to get the final work much sooner and cheaper.

I have to make a special note: During Winter Holidays, the delivery time is longer and unpredictable. Everyone is sending gifts, so all couriers and postal services are overwhelmed.  

Most of my clients have chosen to print their digital portraits. 

Do not forget that there is a cost for printing, framing, and shipping.

Portraits in Physical form

I am using only high-quality inks, materials, and printing equipment.

In most of the cases, the ink and canvas/paper are guaranteed to last 80-100 years without fading and turning yellow.

 

Example of paper print at large size (18″ x 24″)

Everything in the production chain is color calibrated. What you get is the same color as intended.

Many times I am shifting a bit the colors of the face (or fur) to match the medieval atmosphere for an intended artistic effect (see the example above). It helps a lot to get a realistic look. Of course, it IS FAKE, but it looks so real.

Printing locations

I am working with printing companies with offices in the US, EU, and Australia. 

The delivery will be done from the closest location, do the delivery time will be shorter, and the price lower.

Delivery time

You will receive the picture after:

  • creation time – each portrait is custom made 
  • production time – the time needed to print, frame, package the painting
  • shipping time

Delivery cost

I offer free shipping for addresses in the US, EU, and Australia.

You can check the listing to see the estimated delivery time for each item. If you are in a rush, please contact me for a shipping upgrade at extra cost.

A physical print is the right choice if you want a high-quality product, and you can wait 1,5-2 weeks or even more for the package to arrive. It is easy for you, and you have the peace of mind that you will receive an excellent painting that will last many many years. And you don’t have to know anything about CMYK and RGB. There is an optional rush delivery for an extra cost.

Choose a digital print if you are in a rush and want the print as soon as possible. You can go to a local print shop and get it very quickly. 

DO NOT CHOOSE DIGITAL FILE if you:
• have no experience to work with files at large size
• don’t know anything about RGB or CMYK color profiles

 Another significant advantage is the fact that you can order multiple copies of the same artwork, now or in the future. 

9 Weird Pet Photography Tricks That Actually Work!


Here you can learn a few tricks on how to make photos specifically for a Medieval Pet Portrait.

The quality of your pet’s photo is the most important thing for a painting worthy of hanging on the wall. Sometimes the right posture and attitude can make a difference. In case you are not content with the photos that you have, you may want to go to a photo shooting session with your pet.

Don’t worry. It’s not complicated, and it’s worth the effort. My advice is just to go and take some photos anyway. It will be fun.

1. Only the head is important, and sometimes the neck.

Do not worry about the body of your pet and the background. Only the head will be seen in the final portrait. The body will be replaced by a medieval painting anyway. This advice is against established photography rules, but it makes sense because we are looking for a special-purpose photo.

2. Fill the entire frame with the head

The head will be the central piece of the painting – everyone will look closely at it. The details are very often important so try to get the maximum from your camera by getting closer to your pet. If you take a photo from a distance, the relevant part (the head of your pet) will contain a fewer number of pixels and fewer details.

The image of the dog is too small

2. Position, angle, and attitude

Try to have the pet pose close to the one in the original painting that you like (front, profile, or semi profile). Your camera should be at the eye level of your pet. Sit on the floor if you need to and target his face. Get someone to capture the attention of your dog. The eyes should be open.

3. You may use an assistant

Many dogs and cats are very active and not interested in photography, so they try to go away. You can have someone keep them still. You can put it on your assistant’s shoulder. Give support for the chest and back legs all the time. Do not pull your pet by the front legs. It may be painful.

Some cameras are optimized for human faces. The assistant can look away and let the pet be the star.

4. Take photos of the paws

Many paintings look better with animal paws than with human hands. You may want the original paws in the picture. Take some close-ups. It is a small detail, but you will remember this for many years.

5. Natural Lightning, without flash

  • This is a secret everyone knows: almost any camera can make good photos in a good light.
  • Try to go with your pet outside, but try to avoid strong sunlight because it will cast sharp shadows. You can also take outstanding photos in the golden hour (is the period of the daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset).
  • Shoot with the sun behind you to get a uniform light. But, in very bright your pet may be squinting so you will have to find shade.
  • You can shoot on an overcast day because the light is uniform and you will have no shadows.
  • If you cannot go outside, make use of the natural light by going close to the window, but avoid the shadows. Turn all the lights on, even during the daytime.
  • Don’t use flash. If you have enough light, you don’t need flash. You will get a dull and flattened image. However, if you are shooting during the day, my advice is to use fash. It is counterintuitive, but it can compensate for the harsh shadows on the face.
Natural light
Indoor photo, with good lightning

6. How to get your dog to look at the camera

Sometimes this can be very frustrating because it is hard to keep his attention for more than a few moments and keep the camera steady at the same time. Show him a treat or his favorite toy, maybe with the help of an assistant. Or make some noise to capture his attention.

7. Focus

The face should be clear and in focus, with many details. Sometimes the camera gets confused if there are many objects.  You can take many photos and choose the best ones.

8. You can use your smartphone

Your smartphone should be good if you have enough light. A DSLR is better especially for posters larger than 16*20 inches.

9. Do not use digital zoom

It is preferable to get closer, rather than use digital zoom. It will not add much information. Or don’t use zoom at all. A computer is better at enhancing the image than a camera.

If your camera has optical zoom, go for it.