Turn a picture into a painting... with some flare?
February 2, 2012 10:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a company that will take a plain photo of my dog, and create a painting from it, but add a little flare. I'd like my dog to be in a suit, maybe wearing glasses, in front of a book case. Here's an example: http://i.imgur.com/o8BSE.jpg

I'd like this for my significant other for a valentine's Day gift, so the turn around would have to be somewhat quick if possible :)
posted by thankyoumuchly to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How much do you want to spend on this? Ridiculously enough, I have a friend who does animal portraiture, but I doubt he works cheap... people fly him all over the world to do this sort of thing.
posted by mykescipark at 10:17 AM on February 2, 2012

Have you looked into contacting local college/university art departments? There is also The Commission Project but the turnaround may not be as quick as you desire for this particular gift.
posted by poolsidemuse at 10:23 AM on February 2, 2012

See if someone who paints in a similar style on Etsy can do it. I think they got rid of their tool (Alchemy) for requesting custom work, but emailing the shop owner works quite well.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2012

All sorts of pet artists on Etsy. Some of them will likely be willing to add flair.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

If (a) you could do the photo part yourself, and (b) you're not committed to the idea of a painting, I bet you could post a request on reddit. Once you have the digital image, you could get it printed onto canvas to give it a classier look.
posted by inigo2 at 10:57 AM on February 2, 2012

@mykescipark - I'd like to keep it under $40.
posted by thankyoumuchly at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2012

Many years ago my wife commissioned a painting of our cats from Krista Brooks. I was taking flying lessons at the time so the painting shows my cats flying a biplane. It's pretty awesome.

She used photos of our cats as the basis for the painting.

I'm not sure what the turn-around was. This was about ten years ago.
posted by bondcliff at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are a whole bunch of shops in China that do cheap oil paintings, mostly reproductions of classic artwork. Some of them do have a way for you to send them your own photo and they will turn it into an oil painting, such as this one. I'm not sure if how well they could add flair based on your specs though, normally they do an exact replica of a source image.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2012

I don't know if this will keep you under $40, but you could probably Photoshop together an image of your dog in a suit, then also in Photoshop use the artistic effects to make it look like an oil painting, then have it printed on canvas. If you're handy with graphic design, I don't think it would be too hard. Otherwise hiring a designer might get more expensive.
posted by slogger at 11:15 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might try looking on eBay. I recall there being lots of artsts offering custom pet portraits.
posted by Dolley at 11:18 AM on February 2, 2012

*artists* of course.
posted by Dolley at 11:19 AM on February 2, 2012

Yeah, for a customized painting of a dog just from a photo done by a professional artist for $40 is going to be tough. I had one done of the house I grew up in and it cost $150 years ago and took at least a month until delivery, maybe longer - and that was because I gave the painter a photo.
posted by HeyAllie at 11:34 AM on February 2, 2012

for that budget, you may be better off trying to find a caricaturist to do a sketch of the dog in the pose you want.
posted by jimw at 11:54 AM on February 2, 2012

People ask for Photoshop help on Reddit (though usually there is an aspect of humanitarian appeal), so perhaps you can find someone there to do the image work, and then order one of those "canvas prints" from Shutterfly or wherever.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:12 PM on February 2, 2012

This is a bit more than your budget and the paintings (although, to my mind, wonderful) aren't quite what you have in mind. But they are paintings of pets, from photographs, with a terrifically quirky bent to them: http://www.nepaldog.com/
posted by yoink at 2:50 PM on February 2, 2012

Oh hey, MeFite Lou Stuells does this exact thing on Etsy. It's definitely more than $40, but the results look absolutely stunning. I'm ridiculously excited about the Whippet Good print I'm purchasing for a sweetheart.
posted by Devika at 9:54 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

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