Ever notice how the super-rich socialites featured in decorating magazines always seem to have glossy oil portraits of their beloved purebreds scattered about their posh spreads? You can get your mutt similar treatment -- for a lot less cash (and a dollop more irony) -- by sending his snapshot to one of a crop of Web sites that specialize in turning your pictures into original works of art. Landscapes, comics panels, even paint-by-number sets are all on the menu. And don't worry about bland backgrounds or red eyes --
as long as you send a well-lit, well-focused shot, digital retouching can fix that. All you have to do is pick a style that fits your pet's fantasy life -- or your living room.
You always knew your cat would've fit in perfectly at the Factory. Pretend it was so with these prints, which feature signature Wigged-One characteristics, like super-bright colors, stylized
backgrounds and multiple panels of the same image. Celebs
including Reese Witherspoon have honored their pets with these stylish pop pieces,
which look great in rooms
with modern decor and
add punch to more traditional
settings. Try www.popartpet.
com (orders start at $55) or www.photowow.com (starting around $114).
Even if your pooch is a lolling couch potato, he'll look like an aristocratic hunting dog when he's superimposed on the rolling hills of an 18th-century English painting -- perfect for that mahogany-paneled study in your country home, of course. On her Web site, www.attaboy-petpictures.com, artist Lisa Frank says the style "is a tribute to your pet and its hunting breed." But the landscapes can take a less grandiose turn, too, if your animal would feel more at home against a rustic, pine-woods-and-cabin backdrop. Prices start at $225.
Is your pet museum-worthy? Imagine him as part of an Old Masters painting -- peeking out from behind the Mona Lisa's shoulder, for example. At www.artpaw.com, you can choose a well-known artwork and make your mutt its star. If he's the daring type, he might like Dali's dripping clocks (check out the Web site's sample portrait of "Salvatore Doggie"). Graceful pets can share the stage with Degas's impressionist dancers. You can also opt for less-highbrow but equally iconic images, such as the inimitable "Dogs Playing Poker." Prices begin at $75.
4Paint by numbers
If you want to play artist yourself, try a paint-by-numbers portrait. Web sites including www.photodoodle.com and www.easy123art.com will scan your pet's picture and turn it into a kit with everything you need: numbered paper or canvas, acrylic paints, and brushes. Depending on your approach, the painting can look "real" or a bit more kitschy, like the paint-by-numbers pieces you might snag at flea markets. Prices start at $50.
Move over, Garfield.
Fifi can star in her own cartoon frame straight out of the Sunday funnies. At www.photowow.com, you can opt for a vintage-style comic image -- complete with pointillistic color blocks -- or a more modern take, with dark outlines. And break out the pet psychic: You can even write your own thought-bubble caption to complete the picture. Always apropos: "My, what a stylish owner I have."
Need some pet info? Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, city and phone number.