I graduated in Industrial Design in my native Rio de Janeiro some decades ago. I still remember one of my first classes during the 1st year, whose subject was History of Design. I was introduced to the Pre-Raphaelite movement and William Morris’s Arts & Crafts, the Secession movement and the intricacies of Klimt’s work, French Symbolism, and finally the beautiful, nostalgic shtetl art of Marc Chagall. They all marked me deeply, their faces, lives and works.

I decided to start using Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. I love it for its amazing array of possibilities (layers, filters, brushes, fonts and, yes, colours). And then my lovely dog Bella became my inspiration, my little muse. I use her images for these digital collages. The main thing is to get Bella to look (or to be) as human as possible.

I know this kind of work has been done before with both animals and humans, but I am doing it mostly for my own pleasure nowadays, and hoping to help Dog charities in the future (maybe calendars, cards, stickers?). The hardest part for me when doing this kind of work is to adapt a new photo to the textures and atmosphere of an old painting. Or, for example, to make Bella’s paws play an instrument. It is not simply a “collage”, but feels like a new composition (to me at least!) in the sense that I have to work the photo (or photos, since I use more than one generally) along with the original painting, so these two media look as seamless as possible, consistent in light and finishing.

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Bophelia

“Ophelia” by John William Waterhouse.

The Cuddle

“The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt.

Bella of Portugal

“Isabella of Portugal” by Rogier Van Der Weyden.

Bophelia

“Ophelia” by Sir John Everett Millais.

Portrait of Belline Collia

“Portrait of Hermine Gallia” by Gustav Klimt.

Over the Kong

“Over the Town” by Marc Chagall.

The Hammock

“The Hammock” by James Tissot.

The Squeak

“The Scream” by Edvard Munch.

Young Demoiselle in Violet Silk and Lace

“Portrait of a Lady” by Guillaume Voiriot.

Sybilla Bellifera

“Sybilla Palmifera” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

The “real” Bella, muse on four paws