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From Masterpiece to LOL Using Photoshop

Updated on August 8, 2013

Choose a Painting

Find the image you wish to alter. In this case it’s a work by Edward Burne-Jones. I’m going to replace one face with the head of a cat.

Briar Rose, Garden Court Detail

Intensify the Color

  • I duplicate the image (top right downward pointing arrow),
  • lower the Opacity of the duplicate layer (top) to 21% and
  • set the Blending Mode (top left) to Overlay. This intensifies the color a bit. There are other, and more specific, ways of improving the color but this one is quick.
  • I also increased the Vibrance, Saturation and Clarity. Vibrance and Saturation are Adjustments that can be found under Image or Layer. They also appear along with Clarity when you open an image in Camera Raw.

Overlay with Lowered Opacity
Overlay with Lowered Opacity


Even the highest resolution photos can have imperfections due to numerous copying or mistreatment. There are some white spots in the my image that do not belong there.

  • I make the bottom layer active (click on it in the Layer palette).
  • Then I go to the Spot Healing Brush (Bandage) in my tool palette.
  • I click on the spots on the dresses and they blend into the fabric.

Spot Healing Brush
Spot Healing Brush

An Appropriate Cat

I find some images of cats and decide which would look best inserted into the painting. In this case I choose a cat in profile so that it I can replace the head of the woman on the left. You will notice that in some of the examples I use just the head of the cat. At first I thought I might use the woman’s hair and chest. I later decided against that approach and used the entire head and neck of the cat.

  • I select the area of the cat that I want and press Control – C (Windows).
  • Then I click on the tab for the main image and press Control – V.
  • The Quick Selection Tool is helpful. You may still need to add or subtract from the image.

Quick Selection Tool
Quick Selection Tool

Size Matters

Once your cat is pasted into the image you will often notice a size difference.

  • To fix this go to Edit > Transform > Scale and adjust to fit. It is important to click the little chain between Width and Height in the bar above the workspace. This will maintain the Aspect Ratio.
  • Hold your Shift key as you drag a corner.
  • This menu also has the Rotate Tool in case your image needs further adjustment. I needed to angle the cat down a bit.

Transform but Maintain Aspect Ratio
Transform but Maintain Aspect Ratio


You may need to do some touch-ups. The Eraser, Clone Stamp and Smudge Tools will be helpful but be careful with the Smudge Tool; it can make things look messy very quickly due to loss of detail.

You can vary the opacity of the tools which can help to soften edges. During Cloning you sometimes get hard edges but if you go over these edges again at a lower opacity with a slightly different sampling they begin to smooth out.

I used the Eraser on the edges of the cat and ended up reshaping the neck. I also used the Smudge Tool to drag some fur down onto the dress.

Adjustment Layer

  • I felt that the white fur was a little too vibrant so I selected the cat and went to Layer > Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. A New Layer dialog box appears. Click OK.
  • A warm color is what's needed to tone down this bright white. You can choose from different colors but I picked Warming Filter (81) at 25%.
  • It’s very important that the section you wish to change is selected or else the entire image will bear the result of the Photo Filter. It’s a very handy tool with which to make subtle but necessary alterations.

Photo Filter Adjustment Layer
Photo Filter Adjustment Layer

More Touch-Ups!

Some of the woman’s hair was still visible above the cat's head and the arm she's leaning on was too far over.

  • I used the Clone Stamp to pick up some of the nearby wallpaper and redeposit it onto the hair.
  • I then selected the arm, copied it (Control – C) and pasted it (Control – V) where I wanted it to go.
  • Then I used the Clone Stamp again to cover the original arm with more wallpaper.
  • Her hand was supposed to be folded over the cat's ear so I added that impression with the Paint Brush while sampling the color of her arm.

Moving the Arm
Moving the Arm

Fix those Whiskers

I realized that I had cut off some of the cat’s whiskers. It’s easier to make whiskers than it is to select them.

  • I just grabbed the Paint Brush Tool sized it to 1 pixel, sampled some of the cat’s lighter fur and painted in the whiskers.
  • You can fix mistakes by sampling the color from the surrounding area and painting over them.

Brush in Whiskers
Brush in Whiskers


Then I did a final save of my Photoshop document and also saved as a JPG for convenience.

I now have a modern take on an Edward Burne-Jones classic.

Final Image
Final Image

Final Layers Palette



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    • Attani profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      The Garden Court is in Public Domain. If Edward Burne-Jones is still around then someone needs to stake him cause he's a vampire.

    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 

      5 years ago from UK

      Does that image not need attribution? Source?

    • Bishop55 profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      When I read the title I nearly died laughing. I love animals, and especially cats. This was a fun and informative hub. Nice job!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Looks fun. It take a little getting used to with photoshop. It's a powerful tool but practice using it is important.

    • pennylu profile image

      Penny Lulich 

      5 years ago from Indiana

      Oh, I love this! It's so much fun. Thank you, for sharing this.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      5 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Can you do all this with the Paint feature? I've used Paint to crop photographs, but I don't know how to do anything else, including color change and enhancement, with it.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      My daughter uses photoshop but I have not done so as of this date. But you have made this look like fun. I can just see my Milo kitty in such a 'new' LOL photo.

      Congrats on HOTD....Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congrats on HOTD!! Well done explanation...I may try this, but I'm still struggling to figure out layers, so I can make "group photo" of all 7 of our kitties; knowing how impossible it is to actually get them to pose nicely together.. ;-)

      Somehow, it never works for me, and I can't figure what I'm doing wrong that I can never see the 1st layer after I add a second, and so can't see where I'm putting anything in relation to the previous selection. In the end, I have a bunch of separate layers that never come together into one; they all remain as separate images.

      Even the copy of "Photoshop 5 for Dummies" I bought hasn't helped me much. (Yes, I use an older version of photoshop, and can't afford to upgrade.) ...I think I may have to delete and re-install it, though as I notice I can no longer select the brightness/contrast control without the program locking up completely, and having to resort to Ctrl/Alt/Del to get out, thereby losing whatever I'd done to that point.

      I'm bookmarking this Hub for future reference, though. Voted up, interesting and useful, and extra points for using a cat! ;-)

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Congratulations on HOTD, well deserved! This is a great article on using photoshop. The cat in the picture is hilarious. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Very timely for me. Voting up and Pining.

    • Attani profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Thanks everyone! I really wasn't expecting to make Hub of the Day when I created this hub. I just thought it might be fun. :)

    • luisj305 profile image


      5 years ago from Florida

      Putting that cat in there really makes you think about the painting much more. It also looks hilarious.

    • greatstuff profile image


      5 years ago from Malaysia

      I tried Photoshop before and find it too complicated for me!! I use the much simpler, but not so sophisticated free online software such as Picasa, Pixlr-o-matic and on my Samsung Note2, the android photo software. But none of these will be able to do what you had demonstrated. Congrats on your HOTD.

    • quantumthots profile image


      5 years ago from THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN


    • DreamerMeg profile image


      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Really creative that looks good fun. I must try that some time.

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      This is a good idea, now i knw how to edit


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