These were my initial drafts. My biggest critiques were that the animals did not fill the frame like old-style portraits do and that the frames seemed far too basic. Those were the two main bits that I worked on. I resized the frames and animals to fill the dead space more effectively and added textures and depth to the frames to look a little more present. Since I was going so far as to mask textures onto the frames for that woodgrain look, I also decided it would be a good idea to accentuate the hats as well since those were the part that really made these animals different. I had to find and make very different textures for the three hats as they were made of very different materials. Making a mimicry of the velvet bowler hat proved most difficult as it turned out best to use a subtle hand on the texturing.
In the end, I am quite pleased with how everything turned out. The animals are easily recognizable and the hats look like they belong. The frames fit the style and all the hats and frames give an early 20 Century feel which was what I was going for. These to me, are a cohesive set that would appeal to one such as I or anyone who has a passion for silly yet sophisticated animals.