One of my side hobbies is photography, and I've always wanted to incorporate this art form with my other art form. I took many photos while traveling in Japan, and some are used as backgrounds in my latest artworks. The painting below is created using a photo I took of Tokyo, and running it through Filter Forge. I used the Sketchy Paint, and Splatter Paint filters, and hand painted over other areas that I think needed touching up. The girl is completely hand drawn, as seen in the comparison with the original photo below. I've used the same techniques in the past in a video tutorial that explains in depth how I did this. You can check out that tutorial here.
A new technique that I discovered just last night is using a program called GIFKR. In GIFKR, I apply a filter called Standard Pixel Sort which creates this very interesting brush stroke effect. It doesn't always look good in all situations, but when it does work, it creates a beautiful and haunting flow. Once I've tested out more aspects of this program, I'll also make a tutorial on the possible applications.
Looking through all my travel photos, I just really want to return to Japan <3