The Blending Modes winner, Karen Swaty, took on a personal theme — horses — and produced an impressionistic image.
The Fine Art winner, Ben Grace, shows the potential of Adobe Photoshop-influenced digital art, coming from a digital artist -- himself. He has taken disparate elements of a photograph, and reconstituted them into a visually compelling image.
Sample recipes from the books are available online, such as how to achieve Motion Blurring and Removing Skin Blemishes & Wrinkles, and The Impressionist Landscape.
Given these recipes, it should be easy enough to apply them, even for someone as inept at art as myself. Excuse me while I get started on my entry for next year's cook-off -- it should take me about that long to get finished.