Bad, bad pun... but hey, it's better than my initial "apple-for-teacher" choice.
Here's my first entry, just so you know I'm working on this too. I'll be showing all the participating entries I am made aware of (hint! leave a comment! Frances!), starting in a couple of days. Four so far, and counting...
How-to: I can't even follow my own directives! I forgot some of the steps because I didn't think I would end up with anything useable - so I didn't make notes, mental or otherwise. For which I was punished by losing a really good one later that day to the memory monster that lives in my laptop - and forgetting the steps there too.
Anyway, here's some of the steps on Photoshop 6:
- I distorted the initial image with Spherize, and by Transforming parts of it (skewing/distorting I think)
- I used a couple of gradient and lighting effects in the background and the central figure (is it still an apple? dunno)
- also used painterly effects, a bunch of them... watercolour as the last touch gave it such a good light, I decided to save it and use it.