I got a Bamboo Fun Tablet for my birthday in December. I love it. You can use it like a huge touch pad to scroll web pages, or move back and forth with a swipe like you would on an iPod Touch. Better yet, it comes with a pen that is very handy for editing photos. It is so much easier to make selections and draw with the precision of a pen rather than using your mouse.
The Bamboo Tablet came packaged with some software I have been meaning to try for awhile: Corel Painter.
Corel Painter has numerous settings for various brushes, pens, chalks, and paint types giving you virtually endless alternatives for creating unique images with a painterly effect. You can use the auto-paint setting, or you can paint yourself using the bamboo and the pen for more control over the outcome. Below are two photos I have painted so far. I really like the results.
You can see the original of this Empress Hotel image in a post on composite images from October 2009.
When I took the original shot of these old rusty tugs in Pender Harbour, BC, I sent it to a painter friend of mine so she could use it as a basis for a painting. Now I can create my own with digital paint!