This wallpaper took one hell of a long time. I'd never tried to get a vector to blend with a photograph before. And GIMP wasn't always cooperative. After 20 layers it started lagging like nobody's business.
Much blurring took place. A ridiculous amount, just to try to get the natural textures out of the photograph and trying to get the shadows on the vector to look more natural. So the two main images met halfway. It also ended up a lot darker than my first draft. I burned a lot of places to get the dramatic shadow look to make it look more cartoonish. And I added light brushes on top of it to bring the whole thing together a bit more.
This took about 2.5 days to complete.
Vector: chloe-chan @ AP
Castle stock: little-stock.deviantart.com