Photography and digital painting have been dancing for 20 years.
Digital painting has been around since the mid 1980s with MacPaint, Corel Painter and Photoshop.
The invention of sensitive touch screen devices like the Ipad have made it much more fun than using a mouse.
You use your finger for
The artistic tools available are almost endless and enable you to attempt many different styles. The photo above is very clean with almost no under painting....or layers...with much of the photo allowed to show through.
Alternatively, you can create great depth using different brush sizes, and building deep layers, allowing very little of the original photo to show through and get get a sweet impressionistic look.
You do not need any art training to use the modern programs. In fact, they are art training in relatively painless form.
You mix paint, select brushes, determine style, and have at it without mixing mess or clean up.
Use a photo as an integral part of what you are doing or just as inspiration.
If you have an iphone, check out this site http://thebeginnerslens.com/ to get some instruction and ideas.
The paintograph above was created on an Ipad using Photoviva.