I've been meaning to do this for a while, but here it finally is!
Just a few hints/tips/cheat codes for background elements. This tutorial does make reference to Photoshop brushes, but so long as you have a textured brush, it is applicable to GIMP or Painter.
As stated in the tutorial, if you have any questions about anything I put up here (I know it's not terribly detailed, but I wanted to keep it simple), please feel free to comment and ask!
Part 2 -