After a little correspondence with Ray I thought that I should perhaps give a little more info about my graphics editing software of choice, GIMP.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open source graphics package that is most like Adobe Photoshop. It is totally FREE and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
It can be found on the web at http://www.gimp.org/ and there is an online help and some tutorials there.
The add-on or modification that I use is GPS (GIMP Paint Studio), all this gives you is a lay out like I have in my video here. It also gives you some brushes and presets. The presets I personally have never really explored.
In lieu of installing GPS you might be able to configure GIMP to give you the "Display Navigation" tab in a vanilla install by following the ideas in this tutorial video here.
And a search for "gimp setup tutorial" on google yielded this useful thread from gimptalk: http://www.gimptalk.com/index.php?/topic/13002-setting-up-gimp-for-artistic-work/
And rather than make big link list I'll just direct you to a google search with the term "gimp tutorials" here.
I've been using this program for a few years (possibly 5 or 6 I'm not sure in my old age) and for me it has been worth it. The learning curve is steep but free versus $699 for photoshop, the choice is easy for me. Also photoshop is fairly complicated as well.
Lastly you can use photoshop brushes in GIMP but not some of the other things. Look to deviantart and the internet for lots of brushes and textures.
Hope this helps those in need and it is hands down my favorite graphics software.