I had a sort of idea of the image I wanted to pick for rendering: a zoom-up on a professional swimmer in action. After some browsing, I decided to use this image shot by Sebastian Kahnert in the German Swimming Championships 2012:
For the rendering, I used Photoshop CS5, building a layer of words for each part of the face and applying a mask for definition. I didn't want it to look too crazy, so I preferred to stick with the word 'swim' for all the layers; in the same font and size. As for colour, I used the eyedropper tool to derive the colour of each area, and applied a 1 pt stroke in a darker colour (also apparent in the same area).
For the water, I used three layers: one for the vast blue, another for the white splashes and a final one for those transparent areas around the swimmer and the bubbles. I refined and softened the edge on the splashes layer, and changed the mode on the bubbles one to lighten, as well as dropped its opacity.
After placing the largest 'blue water' layer in place and removing the original image; this is the result; that's around 870 'swim's in total!
I hope you enjoyed it and remember to check back regularly for more!