The devwebpro technique is wrong on so many levels: the key element in this type of retouch is your artistic ability to visualize the effect. You can't throw filters and layers at the problem and hope something nice happens by accident. I'd start with a good 3d model and then apply water textures consistent with the background activity. This may be static or dynamic but you have work with it; you can't just add random bubbles willynilly without there being a reason for them to exist. The original sample is quite good in that respect but I don't find the upsurge of water very pleasing as a shape - it just looks like a contrived device to support the figure which is OK but the retoucher could have been a bit craftier.
Without 3d, I'd pretty much go with Vernons idea and build the form using masks and many layers of water texture. Finish off with handwork/painting to fine tune. Painstaking work but retouching at the sharp end. (Last time I did this we made a cast of a nude model in perspex and took shots of water swirling around the inside of the shape. A great start but still needed two days of retouching to create some dynamism).