At its most basic, this is 'fan art' (it's a Lionex, from the devil family) of 'Dragon Warrior Monsters' - by far one of the best RPGs ever created.
I didn't plan this picture at all, the idea made itself, but at least this time I remembered to screen cap some stages. Notes on the progress below!
#1 - Pic began life as 2 merged photos, you can do this, ANY photo with nice colours or contrast works well. Abstract the life out of it! I just browsed Photoshop's filter gallery and hiked all the setting to max until finding one that gave a nice texture and removed all details from the photo.
#2 - Initially this was going to be landscape practice, randomly generated by abstraction for an extra challenge. Eyes picked out a fiery glow and a scene of wetlands, the dark foreground splodge just served nicely as a stand for a figure.
#3 - Detailing the idea further with a brush set to have a canvas texture, which matched the one from the background filter nicely!
#4 onwards - Character took the longest and not thrilled about how he'd be covering my mountains and the water feature, so I gave him translucent wings to minimise obstruction. Used colours sampled from the background to shade and reduced the texture to bring him forward. Contrast tweaks while zoomed out, and, finished! ... *click for big*