Here is an example of a life painting turned into a concept. The top left image is the photo, the top right image is what got done in the field after about 1.5 hours. A few things to notice:
1. How the shapes in the environment were used as a starting point but then altered to suit the action. Branches were moved around, rock clusters and shapes were simplified, The foliage in the background was almost entirely made up using what was there as a hint.
2. The farther back elements have a SLIGHT Gaussian Blur on them, and the edges of certain foreground things have a BIT of Ned Stark on their edges to take away the super crisp photoshoppyness. The way you decide what needs to be softened is if at a glance you feel like it’s taking too much attention and drawing the eye then you soften it with Ned.
3. Character was designed previously and bear was referenced from a photo in that exact pose. Also the character was created EXACTLY like the landscape, flat black silhouette, then flat graphic layers for each item of clothing, then shading done on each individual clipped layer, THEN the whole thing was flattened and a duplicate sun layer was erased out.
4. Fog! added it to pop the guy, otherwise he wouldn’t read in that spot at all. Also made sure to darken the fog on the left so the bear wouldn’t compete for the first read.