well, first you gotta find some stock. I like to use white figures because they are the easiest to work with. Then I erase the background, which takes forever because I like it perfect x3. after that, I usually make a backup copy of the layer, just in case. Then I touch it up with the clone tool, like remove random little things that are in the way of the image and stuff. In this case, the owl had some leather leash thing on its legs, which I wanted to get rid of. Then I set that layer to the "multiply" mode (it makes white values transparent) and colored under it on different layers. The wings were done with the smudge tool with really high strength.