I started each of these paintings the same way. I sketched a simple 3D shape, then designed a suitable environment around that shape. It’s one technique for environment design (or product design if you reverse the process).
A dozen photos I took in Yosemite around Donahue Pass and Mt. Conness came together in Monolith.
Do those rock walls look familiar? I pulled them from a photo I clicked at the Hobbiton movie set.