Over the past few years I have been working on various techniques for digital painting. One of them involves scanning a series of abstract marker compositions in layers into Photoshop. Once the marker comps are scanned I will go ahead and tweak the layer properties, opacities , etc.. After that I will see what can be created, by working with the large shapes,textures and patterns in which I have created through this process. This is a very fun way to work, and is kind of like staring into the clouds and picking out an object or image. I usually approach this without anything particular in mind as far as subject matter, and simply see where it takes me. What I love about it is that you will usually end up with shapes and patterns that you would not have otherwise drawn by hand.
This is one of the many things I learned during grad school from fellow illustrator Ron Spears.
So the image in this post was created using this technique: