Sometimes it's good to move away from familiar working patterns - to take a sideways step and see what happens. So for this image I had something loosely figurative in mind but rather than focus on anything too representational I just let the lines flow and be suggestive. Similarly I wanted to knock the colour right back, to be calm rather than anything too lively.
Here's how the pencil sketch developed. It was only when I got to the fourth version that I could see how the 'legs' area might work with the rest. At that point I moved I moved into artwork mode and painted in the accompanying background shapes being careful to echo the feel and flow of the lines.