I've never really that great at layout, but I've been looking for ways to make backgrounds moody or atmoshperic, while at the same time, find a way to churn them out as fast as possible.
I have two versions of the background at the moment. I'm kind of leaning towards favouring the second one.
The problem is, this took way too long to do, and that was with me half-assing the layout. Granted, I was kind of learning as I was going. But still I'm not sure how much faster I'll get once I improve.
What I'm considering doing is making most scenes in Sketchup, and using them as a basis for my layouts.