The easiest way to create a nice design quickly is to divide your painting into background and foreground. The backgound section will be make out of lath and can consist of sky and ground, wall and floor, sky and water, sky and mountains and water. An example of a wall and floor can be seen in the Degroot rocking horse. A more complex version of this technique is the Degroot covered bridge below if the covered bridge itself was changed to a foreground element.
Decide on the direction of the lath lines (you can do this on a small paper pattern) and the colors of the section parts. For example, if you decide on sky and mountains and water, you can make the sky light blue gray, the mountains dark dull green, and the water dark blue.
Follow the instructions at the bottom of this blog to make your lath background.
Cut and place your lath pieces, there should be no more than 3 or 4. How long did that take to cut, (5 minutes?).
Now cut out your foreground elements out of either basswood or balsa and glue them on top of your background creating a 3 dimentional piece of art. It is a good idea to try out these elements before you glue them, and in fact, I actually try them out in paper before cutting out the balsa.
(Yes, I use balsa because it is easy to cut with a utility knife).
Frame as in the instructions and hang.
Just to inspire you to try, here are some examples of how nice simple lathart can be. I wish I knew who the artist of this painting is so that I could give proper credit.
And these examples of the ultimate in dimensional lath-art using real weathered driftwood and fully carved forground pieces. WOW how unique!! The artist here is Canadian Ben Ploughman. I've seen these up close, and they would knock your socks off. I suspect he gets some of his lath from old weathered lobster traps, you can't do that with paint.
You can find a wealth of inspiration by doing a search of "lathart" or "lath art" using google or ebay.