Thats exactly what worked for me in this instance - well, at four in the bloody morning it did! I suddenly remembered the free program INKSCAPE. It's essentially a vector program - much like Adobe Illustrator - though the preset tools make it far easier to produce some wild designs and images quickly than the more corporate program. One particular tool I like is the one for calligraphy - by playing around with the settings, you can quickly gain a host of effects - from highly scrawled to thick and angular strokes.
The pieces below were initialised with inkscape - i then exported the basic design and layered over using similar effects from LIVEBRUSH and MY PAINT - both free programs also. Have a bash yourself if you're getting stuck and drop a comment with a link to your output - the worst that can happen is you return to your standard media with a sense of freshness.
If you want any of the free software I've mentioned, simply click the links at the bottom of the page.