Looking at the original block, the diagonal curvy line is one change on your shovel shapes...but the use of 3 colors was a major change. I think of your shovels as 2 values of the same color.. that change to values of another. But not 3 colors.
When you went to the "study" and went back to values within a color, it became kind of interesting, very subtle, and it looks like your stuff. "uumphed" a little, but not that much of change.
Why not play with a few blocks, using the 3 colors again? You can do that in EQ5 if you don't wish to do it fabric (though the "look" is completely different). However, I suspect doing them in fabric will get something happening in your head, and at some point a lightbulb will turn on.