it is meant to give the impression of a slowly growing beautiful flower the flowers but looks like a snail with the antennae thingies hence the waiting .. The stem of the flower creates the "I" and crosses the "S" that forms the ground level .. or boundry with the subterranean .. below the patterns are merging and weaving into the threads that will become the "cloth" of the petals
as for the clarity .. I use the same settings .. I find they work best for my scanner .. however I spent a lot more time with the eraser on this one!