Here's a nice cover by Carl Barks that really demonstrates the concept. It works from the big picture (the composition) to the second level (its next biggest parts) and on through each successive level until the final details. Well, maybe the final details get a little less controlled. Some artists are better at composition than they are at details. Some generally work best in the second level of hierarchy (Kirby is a good example - although he also is capable of some great compositions when he wants to be). Some are good at every level - like Frank Frazetta.
I'm going to break the Barks cover down into the first 2 or 3 levels of construction, but I wonder if anyone else is up to the task first. I'm curious to see if this stuff is helping anyone see better.