1: Lay out basic color scheme and lighting. Very gestural very quick. But I go through several variations like this before I find something I'm happy with. At this point I don't necessarily have anything in mind other than making something abstract and pretty. Lay down a horizon line and play around with different brushes.
2: Refining the colors, adding some basic landscape perspective to kind of lessen the abstraction. Still playing around, and still a very fast phase.
3: Bumping up the colors through overlays or vibrancy shifts. I tend to start with muted colors because they make more sense to me. I really shouldn't rely on editing techniques to become a better painter, but you have to be able to balance that with understanding the tools that are available to you. Refine the edges and starting to get a picture in my head of the final piece.
4: Final piece, added in some objects that the eye can kind of pick up. Some sci-fi elements, and refined the edges and colors more.