For me it can be simply walking or driving out and about with open eyes just taking in scenes and almost daydreaming at them until something takes my fancy.
Then I usually make a pen sketch , which gets loosely and lightly embellished with watercolour washes.
After that I like to paint a brush sketch for my colour notes, without using any drawing, to get that lovely, loose feel that often eludes a finished piece.
Then I take these back to the studio and work on the composition, with as light a drawing as possible and some design tweaks. Then I apply a few light washes to get the light colours and tones down, making sure to leave my "saved" whites of just the paper, before applying more layers and finally my juicy darks to bring it all to life.
"Early Morning Calm" watercolour 12 x 9 inches framed. Available £155.