In my paintings I generally do one of a few things... I use primarily cool colors (blues, greens, purples) and accent with small specs of fire (red, yellow, pink). I draw (scribble) a series of continuous lines to create fields of colors within. Experiment with strange materials to provide textures (metal shavings, glass beads, etc). Most of the time I am using a combination or all three of these together, and occasionally I omit all my predictable attributes to expand my work with new colors or mediums.
During this whole process I am simply looking to create a piece I enjoy and a piece that looks complete in my mind. That's what I feel sets mediocre apart from amazing, the ability to look and feel complete, that's what I continue to strive for in my paintings.