Think of painting on your canvas as a series of "layers."
An artist makes corrections and adjustments on each
layer until their painting looks the way they want.
Below is the first layer of my pond painting. This is when
I adjust the shapes and simplify the color masses. I want
the rain clouds to be dark so that I can scumble* lighter
paint over them in the next layer to add texture to my sky.
*Scumbling is a technique of applying paint across
the surface of your painting without pressing the paint
completely down into the texture of your canvas. A
scumbled stroke looks "sketchy" and "see-though"
allowing the color over which you are painting to still
be partly visible.
Notice how the second layer over the storm clouds is
softer and lighter in value. When viewing this painting up
close you can see how layering introduced color and
texture into my painting.
Now I am ready to drop in some detail.
I can put algae on the water, highlights on the willow,
and paint the flora along the bank of the pond.
So, back to Layers...
When first blocking in a painting, I like to think of my first
layer as the "idea" stage. It's easy to look at that underpainting
and say, "This looks pretty bad."
Try to speak positively about each layer - knowing that as you
make incremental adjustments and corrections - a beautiful
creation will emerge! Be nice to you.
After all, it's just a layer...