When I was studying the violin, I learned how to break down a concerto, learn the separate parts, and build it back up again to be a completed piece. Ok, I never quite made it to the completed piece, but I did learn how to break each movement down. There were endless scales and exercises to practice the shifts from one position to another.There was also the slowing down of the fast passages and the gradual speeding up each time they were rehearsed until they could be played at full speed with no mistakes (this I never mastered - my fingers stopped working with my brain after certain speeds). But it was this process of learning things slowly and gradually speeding them up that gave the musician a solid background on which to make a piece "flawless"
When it comes to painting, I'm still discovering the solid background. I feel confident in drawing - especially with charcoal. However, when it comes to painting, I become completely lost. So I broke down what makes me the most nervous and unsure - the use of color and the use of a brush.
I started with a simple exercise with what I have on hand; I decided to draw an apple with oil pastel. While the first two attempts were really more of a getting used to the medium than thinking about the colors, they did produce a result in a few minutes that made me more confident with my use of color.
The next step - get comfortable using a brush.