I find some comfort I guess in a first layer, or second layer that isn't so refined. It's what I call the ugly stage. I lay down the deepest or near deepest color I think is underneath all the highlighted detail, be it feathers or fur, or scales. Sometimes it takes 4- 5 sessions before I get to the top layer of highlights and dazzle. Sometimes it takes just a few. When I get to the last passes it's surpising how quickly it all comes together. I think it's because painting the ugly layer gives me a sort of confidence. It's all up from there? I can't quite explain it but I find comfort in picking up a dry "ugly layer" and building beauty on top.