Flowers are good to work on because they teach you to be accurate with the complex jigsaw shapes of color and value. same with glass with water in it. put them together with striped fabric and you've got a challenge on your hands. you get scared the way the abstract shapes look all the way up until you put the last few lines and highlites down. then all of a sudden, boom, its a glass of water and flower. it'll give you nerves of steel. all painters have heard of the "ugly stage" and its like that, and goes on until the very end of the piece.
i'm doing a demo at Fountainside Gallery in Wilmington this sunday afternoon. here's the link to check out the E-vite.