Since those early days of trying to paint, I had the opportunity to take some lessons from a good teacher. She was very helpful in explaining where to begin and what supplies where needed. Everything from what type of canvas to use for the type of medium you were going to use. Everything from water colour to oils.
One of the most important thing that I learned was that for painting you work from the back forward. You establish the sky, then lay in some clouds (because they go across the sky), adding distant mountains, then moving to closer mountains. Trees grow on the lower areas of mountains and snow often is found on the tops of mountains so those things are then added.
I was challenged to think how things grew. Grasses, trees, flowers all come out of the earth. It makes sense to have the ground put in place first. Now I realize that things begin to expand once the initial foundation is put in place and you can add other trees in front of the first line of trees, etc., but the general principle is there - Background to foreground, ground - up.
Check out some of my oil paintings.