One of the things that I found very beneficial in helping develop my painting and drawing skills was to follow the old tradition of copying masters. It really sharpens the eye to colours, layers, brush strokes, etc and that is where the value is.
I just couldn't get the subtlety of the skin tones, but I really enjoyed trying.
"You have to copy and recopy the masters," Degas insisted, "and it's only after having proved oneself as a good copyist that you can reasonably try to do a still life of a radish."
I've never painted a radish,maybe I should!