Looking past the first splats of paint can be difficult if you are new to painting. You look at the picture right in front of you and see chicken scratches, or dabs of nonsensical colors. The object of the game is to have a sense of what it should look like at the end of the game. Keep that vision in mind. This is the most important thing.
So, how do you concentrate on an image in your head for hours upon hours, and staring at something that looks completely different? Welcome to art. I would like to say there is a formula, but there really isn’t because everybody is different. However, there are exercises you can do in order to hold the image a bit longer in your head. One is to make thumbnail sketches to reference. This gives you an idea of what you first intended, and usually recaptures the “ah ha, that’s it” factor. Then there is staring at something for a few minutes, then doing practice sketches without looking at the object. See how closely you can get the object correct.
The beauty of art, is that every artist does it differently. Have you ever watched another artist paint, and kept saying to yourself “no! that is not it, do not do that! It is wrong, EEEEK NOT THAT COLOR!!” This is an awesome thing as it gives you taste and uniqueness as an artist.