Hardly a watercolor artist has looked at that expensive and pristine sheet of watercolor paper lying in front of him or her and not felt intimated. Thoughts of “Where and how shall I start to lay in the color?” and “What if I ruin the painting right at the start” cross the mind. I recommend that you not jump right in to doing a painting, but rather play first. Don’t give yourself a goal or preconceived idea of a finished product, but just practice mixing colors, laying down color, then dropping in another color. Practice painting shapes of trees, rocks, flowers, etc. Spatter color onto a sheet of paper; loosen up and just have fun moving around the paper to see what color combinations you can create. This is how I, and many professional artists, start the day. This way, you learn the medium first. You would be surprised how many great paintings develop from just playing with the medium.
Before jumping into a large painting, pick four colors and do a smaller painting (7 x 9 inches is a good size). By doing a smaller practice painting first, you will automatically keep the subject simple and you will not feel overwhelmed by having to fill a large sheet of paper with color. When you move to the larger painting, grab the same colors and a large 1-inch flat brush and lay in the color with the same simplicity. Then use a no. 8 round brush to complete the final detail work. Spend more time playing with watercolor and you will be a better watercolor painter.
I hope this will make your approach to painting watercolor easier and more fun.