One is said he "can't see the forest for the trees" when he is focused on the detail rather than the big picture.
Here, I have been painting a lot of "trees." It is hard to see how it will be a cohesive painting, a "forest," when the multitude flamingos need to be painted almost one by one. Once I finish this mid-ground I can begin on the really fun birds in the foreground whose bright colors will carry the painting.
It is tempting to rush through this section but I know the painting would suffer if I did. To grab another timeless saying, "Slow and steady wins the race."