if there's a museum or gallery that you can get to, you should definitely try to see some paintings in person. it makes a HUGE difference when you're actually able to see the texture, brushstrokes, thickness of the paint, etc....even seeing how shiny or matte a painting is in person will give you a whole new perspective on how other artists work with paint. also, you can mix different mediums with the paints to make them do pretty much whatever you want. If you want your paintings to be shiny, find a jar of gloss medium; if you want to work with translucent layers, make the paint super thick, or give it texture you can find mediums for those too. when you find something that works with your painting style, you will be freaking AMAZED at how much easier it is to make the paint do what you want it to...there are some brands of paint suppliers (i think golden is one of them) that will send you free samples of their products to try if you're not sure what you want.
hope that helps!