When I learned Ikebana as an adult, I was really fortunate to have had an old_fashioned sensei (instructor) who not only taught me the theory and techniques, but also immersed me in the respectable manners and ways of the good old days. It is through my sensei that I learned that Ikebana goes beyond the typical art form, and that it is more of a way of life; in fact, Ikebana is also known as kado, which literally means "the way of the flower."
You may start by placing your foliage that you will use in a water vase. You have to make sure that you keep it around the lips or edges. Stick with the plan to place them the lips or edges of your water vase with a layer of your Foliage. When it is too big or too thick, it ends up detracting from your cut flowers. And if it is small or too thin, visual contrast will not show.