This is how you get really smooth, lovely satin stitches. Outline in split or chain stitch, fill in the area with chain or long & short stitches, and then do the satin stitch. The underlying stitches support the satin stitch and help it to lay smoothly.

Nice collection of Free Embroidery Patterns

Free Embroidery Patterns - Would be a nice "sampler" pattern to teach/practice with. Lovesomuch, am hacking this!