This theory is a very sound one for painting in Oils. But that is on its own will not be enough. As well as putting on darks first, start with thin paint and no detail, and work towards ‘Fatter’ and fatter paint and more and more detail. I will explain over my next three months.
Remember, you are painting the deepest darks first, were very little light is penetrating. Especially if you are painting a scene outside, much of this deep shadow could be some distance from you. Conclusion: Nobody, unless their father is an eagle can see detail in deep shade at a distance. So don’t put any detail in at this stage. Try to lather paint on with as little brush strokes visible as possible, just like painting the house – ‘Lay off’ the paint by gentle horizontal and vertical brush strokes, with a beard flat brush. This prepares the way to contrast some detail against the “quiet” area, when you lay on high lights. This works particularly well with distant details in landscapes. It will also, if your colours are wisely mixed, add to the depth, as it confirms the viewer’s subconscious expectations, that detail recedes with distance.