I think most art students have heard the old adage “You paint dark to light.” One of the most basic principles of oil painting states to keep your darks thin and your light thick. Unfortunately, people try to follow this rule without knowing why and may get a pre-conceived “law” in their head that they are scared to break for fear they are not “painting right.
The old masters would paint in a systematic way.
Each layer of the painting had a specific goal.
They painted with an underpainting before finishing with the overpainting. This made the painting process easier. The problems of drawing, tones, and color could be worked out separately. The artist could then concentrate their full attention on