Getting the strong darks in first gives the painting a good foundation. It's taken me a long time to see that the darks hold the painting together.
The last example of the azaleas started with the darks first (last blog). I got carried away with the painting and forgot to take a photo of the step right after the darks, but here are the stages of this painting of lilacs. It is a study, but today looking at my yard I might not have enough for setting up a larger painting and I have three lilac bushes. I don't have good luck (or know-how) growing lilacs.
I set this up so there would be sort of an "S" curve to the flowers and put few petal on the flat surface.
Paint strong darks first.
Work all over painting, paint light side of flowers, get in the middle values. Show reflection of lilacs on vase.