I watched the Prince of Persia speedpaint at Gametrailers and I noticed that they sort of put in sort of a black background on the canvas before actually painting in the character. I browsed around some of the artworks in the Critiques section and some also suggested that if you're working on a white or lighter background, that you darken it so as to produce a tighter picture.
Now, how I've always worked is I go from light to dark, i.e., put in the lightest value and then darken it according to shadows and tones. Suggestions I've read said otherwise. Can anyone tell me the principle behind this? Is this the reason why most of my finished works seem "bland"? Can you give me more tips on achieving a more cohesive and tight painting?
Thanks very much.