This seems to make sense, but not all artists follow the advice, portrait painters in particular. I suppose that they think it's best to make sure that a likeness is captured. Once that is accomplished, then the remainder of the painting can be completed. The alternative would be to risk spending too much time on an overall workup and then failing to achieve the likeness.
Here are some examples of development by area.
Vellejo is a well-known fantasy - science fiction illustrator. I'm not sure about his present practices, but 30 years ago when the above image was created, he would paint from background to foreground. The main subjects would be painted by section in a systematic manner.
Ramos usually likes to have a little fun. In the early 90s he made a series of paintings titled "Unfinished Painting" wherein outlines and a little shading were introduced to create an mostly monochrome image that was supplemented around the subject's face by a full-color treatment.