You could take pains to render the shapes accurately right from the palest first layer, but you wouldn't have to. The darks in this scene are so descriptive they could stand alone, which means that the lights and middle values could be painted very loosely. I believe I heard a few people say they wanted to loosen up. Here's a good opportunity.
Another way of looking at the scene that can clarify where you need to be careful is to identify what the important part is to you. For me, it's the right angle relationship between the trees and the shadows. With that noted, I am confident I can interpret it satisfactorily no matter how casual I've been in preceding layers.