My thoughts (no specific cites) would be that in English technically all the adjectives applied to a noun are equal, and so could properly be given in any order.
But in practice, there seem to be a lot of conventions about which one is listed first. It seems to most often be the one that is most ‘important’ in describing the object. Size is frequently ‘important’; thus ‘big’ is often listed first, for example “Rush is a big, fat idiot”, “lumberjacks are big and burly”, “bigger and better in every way”, etc.
This may also be related to function; ‘functional’ adjectives seem to be commonly listed before merely ‘descriptive’ ones. Like in your example, a big bucket functions differently than a small bucket, but a red bucket works no differently than a green one.
Still, I think this is mostly convention, possibly based on the way people learn the language, and maybe influenced by popular quotations.