My mentor, Ann Templeton, once said: "If you don't start rich, it's hard to get rich." (She was speaking of color, I believe.) If you start with muddy color or neutrals, it's hard to work your way up to intense chroma. I've found this to be true in my own work.
I did this little piece yesterday as an example for students. I went right for the intense color - rich blues and blue-greens for the headland in the distance, and rich yellow-greens for the foreground. The first stage looked more like a background for a Disney cartoon! But it was very easy to adjust the color by layering in greys and complements.
Gumball machines in a laundromat
1 hour ago