I decided to tint the journal page first with an orange acrylic wash, in readiness for my entry.
It is a great way to get away from the bright white paper of the journal, which some people are very intimidated by, and don't want to ruin their journal.
**However with this color tint already on the page, one is now forced to work more with the highlights and darks (using the acrylic tint as a middle value)
If this seems to be describing your own watercolor struggles, maybe try the mid value tint first?
I find it helps a lot, especially when one is confronted with an all green landscape while painting en plein air. Just having those flecks of an underneath color helps the painting come alive.
FYI..Why did I use acrylic first and not tint with watercolor or a colored gouache?
Because both those mediums will lift with further layers of painting, which will 'muddy' your colors. Acrylic is a safe option, as it dries hard and fast, and will not budge with continued layers.