Have you ever been intimidated by a blank page? Well artists don’t always start out that way. White is great for highlights but usually there isn’t much white in a picture. That’s part of what can make beginning a picture so daunting – there is so much to do. But if you begin instead with a mid tone then all you need to do is add the highlights and the shadows. (Click here for an example of how)
Here’s an example of a project to illustrate this with kids. If you do a google search for a coloring sheet of squirrel and print it out for your kids to color they will spend all their time coloring in brown. (I got my picture here) However, if you cut up an old Trader Joe’s bag and print the picture out on that then they can use white as well as dark colors but the mid tone colors won’t show up as well.
Traditional watercolorists save the white of the paper and don’t use white paint. (Sometimes using masking) However, since the white paint is there, why not use it?