When traveling, especially when visiting family and friends, it is difficult to have more than ten or fifteen minutes to spend on a sketch.  It is even more of a challenge to choose colors while engaged in a conversation.  Painting over an ink contour drawing with only one color provides a satisfying solution.

Alexis's Room in Seattle

When using only one color, my focus is only on the pattern of lights and darks.  I don’t have to concentrate on color scheme choices or on warm/cool choices.  I am able to stop and start watercolor washes as the conversation permits.  The black ink runs a bit into the pigment, an effect I often like.  In this case the black mixing with the venetian red mixes toward a burnt umber creating a slight color variation that is not distracting.  When painting in this manner I prefer using Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red, Indian Red or Burnt Umber.