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.
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.