Windy Weather or A Chilly Spring

This painting started out as one thing and ended up as something completely different!

Windy Weather or A Chilly Spring

Originally, I was envisioning the background of birds with a very colorful young woman. Not the usual skin tones, but lots of yellows, pinks, and lavenders.

The birds are decoupaged on, and once the painting was finished, I had thought that I would add more birds and flowers in her hair.

But, I just couldn’t make it work.

A work in progress

At one point, it was actually turning out, but I chose the wrong color for her hair, and I ruined it.

I was so sad! I had spent hours painting her and now what was I going to do??

So I sat her aside for a day and contemplated my choices.

In the end, I scrubbed away as much of the paint as I could, but some areas were stained with color.

A member of KISS or a clown??? Even after intensive scrubing, there are stains

So, I sat her aside for another day and thought about it.

The cradled wood canvases are really too expensive to just throw away.

I can’t just rip it up as I have done with watercolor paintings on paper that went terribly wrong…

and then my husband reminded me that even the great masters reused their wood canvases.

SO, as far as I could think, these were my choices:

1) I could sand the entire picture away with my electric sander, or 2) I could paint over the entire thing with white gesso (pronounced Jesso) or white watercolor ground…

but I really liked the bird background and wanted to keep it!

Which meant:

1) I could completely cover the young woman with white gesso or 2) just gesso out her hair and go from there.

I chose the latter because I had worked really hard drawing her face, and I liked it.

So, I gessoed out her hair and started painting her face in skintones.

I’m sorry, I didn’t take any photos at this stage.

Finally, she was looking pretty, but I didn’t like the shape of her hair.

I played around sketching over her hair, changing the shape, changing hair styles. I even tried braids and a circlet… but I just wasn’t happy with it.

I kept thinking that it was shaped right to be a hood or a scarf.

Next, I looked through my inspiration board and came across this photo of the late, great Frida Kahlo.

navy blue beaded scarf or headband with a red fringed scarf over top

It’s such a beautiful photo!

She is wearing a blue scarf or headband. There are either beads traveling the length of the blue scarf/headband or in her hair, and there is a lovely red fringed scarf over that.

I knew immediately that this was the inspiration that I needed and started painting right away!

At this point, my husband asked me if this was supposed to be a religious painting because the bright blue made him think of Mary.

I explained that it was not and that I was working towards a red scarf, and I showed him the inspiration photo of Frida Kahlo.

Here she is! All finished!

A Poppy Red scarf
I’m very happy with the end results!

Published by sharietomlinson

I’m Sharie. Owner of Butterfly Bunny Studio. Mixed Media Watercolor Artist, Bunny & Disney Lover, Gardener, Proud Mother to Josh, Bunny Momma to Princess Buttercup Bunny and Wifey to Jason. I am located in Columbia, Md but I’m a Harford County girl at heart! You can find me on Etsy at and on Instagram at @notjoshsmom Email me at

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