Hey Steampunk Fans,

I wanted to share my DT project for this month on Steampunk Challenge Blog and a few process photos on how it came into being.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to this month’s challenge mood board:

This month’s challenge is to make an art canvas of any size and include cardboard on it somewhere, always remembering of course that it must be in the steampunk, grunge, industrial style.  Just click on the mood board to enter the challenge and don’t forget to check out the Rules page before entering! Challenge runs till the end of the month.

Here’s my DT inspiration project for this month.

My inspiration for this challenge was the Starbucks logo from this empty coffee packet (coffee was delicious btw).  I know she is some kind of Siren (two tails v one tail of the mermaid) but she got me thinking about octopuses because of the way her tails have curled up on the sides.  So I cut her out as you can see below and planned to use her on one of these little mini canvases I bought recently.  You can see the tiny wee canvas under the mermaid.  They are 10cm x 10cm squares or 4 x 4 inches and are natural linen with some kind of coating on them that is supposed to be good for oil and acrylic painting.

Here’s a close up of one of them so you can see the texture and that they are slightly shiny.

So my plan was to use Miss Starbucks and one of these little canvases.  These mini ones come in a set of three.  I have this stencil that is all different types of crowns and my brain thinks this one looks like an octopus – it even has eight legs! – so I used some texture paste and added to to the first canvas in it’s natural state still.

It looks really nice with the white and the linen background but not really what I was looking for, and I started to think that maybe I wanted to use all three canvases and I only had one Starbucks mermaid.

So I decided to paint the canvases and think about what to do instead.  Left to right, rusty orange, carbon black fluid acrylics.  The one on the right still not painted but it’s coming lol.

By the way, let’s not forget to add some cardboard because I nearly did!  I’m using one of my favourite cardboard sources – Felix cat food boxes – I should be getting a kickback for promoting their boxes so much but sadly I don’t LOL.  They are super useful though and I do seem to have an endless supply of “free” cardboard to use in my projects. In the background you can just see a sneak peek of what’s to come, and that the third panel has been painted in a metallic pewter colour.

I added more of my octopus legs (crowns) to the other two panels using a mixture of texture paste and paint.

Then it was time to head off in a slightly different direction.  Instead of using the Starbucks mermaid/siren, I am using some printed copies of Marie Antoinette looking very regal.  It was then that I started to think about her having a secret identity and that perhaps she was Queen of the Octopus Society! I also planned out where to put my cardboard at this stage, making them all slightly different.

I wanted to add more to the backgrounds so I grabbed this clock stencil and some translucent grit paste, hoping that it would indeed dry translucent and not white and applied it at random!

Here’s a look at all three canvases at this stage.

And a couple of close ups here…

and another one here…

It’s getting dark so early now that it keeps catching me by surprise and it’s too dark to really take photos, so the choice is keep going with no photos or stop work until the next day.  I hate stopping when I’m in the middle of something, so I kept going but I don’t have any more process photos!   After the paste was dry, I also painted the cardboard pieces and then added them and the photos of Marie to each canvas.  I added some highlights with some waxes in similar colours and then I really did stop for the night.  In the morning I added these little stickers with the French words “rendez-vous”, “peut-être” and “toujours” which translate to English as “a meeting, arrangement or appointment” , “perhaps” and “always”.  Again I was thinking about her secret society connections and possible hidden meanings in each canvas LOL

Shall we rendez-vous at the usual place my Queen?

We must be careful, spies are everywhere!

For now my answer is peut-être.

Try not to raise any suspicions among the court – act normal!

Secretly my answer is always toujours but hush, someone is coming!

Long live the Octopus Society!

So there we are, I hope you enjoyed that little trip inside my brain and the concept of the Octopus Society.

Don’t forget to join in this month’s challenge and I’d love to see what you make!


SanDee and Amelie’s Steampunk ChallengeWinter Special 2020


mini linen canvases
acrylic paint and ink,
stencils and texture paste
french stickers
From stash: recycled cardboard, photos,

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6 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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November 10, 2020 10:43 am

Nice trio! Thanks for sharing it with us at SanDee&amelie’s Steampunk Challenges!

Claudia x

Maura Hibbitts
Maura Hibbitts
November 5, 2020 7:50 pm

Love your imaginative take with your Queen of the Octopus Society! I think this could become a novel! So glad you joined us for our steampunk challenge at Sandee and Amelie’s Steampunk Challenges! hugs, Maura

Judy McKay
November 1, 2020 5:21 pm

Love them. Simply beautiful. Love it!! Have a creative week. Judy

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