My progression since my last post is shown in the gallery below. I’ve included how I mount my paper for watercolor painting. Click on the images to enlarge.
The ink outline on the steam donkey was done with a Lamy All Star extra-fine point.
I did the black shading with the Yuretake No. 50 brush pen. Then started detailing with a Staedtler 0.05 pigment liner. It has a finer line than the Lamy extra-fine tip.
The donkey detail is mostly complete.
The inking is complete. Time to erase the pencil lines and mount the paper.
I soak the paper in the bath tub. The water was room temperature. Be sure to test your inks for running before you use this on an important piece.
Two minutes on the timer for soaking 90 lb paper. It came out a little too saturated. I should have used cold water. For 140 lb paper I soak for seven minutes in cool water.
You need a very clean surface, because the sheet goes ink down. On go the stretcher boards.
Staple it to the boards. Snug it as you go, but not overly tight or the paper may rip when it dries.
Use a paper towel to mop up excess water. Don’t push down or you’ll damage the paper. A feather light touch is required.
I elevate the mounted paper for good air circulation. Even drying makes for a nice tight stretch. Let it dry naturally. Using a heater or blow drier can cause ripples in your paper. It should thump like a drum when dry.
This old donkey wasn’t alone. Very nearby was a second steam donkey. It was another Willamette. These two machines worked together on the same logging site.
The second steam donkey. It’s had parts removed by collectors.
Mark, the photographer, commented on my last post:
“The historians on our Steam Donkey expedition had a schematic of this Donkey. The manufacturer (Portland Iron Works) listed the Capistan (an option used to guide the cables in and out) as weighing 2,200 lbs. This donkey and another smaller unit were used until the Depression when they were parked on the side of a hill. By the time the Depression was over, other methods to yard logs were discovered, so they sit in the same resting place today. The original steam donkey was invented by John Dolbeer in 1881 in Eureka, California.”
Look how steep the hill is. It appears, they stopped in the middle of moving this donkey. Things must have been bad for them to abandon this equipment in the woods.
Now it is time for me to start slinging a little paint. Stay tuned for the next installment.
This huge steam engine has waited silently for years. Seasons passed, leaves turned, and its only visitors were the wild creatures paying it no attention.
The Willamette Steam Donkey. Photo courtesy of Mark Lathrop.
Steam donkeys were the cutting edge technology for powering logging operations a hundred years ago. Serving as yarders, they brought logs to the landing. They were the loaders, too. These huge machines provided any heavy lifting that needed to be done. Steam donkeys replaced horses and oxen for moving logs.
Steam Donkey work in progress.
I’m doing a mixed media watercolor painting of this steam donkey for a forestry education fund-raising auction. The auction will be held at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference coming up in February. You can follow the progress on this piece in my future blog posts. I’m using a Canson Bright White 90 lb hot press cotton paper. I sketched out my pencil guide and am inking. I’m inking with a brand new Lamy All-Star extra fine point pen.
Mark at the historic site.
The pictures were taken by my friend, Mark, who has graciously given me permission to use them for this project. He had the awesome duty of leading a team of historians to the donkeys to record the site. Keep following for more on the story behind this steam donkey.
What! Didn’t you hear it’s Squirrel Appreciation Day, January 21st. Our blogger friend Linda Martin Anderson alerted me to this important day in her blog at A Writer’s Playground. Check it out. A kid friendly blog with every special day of the month to discover.
Giving the look!
While winding down a steep mountain road two hunting seasons ago, this little scamp was gathering nuts. I surprised him and he ran up a large black oak tree. Just a short way up the tree he turned and gave me “the look.” He was sure I was coveting his nuts! Then he berated me as best he could with an acorn in his mouth. So I shot him. Sorry, I meant to say, I shot his picture with my Nikon. You can see it here, Forestry Friday … It’s The Time Of The Season For Squirrels.
There is art in the forest no matter where you look.
I had a beautiful day to get out to the woods this week. Here are a few picture to share. No particular theme this time. I haven’t posted a lot of forestry lately, so it’s time to get my groove on. Just click on the gallery to enlarge the pictures
There is art in the forest no matter where you look.
I love my commute. The mountain road is framed by big gray pine.
Bully Choop rises above the surrounding mountains.
Mt Shasta to the North is the highest point in Northern California.
Big pine on the ridge.
The delimber sits in the landing making logs all day.
One lane only, so pull off and yield the right of way. There’s a future house on the back of that truck.
Knobcone pine waiting to open. They can wait for decades sheltering the seeds inside.
This unit was logged three years ago and is now a young forest.
Douglas-fir and Ponderosa pine seedling planted three years ago.
An alder tree was cut out of the road and it was striking how orange the wood was.