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Review: Portfolio Collection 3, by "Ol' Don" Burgdorf

Reviewed by Matt Kelley


"Ol' Don" Burgdorf's third CD portfolio collection is an interesting and useful collection of patterns and reference material and a welcome addition to his two previous CD collections. This edition includes the following portfolios:


Chattering Chippers Collection ­ 20 pages of Ol' Don patterns, originally published on The Woodcarver's Porch, a virtual gathering place for carvers.

The collection includes in-the-round figures, Santas, bottle stoppers, and animals,



Chip Chats Collection - Patterns that have appeared in Chip Chats, the magazine of the National Wood Carvers Association, 1997 through early 2000.

One of my favorites ­ the "Creating Expressions" piece that appeared on the back page of Chip Chats in May/June 1998 ­ features the same face with 16 different expressions.

Also included is a two page discussion of facial features that appeared in May/June 1999.


Woman, Wives and Lovers ­

This portfolio includes Ol' Don's popular "Scratch Golfer" and another bevy of beauties.

The final two portfolios; Create a Recognizable Caricature and Caricatures with Character, are in some respects, misnamed. To do a really good caricature, you first need to understand what realistic faces are all about. That is what Ol' Don is after - to give the user lots of information about real faces, which will help prepare you to carver better caricatures and realistic faces.


Create a Recognizable Caricature of Someone You Know

Ol' Don's aim in this portfolio is to show the reader how to "create recognizable caricature of someone you know by developing your power to observe and identify the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle differences that exist, giving each of us our unique appearance."

The portfolio includes practices pages, discussions of Head shape, profiles, 3/4 views, lots of photo samples of eyes, noses, mouths, and hair, and advice on putting it all together.

Ol' Don's closing words start with this quotation from Bill Utterback:
"A good caricature should really look more like the subject than he really does. A bad caricature is where distortion is done for distortion's sake."


Caricatures with Character ­ Their roots in reality with a detailed analysis of heads, faces and features.

This portfolio focuses on the similarities of human features, including an analysis of the basic shapes and forms which give the head and each of the facial features their appearance.

This portfolio starts with a detailed discussion of the layout of features on the average human head ­ including the standard proportions (front and side views)

A discussion of the mouth, eyes, nose, ears, cheeks and chins follows, with lots of examples, both photos and drawings

The discussion and examples are interspersed with a nice selection of practice patterns.

WOM Special Pricing: The regular price for Ol' Don's CD portfolios is $35 each (which is less than half the price of the printed versions of the same material.) For a limited time, anyone who mentions WOM when ordering can have their choice of any one of the CD collections for $25 each plus $5 for priority mailing or all three for $65 plus $5 for priority mailing.

The Rating:

The information in the last two portfolios alone is worth the price of admission, which makes the three caricature portfolios a great bonus. With the content and special pricing, I rate this CD an excellent value.

For that reason "Ol' Don" Burgdorf's Pattern Portfolio Collection Three on CD receives four and one-half thumbs up.

To purchase the CD's visit Ol' Don's web site at artofdon.com

To read a review of Ol' Don's first two portfolios, click HERE