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From the PublisherSeries One covers dabbling and Whistling Ducks, Series Two consists of Diving Ducks.
It seems best to me to write the review of these books a bit differently than the usual "one book, one review" format I must, of necessity, usually employ. Yes, these are separate books, but they cover the same material in the same way-only the subjects differ.
These are very classy looking books. Both are hard cover with an enclosed spiral binding, which makes pattern copying and painting directions much easier to accomplish. This binding allows the pages to lie flat instead of spending an hour of your time pushing down against the spine of the book in your efforts to see each page.
Both books were originally printed by Stackpole Books, so what we have here are actually revised and updated versions of the 1990 version of Bruce Burk's Volume 1 "Decorative Decoy Designs" and Volume 2, "Diving Ducks".
Paint charts showing the Grumbacker Oil Paint colors Burk in painting the projects are inside the front and back covers of both books. Burk is of the "mix your own colors" school, so you don't need a bottle or tube of every color you'll be using on the decoys you'll chose to make. Just mix the colors as directed and you should be in good shape on that score.
The books begin with a "Getting Started" chapter that includes some basic information on duck decoys, duck anatomy, paint mixing, etc., and a few good photographs of real ducks in various poses.
Now the books move directly into the projects. There are many different kinds of ducks included with a separate chapter for the male and the female of each species with the exception of American and Barrow's Goldeneye hens. Those birds look so much alike that only the males of the species seem to be able to tell the difference.
Each duck sex and species chapter begins with several photos of ducks in various poses.
The next facing pages contain the paint patterns, and following that, the next set of facing pages show full body and head patterns. Many pattern paged also contain foot patterns for the foot attitude of the featured duck.
In the main, the directions given are for producing a pretty fancy decoy. Yes, the book title says "Decorative" and I guess I should have realized that anything made using directions in these books was definitely never going to be tossed into a toe sack and end up with some shot gun pellets in his body!
These books are well done and the spiral binding is a huge plus in making the material easy to use.