Happy October, everyone!
With Halloween steadily approaching I get very excited about pumpkin carving! It’s something that I never fail to do each year and I just had to do a post dedicated to my recent efforts:
These were my first ambitious pumpkin carvings and before I even had a carving kit. I used a huge kitchen knife and surprisingly, kept all of my fingers! I bought a kit for the following year, which included a little saw, scoop, divot, punch and stencils. I really recommend these that can be bought cheaply on eBay, they make carving much easier!
With my new kit I tried something much more complex and delicate. I felt like the shadow cast by this one was the best part! Jack Skellington and his paper ‘snowflake’.
Yoda was my first attempt at a 3D effect by using layered carving so that the light only partially shines through some parts of the design. It took a long time and lots of light adjustment to get this to work! I don’t recommend this if you’ve only got one pumpkin to work with as it’s very confusing to follow the design and very easy to make mistakes.
I think that to-date, this is the most fiddly pumpkin design I have carved. The grass, hair, fingers, crosses and bats on the moon, required a lot of delicacy.
I picked up a handy tip online this year that said to just cut a hole in the base of your pumpkin instead of making a ‘lid’. Then you can just place the hollow shell (with design cut out) on top of the lit candle. This meant that it was much easier to hollow and manage to get a lit candle inside. It sat nicely, lasted longer and there was no chance of a lid falling in on itself!
This year I had a lot of pumpkins to do. I put them all in the gallery window and advertised for commissions. I was asked to do one with a logo on for local business ‘The Bronze Pig’ and they loved it!
This was something I did for a local business. The colours even match the logo!
This design was much much easier to see when it wasn’t lit! Sadly it rotted the fastest because of the vast exposed pulp.
Update: 2014 Pumpkin was Frankenstein’s Monster! (My best, yet!)
For this one I wanted to add a further shade and so I used black acrylic paint so that there could be more tones. This was much easier than focusing on fiddly carving and I think it looks great when lit!
This year I knew I wanted to continue the black paint practise. I got really into a YouTube Webseries called Carmilla and there’s some amazing fan art out there dedicated to it. I decided to put the leading ladies on a pumpkin as my tribute to save the series and hope for a third season. It was well received! To do this I tried using tattoo transfer paper for the outline but because of the uneven and shiny pumpkin surface I don’t recommend this.
After being tagged in some 3D pumpkin carving timelapses I thought I’d give it a go! Without the proper tools I used a hairpin that I taped to the end of a pencil. This was the hardest I’ve attempted by far, including when I tried to use a huge kitchen knife for E.T! It was messy and strenuous and I certainly won’t try another until I have proper tools. I have no idea how other artists get the carved surface really smooth, at least Freddy has awful skin!
This was an idea I found on Pinterest. I thought it was really unique and combining two pumpkins into one is something I’d not attempted before. I don’t know if it’s this particular white pumpkin but it was VERY tough to cut. It made slotting them together actually seem like the easy part!
I hope I have helped with any tips! Please show me any of your pumpkins, I’d love to see them and get some inspiration for this year 🙂