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Mpls, MN, United States

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin II

Guys! You left such kind responses on the last pumpkin post! As for the question of whether it's real, and actually a pumpkin, here is an image of it alongside the one that was originally supposed to be my portrait but failed miserably. Now the latter is a slightly more traditional jack-o-lantern, although all you can see here is its gaping maw.
Oh, and here is one with flash, where the magic disappears!

As far as the how, I used a photo of David taken in strong light and used photo-editing software to heighten the contrast even more. I printed it out at the size I wanted, taped it to the pumpkin, and then transferred the outlines using a thumbtack. From there, I tried to leave the darkest areas entirely intact, cut clear through for bright white, and carve into the flesh for an attempt at gray tones. Actually, the only place I ended up cutting the whole way through was the forehead, partly out of a desire for stability. My tools were a paring knife and a grapefruit spoon; I think it would be easier with proper carving tools!

It's also easier when the pumpkin wall is as uniform as possible and relatively thin--maybe an inch and a half. You want some thickness for stability, but you don't want to bury your knife to the handle and only see the very tip sticking through the other side (as happened to me when I first inherited the hollowed pumpkin from David!).

It's a bit fussy, but the results when you put a candle in it and turn out the lights are awfully nifty.


Leah said...

I'm glad you posted the reveal before I have to attend this pumpkin carving party this weekend. I doubt my hand will be as steady, so I might attempt the "gaping maw" myself.

Well done!

strovska said...

very, very neat, and it's nice to know how you did it. you've probably seen these before, but it reminded me of the carved watermelons (my favorite being the grumpy old man and the toothy open mouth):

Mumsie said...

I love the way you find time to be your creative self. . .