Anatomy of a Pumpkin Carving – A Tutorial

Happy Halloween Everybody!! Yeah, I know it’s a little late for that, but this post was suppose to be done last weekend. I was awaiting a response to an email that has not come yet and decided waiting any longer would be wasting the moment. Those that know me, are aware of my passion for this particular holiday. Of all the big ones, this has to be my favorite. The reasons for this are not entirely clear to me except there are many fond memories of reading horror book after horror book while in my early school years and always had fun carving up the scariest pumpkins my brother Ron and I could dream up. By the way, the former did result in a note of concern to my parents from my 7th grade teacher. Apparently reading Amityville and The Shining is not normal for that age. Never mind those books were huge and I was spending my time reading instead of boob tubing it – oh, and not to mention I haven’t had any urges to ax murder any members of my family – must be all those right from wrong discussions my parents were instilling me at the same time. To this day, the house gets decorated with all kinds of Halloween related items and as mentioned on a previous blog we have an annual Halloween Party.  Every year I also try to add a new pumpkin carving to the collection.  Try is an accurate word since it often requires more time commitment than is available.  The carving concepts have remained over the years, but the implementation has changed significantly since the days Ron and I laid out the newspapers, found the sharpest knives in the rack and splattered pumpkin guts all over the place.  These days, it is all about the foam and Dremel.  The hardest part about spending all the time carving real pumpkins is always watching the shrivel process destroy all your hard work.  Technology has come to the aid of us pumpkin aficionados.  Some genius has developed the fake pumpkin created out of an orange coated thin foam shell.  This shell even mimics the two toned orange found in real pumpkins providing for the same half cut shavings we have cherished from our real pumpkin experiences.  Adding the fact it can be carved with power tools, we are truly living in a golden age.

This brings me to the topic of this post.  This year I took the time to add another carving to my collection and in addition decided to give a little something back to all the up and coming carvers out there looking to branch out from the store bought stock patterns.  For the last 6 or so years I’ve been perfecting my abilities to create unique patterns and scene combinations.  The following is a mini tutorial on how to create that special pumpkin to impress all your friends.  But first off, a quick notice regarding a copyright issue.  Although drawing is a pastime of mine, my skills have a long way to go before being able to capture exactly what images are floating around in my conscious.   When it comes to the horror genre I tend to defer to the absolute stunning talents of others.  As a result, I tend to lurk on Google Images searching on horror related keywords looking for a image that would translate well to a pumpkin.  None of my creations are for sale nor do I market any of the resultant patterns so there is zero monetary gain on my part in this effort.  With that said, I still want to honor any copyrights and bring appreciation to the talents of others.  This year, I stumbled on an image from an illustrator in the UK name Paul Mudie.  It took me awhile to find the owner of the image I based my pattern on, but through the use of Google located his website.  I also sent him an email detailing my use of the image as a base for the carving and even sent him the actual finished pattern as a small token of appreciation.  He has yet to respond (thus the delay in this post), but want to point out that the original image rights remain with Paul Mudie.  Any use of his original image must be approved by him and any monetary use of the images in this particular post must be approved by both Paul and myself.  Thank you for your understanding in this situation.

With that said, you can visit Paul’s site at: and specifically, the base image can be seen here: Enough of the words, let’s get to the carving!.  So this is the subject of today’s tutorial.

To see the details on the tutorial, just hit the jump!

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