It's been a busy month, but I found time to uphold our tradition of carving a pumpkin with the likeness of this year's Breyer Halloween Horse.... Well, two actually!
Thriller was a fun guy to carve, since his dynamic pose and zombie hide inspired me to have him digging his way out of his grave, like Billy Butcherson from "Hocus Pocus." My first pumpkin was to be a whole graveyard scene, with Thriller accompanied by Eek and a ghostly SM Rearing Andalusian for a whole zombified herd:
I liked it well enough, but it didn't have much carving.. Just the horses themselves, with gravestones and fence accents. It's a cool scene, so I kept it to display, but I wanted something more...
So, I grabbed Pumpkin Number Two and really got in there with a big portrait of Thriller, and it was so much fun to do! I'm glad I took the time to start again, because this one I love!
With this second one, a pumpkin with gorgeous, thick walls, I was able to really get in deep and make a great relief carving. The space around his neck vertebrae goes straight into the open part of the pumpkin, while there's also space behind his ribs that creates a play of light and shadows inside him. After carving him, I painted him with pearlized white paint on his body, opaque black for his mane and feathers, and chalky white for his bones and mane stripes, accented with a faint green to simulate his glow-in-the-dark features.
Both of these pumpkins will be on display at Triple Mountain through Halloween, but beware: They're guarded by the friendly, but boney mare Buried Treasure! She spooks easily, and will whinny and snort if you get close... Nearly gave our poor UPS guy a heart attack the first day he came by!
Happy Halloween, everyone!
~ Pumpkin Slaughter, Eleda
Also, the chickens love pumpkin carving time... They happily gobbled up Thriller's guts! Mwuhahahahahaha!
How-To / In-Progress Photos:I started by gathering images and creating a plan for the design (top sheet of paper). Then I printed the images separately so I could easily cut each out to tape to the pumpkin, while the master plan stayed intact for reference.
After cutting out each image, I used a heavy black pencil to color the whole backside of the image, creating transfer paper - This worked SO much better than my old method of cutting through the image directly!
With all of the pieces prepared, I taped them all in place on the pumpkin, cutting away any that were overlapped by others. Then I used a pointy thing (technical term) to trace over all of the lines to transfer them to the pumpkin.
Here's the result, showing the graveyard fence:
It's faint, but I was able to make out all of the lines easily. I then traced them with a Sharpie so they wouldn't smudge while I worked on the carving.
The photo above also shows how I hold my pumpkins so that I can tip them to make carving easier: I just found a box that fit snugly around the pumpkin's base and lined it with a soft towel so that the pumpkin would move easily and not get dented by the box's edges. Worked great!
After that, it was all dig and carve! I didn't take a single picture of that, because I really get into it, with that maniacal grin you saw earlier, and pumpkin bits flying everywhere. I think I even scared the pumpkin... It started sweating when I raised my knife:
After this photo, it was four hours of carving while my Halloween playlist belted out "Zombie Jamboree" and other festive tunes...
And it was just about then that UPS arrived with all the Breyer Holiday Horses. Halloween? Christmas? Best of both worlds! Happy Halloween / Happy Samhain, everyone!