Growing up, my dad made pumpkin carving look so easy, sawing curly-cue eyebrows and creepy smiles from a massive orange gourd with a few deft cuts. I’ve always found pumpkin carving more challenging than I anticipated, and besides, working with a knife like that makes me nervous.
Usually, I go for a very simple design. A smiling face with a dimple, or a sly winking pumpkin. Once I tried taking it up a notch by carving a werewolf head silhouetted by a moon. The result, which you can see below, looks more like a bootleg Thundercats symbol. And I worked for a really long time on it, too!
There is an art to pumpkin carving, and, as in every art, some artists are more skillful or bring a different twist to the craft. They see things different, looking at a pumpkin like a block of stone, ripe for carving, for releasing a beautiful face or shape from within.
Other pumpkin masters use a four or five color carving technique. A traditional jack-o-lantern has two colors: the dark of the pumpkin, and the light from the cuts. If you don’t cut all the way through the skin, and instead just carve some of the skin away, you create shades of light and dark and so are able to carve a more complex face or portrait.
Don’t get it? Or just looking for some jack-o-lantern inspiration? Take a look at these twelve examples of pumpkin art and then try some on your own!