Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spooky carved Halloween pumpkins to inspire and delight (or give a fright)...

As I've had literally thousands of visitors to my previous carved Halloween pumpkin posts, this year I couldn't resist going the extra mile and doing a third Jack O' Lantern design to light up the skies of West Hollywood.

Spooky carved Halloween pumpkins
So with knives, ice-cream scoop (to remove all the pulp) and skewers in hand, I carved out three new  eerie designs which are all quite different, but look pretty cool aglow at night.

Pumpkin inspector Cooper was on hand to make 
sure the harvest was satisfactory this year 
Labrador Cooper inspecting pumpkins
I'm my own worst critic, but luckily I had my trusty Labrador Cooper to keep an eye on things (although in the past some pumpkin lids had mysteriously disappeared when he's been around) and provide some much needed inspiration.

'Helter Skelter' Jack O' Lantern
Carved Halloween pumpkin
Spooky carved Halloween pumpkin
In the run up to Halloween I always make of note of Jack O' Lantern designs and shapes that come to mind, and often sketch things down and come back to these notes to see what will work together.
Carved Halloween pumpkin ideas
Creepy carved Halloween pumpkins
Often when I'm carving the pumpkins I'm not 100% sure what the finished product will look like and it really depends on the size and shape of the seasonal squash.

'Mr. Frowns' Halloween pumpkin
Halloween pumpkin design idea
Sometimes you never know if they work until they are filled with tea lights (or bigger candles) and illuminated at night, that you can see if all your careful cuts and shapes have worked.
Halloween pumpkin design ideas
Carved Halloween Jack O Lanterns
As you may have noticed there's a lot of preparation that goes into these pumpkins, but that's only because I enjoy the whole Halloween tradition itself.

'Morticia' Halloween pumpkin
Halloween pumpkin skull design
Halloween pumpkin Day of the Dead design
This year my favourite design was the one I named 'Helter Skelter', because of the slightly crazed spiral eye. I almost ruined the pumpkin out of haste when I was carving it, but I think I saved it pretty well. I have to say, as a rule I'm more of a fan of sharp angular edges, then curves and more rounded looks.
Spooky Halloween pumpkins
Halloween pumpkins aglow
The 'Mr. Frowns' pumpkin is my attempt at a fun, dopey character, whilst the 'Morticia' design is inspired by the Day of the Dead celebrations and the skull imagery associated with it (plus the deathly name itself from 'Morticia Addams' from the Addams Family).
Carved Halloween pumpkin trio
Halloween pumpkin ideas
Illuminated Halloween pumpkins
At the end of the day all these pumpkins look far better illuminated in the dark, than when they've been carved in the light (but as you learn as you grow older, good lighting is everything).

I hope these pumpkins provide you with more inspiration for this and future Halloweens. Let me know if you have any favourites.

If you need more ideas, be sure to also check out these carved Halloween pumpkin designs from previous years.
Carved Halloween pumpkin designs
Now it's time to savour the pumpkin soup I made from all the innards, because it seemed a shame to let all that pumpkin go to waste.

Now that my Jack O' Lanterns are out of the way for another year, it's time to turn my focus to my costume and get it ready for West Hollywood's annual Halloween Carnaval in just a few short days time...

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