Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boo! The Art of Carving Pumpkins for Halloween

Halloween seems to stir the creative blood of many artists. And what better way to express oneself than through the bewitching art of pumpkin carving.

Jack-o’-Lanterns are the most common examples of pumpkin craft, but the practice of carving vegetables into whimsical works of art goes back several centuries. And in recent years, artists began expressing every kind of idea they could imagine on pumpkins.

Basically, all you need to carve a decent Jack-o’-Lantern is a knife and a spoon. But for “museum quality” Jack-o’-Lanterns, experts often resort to narrow saw blades, X-acto blades, drills, blinking lights, smoke, eerie music and more.

Use a pencil or Pentel to draw a Halloween face on your pumpkin, scoop out the pulp, and carve away. Go traditional, with a big, goofy grin and triangles for the eyes and nose. Or you can go creative with your own original design.

Be sure to explore the works of those artists who take pumpkin carving to comic and creepy extremes. Note that a key element in your creation can be the overall shape of the pumpkin you choose. While beginners might choose symmetrical pumpkins, a true Pumpkin Picasso will seek out the more grotesque, misshapen and blemished specimens.

Today, it is common to see pumpkin portraits of political candidates, celebrities and cartoon characters.

Send us photos of your carved pumpkins and we’ll post them here on BINDERS ART BLOG in time for Halloween. You’ll be certified spooky before you can say “Boo!”

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  1. I always look forward to each of the Binder Art Blogs that you publish. However, I have to say how much I appreciated the content and style of your recent Halloween edition. It evoked happy memories of years of Halloween preparations and how I felt when pumpkin cutting progressed from kitchen knives to xacto. I don't think it's likely I ever cut a museum quality pumpkin, but I am pleased that the kids are getting a few years' headstart on producing truly artful pieces. Thank you for the wonderful memories and your most excellent blog this week. I will need to come by to pick a few extra exacto kits.

  2. I've been so busy I haven't put my thinking cap upon this yet, so thanks for the timely reminder. Always great fun and the possibilities are limitless.