Saturday, November 1, 2014

Carving Starry Night


So this Halloween i decided to tackle Van Gogh's Starry Night. To do this I have some wood carving tools I picked up at Michael's craft store. Clay tools really aren't sharp enough. i also have a couple small loops for carving out.

I printed off the picture. To conserve ink I just printed it under the "draft" setting. Didn't need a really nice print, just to get the idea. I used a regular ball tip pen to transfer it to the pumpkin. I did this freehand. You can make a couple pricks through the print to get a few points for size reference.

To start carving i clipped my print to a board so I could have it to look at as I went. After gutting the pumpkin and thinning the walls I got one of the tap lights that are battery powered and put it inside. I put the light in a sandwich bag 1st so it didn't get pumpkin on it. I liked the light so much that we ended up using it instead of candles when we were done.

To get the walls a uniform thickness i have a needle probe in my set and poked it through teh wall in several spots to cofirm that it was all the same thickness. I scraped it to about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thickness.

 I used a small curved blade for most of the pumpkin. To get the crisp outlines I partially cut into the skin following the lines I made than used a flat chisel blade and cut towards the outline cuts and chipped out small bits to create the outlines.

Slowly carve in layers! You can't un-carve. I worked away at he moon with large and small curved blades. I used a hole punch for the stars (you can see the tools in the background... and the pumpkin all over me!)
 Pumpkins like this are in revese. The deeper you go the brighter the spots get. I used the edge of the angled chisel to scrape the deepest lines by the mountain and moon. the Moon is nearly cut through on the outer edge and I did cut through around the points and circle
For the buildings I poked in straight with a flat chisel than cut towards my 1st cut to chip out the flesh.

 This angle shows the moon well.

 When I'm done I wash the pumpkin inside and out to get any hanging bits. this really does make a huge difference in how clean the lines of a pumpkin look! i than went and checked for any areas that needed touch ups.

This was only the 2nd time I have done a shadow pumpkin. I really am happy with this. I think I could have had more depth around the stars, but this is pretty good!
Thse are pumpkins that my kids did.

My daughter Anja's pumpkin
 My youngest son, Michael's pumpkin. he will be 9 in January and he cut this by himself!

You can see the tap light in this one. They really do work great!
 And my older son, Robert's pumpkin.