Tag Archives: Halloween

Revisit Halloween with a Haiku poem

Revisit Halloween with the haiku I submitted to Scrittura Magazine which was instead used on their twitter account, as the publication would come out a bit later than Halloween, and therefore was a bit out of season!  I am pleased that they liked it enough to give it a nice presentation…

Here’s the full text:

It’s that time of year
scary fashions in season,
and cobwebs are cool.

Veggies not just food!
Spiced pies and Jack-O-Lanterns
treats by candlelight

Dress up and go out,
or not, spooky movies work.
Your own atmosphere.

Knock on many doors.
Or pretend that you’re not in…
The sweets are all mine!

Witches and wizards,
skeletons crawling with bugs.
Insides are outsides!

No need to buy gifts.
Fun for all the family.
Better than Christmas!


Addams Family Pumpkin Carving

Happy Halloween Everyone!

It’s my favourite holiday of the year.  Not because of all the sweets (honest) but because I can legitimately watch all the horror movies I like, and wear skulls, and take the skeletons out of the closet… and of course, carve pumpkins.

I’ve done a few designs over the years – type in “pumpkin” to the search box here on my blog to see some of my previous carves.

This year, I initially wasn’t sure on what to do.  Until someone forwarded an image of Morticia and Gomez Addams on Facebook, with the phrase “relationship goals”.  So that settled it.


I chose my image from the hundreds available, as one which conveyed their relationship perfectly.  Taken from the first Addams Family movie with Angelica Houston and Raul Julia in the title roles.  I loved those two as Morticia and Gomez.

I started out by sketching on the general shapes and filling in some of the detail in red, then slowly putting greater detail in darker colours, once I was happy with the placements.

Then I started CUTTING!  I used a regular kitchen knife, plus a craft knife for the detail.  Lighter areas are cut all the way through, while mid-tones are cut into the flesh, and dark areas with the pumpkin skin left on.

Testing the image at times by shining a torch into the middle of the pumpkin, to check my progress.  To frame my subjects, I put them inside a heart shape.  Of course!

And here’s the YouTube video where you can see the whole thing as I give it a spin!

For high-resolution photographs, see my Flickr Album: Pumpkin Carving, showing this and last years’ efforts.  With some examples:

Morticia Morticia & Gomez Gomez Thing

Lastly, I thought of cutting “Thing” out of the back, so that it projects against the back wall.  The whole carve took approximately 8 hours!  Next time, however, I’ll think more about the placement of the background carvings, as when you cut all the way through both sides of the pumpkin, you can’t then see the front detail because the light doesn’t reflect off the inside of the pumpkin if you’ve removed some of it!  As shown in the image below, the projection isn’t all that great this time around.  But other than that, I’m pretty happy with the result.

Thing projection

Behold: The Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving

Some of you may be noticing a theme appearing throughout my recent posts.. something to do with Hannibal, and the Great Red Dragon..
So, obviously, I’ve gone ahead and attempted to recreate the William Blake painting “The Great Red Dragon And The Woman Clothed With The Sun” in pumpkin form – for Halloween!

I used my reference photo:

Extract from The Great Red Dragon painting by William Blake
Extract from The Great Red Dragon painting by William Blake

I drew it freehand on the skin of my pumpkin – using a red sharpie (other permanent markers are available!). I then had to figure out which bits to carve all the way through – the highlights – and which to only carve half the depth through the pumpkin flesh – the mid-tones. And different depths for shading effects. Leaving the lines and darker shadows with the skin still attached.

So.. after about 3 hours on Friday night.. and a further 3 hours on Saturday morning (and extreme cramp and pains in my arms!).. I ended up with this beauty:

And view a spin around the lit result:

Click through to see the higher-res images on flickr:
Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving by @crownjulesb Oct 2015Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving by @crownjulesb Oct 2015Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving by @crownjulesb Oct 2015Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving by @crownjulesb Oct 2015Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving by @crownjulesb Oct 2015Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving by @crownjulesb Oct 2015


Happy Hannibal Halloween!

This year I decided to homage one of my recent favourite scary TV shows; NBC’s HANNIBAL!

Mads Mikkelsen has done a fabulous job of embodying the charming, yet deeply disturbing, Dr Hannibal Lecter.

So, I started with the blank “canvas” of a large pumpkin:


and my reference picture:


A character pose! Simplified and greyscaled to enhance the shapes to be cut from the pumpkin.

Next, I hand-drew a rough sketch of the image onto the side of the pumpkin using a red Sharpie. I use red, so that any remaining lines are less obvious on the finished article.


I hadn’t even cut the top off at this point! So before I could do any more, I had to remove his guts!

When putting a detailed image onto a fruit, you have to think about the negative space. Anything that is dark in the image you leave alone, cut partially into the flesh for the mid tones, and all the way through for the highlights. You don’t need any specialist tools! I used a kitchen knife, a Stanley knife, and a flat head screwdriver. That’s it.


I had previously seen other people cutting shapes out of the back of the pumpkin to project light out onto a back wall. On the NBC show Hannibal, they personify the evil within through the image of the “Dire Ravenstag” and cross the stag with the human Hannibal. So, rather than project a light image, I thought I would see if I could create a silhouette to match the darker imagery from the show.


All that was left to do, was break out the candles and test it!


Hooray! Success!
All in all it took me three and a half hours to carve. And boy were my hands painful (yet I managed to avoid stabbing myself, thank goodness!).

Now, I get to enjoy it for a few days. Until the pumpkin goes off!
He’s not going to be good for eating. That would just be “rude”!



Halloween Craftiness

I do enjoy the creativity that comes with holidays, particularly Halloween. Maybe it’s my love of all things horror-related; movies, books, macabre art, ghost trains, the darkness…

For the last few years I’ve discovered that you can do much more with a pumpkin than your usual triangular eyes and pointy teeth. Much, much more! In fact, you can make quite detailed reproductions of faces or scenes.

Here is last years’ effort – LOKI – the Marvel movie version, as brought to life by Tom Hiddleston:

LOKI Pumpkin - 2013
LOKI Pumpkin – 2013

SO! Lets see what I can do with this years’ blank “canvas”!

2014 - Before!
2014 – Before!

I certainly have an idea.  I’ll give you a clue: “This is my design”.