When it comes time to carve your pumpkin, you have a few choices; there are always new trends at the holidays and the Halloween season is no exception.
Normally you have carved your pumpkin with straight cuts perpendicular to the surface, basically cutting out the shape of a triangle for an eye or nose. This is a direct way to cut the Jack o Lantern effect we are familiar with.
But did you know there are other ways to carve a design on the pumpkin surface that have been developed as pumpkin carving artists have dabbled in the new art form over the past few years? Whole reputations have hinged on developing new ways to bring out the designs that you don’t have to be old-fashioned anymore!
Besides directly cutting out the shape, you can also carve at different depths of the pumpkin surface. If you just take off the skin layer, you are left with the orange pumpkin vegetable layer. This is the actual part of the pumpkin you cook and eat. It is a translucent layer and you can cut it away at different depths to change the amount of light that shows through. Just cut strips of this as a part of the design. An example of this could be putting hair or a mustache on you pumpkin face
Another way is to do the all over patterns you may have seen of swirls, curlicues; leaves, polka dots or paisleys. Whatever deigns are trending in the fashion world can be juxtaposed onto the humble pumpkin! . This is easily done with linoleum carvers bought at an art supply store (used to carve linoleum blocks for art print stamping-you may have done this in art class at school) or even sometimes in the new pumpkin carving sets at Halloween time.
You can also expose a large area of this orange layer and then you can slowly carve a relief pattern which will show in subtle shades of orange. You will need a strong light inside the pumpkin to carve this. I suggest one of the battery lights made for pumpkins. You can find them in stores this fall season near pumpkin carving supplies. You will slowly carve away each layer of the overall design at a time. You need a drawing with the different depths shown on it. Maybe 3-4 levels in total.
Look around at Halloween this year and take note of magazines and newspapers which run articles about pumpkin carving contest winners and their designs. These are usually shown around a week before Halloween. You could even start a clipping file for the future.