Pumpkin Portrait

Pumpkin Portrait

Here's the pumpkin I carved for the Keene Pumpkin Festival.

I started with a black and white photo of me and Beth, which I loaded into the GIMP.

First I increased the contrast on the image enough to remove some information and simplify the shapes. Then I erased some background and added an ellipse mask. Next I posterized to reduce the shades of gray to 3 (white, grey, and black). From there I used bucket fill to assign the grey fields to either white or black on a case by case basis. I found that this yielded a more recognizable image than just posterizing to 2 colors from the start.

I inverted the image to get a negative (mostly to save ink), and printed the image, which I then stapled to the pumpkin. I transferred the picture by poking through along all the lines with a sharp stylus. Then I removed the skin from the light parts with a sharp pointy knife.

The just-carved pumpkin


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3 thoughts on “Pumpkin Portrait”

  1. Is "sharp pointy knife" a technical term?

    One year I got really bored and used my wood-carving tools on a jack-o-lantern. Awesome pumpkin, but really gross/hard to clean, don't recommend it.

    but yeah, nice work.

  2. I tried doing this sort of thing a couple of years ago and it was a complete disaster. It's really kind of amazing how well your pumpkin turned out, you and Beth are instantly recognizable.

    That's a cool tricky posterizing to three levels and then using your brain. I was trying to do some posterization this weekend and couldn't get a good result. I'll have to try your method next time.

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