My first real crafty project since Pusheen! This wasn’t a good year for pumpkins, but I still managed to find a decently sized one to carve two weeks ago. Nothing like an intense pumpkin carving session to cheer me up!
I ended up having to magnify the inscription on the One Ring to be able to make the lettering visible, so the lettering is proportionally too big for the ring. I originally planned to cut the lettering through completely so that the inscription would really glow, but my pumpkin was too thick for me to feasibly do so without spending an (even more) inordinate amount of time carving it. I still managed to carve the lettering about an inch deep.
I actually made a mistake in the lettering on the One Ring. I initially carved an extra half of the agh (the letter that looks like a Quenya nwalme?), so I had to move the first two letters over by half a letter. I think I did a pretty good job of fixing it and covering it up. :)
Smaug was a very simple cut-through pattern. I suppose this is really just a regular old dragon, but I’m calling it Smaug.
I thought about adding flames coming out of Smaug’s mouth, but I couldn’t figure out a way to make the flames glow like fire without cartoonish outlining.
For Gandalf, I simplified Noel’s carving a little because I couldn’t achieve the same level of detail with my tools and time constraints. In retrospect, perhaps I should have made Gandalf a little smaller; he’s slightly distorted by the pumpkin’s curve. But, on the whole, still recognizable and a success in my book.
In the daylight:
My patched-up mistake in the lettering is more visible in daylight:
I initially tried to make the letters on the One Ring proportionally correct:
As I mentioned above, that turned out to be unfeasible. Here’s what I did instead, before I carved the rest of the ring’s outline and before I carved in the highlights:
You can see where I marked the highlights to carve out. Sadly, the highlights meant I lost a few of my painstakingly carved letters in the front right. (Compare to the finished pumpkin to see which.)
This pumpkin was incredibly juicy! I had to repeatedly wipe away juices that kept leaking out wherever I cut. I guess that means this pumpkin was really fresh?
Smaug was very easy to draw:
Gandalf, on the other hand, required quite a few redraws to get him to fit on the pumpkin.
(This pumpkin turned out to be just as stringy as last year’s. Did I just forget how stringy pumpkins were when I was little?!)
For the first time, I managed to use my camera’s fall foliage setting (for much better color saturation) and still get relatively sharp photos! The solution: I used a tripod for the first time! Apparently we’ve had mini tripods since whenever I got my trusty PowerShot SD1400 IS, but I didn’t know/forgot. The mini tripod didn’t completely stabilize my photos since I don’t have a remote trigger and utterly forgot that I could use the self-timer feature. But the tripod definitely helped!
If you noticed an odd letter “I” in some of the lit-up Smaug photos…
This candle was excellent for lighting my pumpkin: big bright flame and tall enough to light up the entire One Ring. It also created a fire hazard:
This pumpkin unfortunately no longer exists. Sauron sent a deer to devour it a mere five days after I finished carving it. And here I was worried it might not last the 2.5 weeks until Halloween…