Deke’s Techniques: Carving a pumpkin in Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques video, Deke celebrates his favorite holiday by showing you how to carve a ghoulish but gorgeous graphic into the face of a pumpkin using Adobe Photoshop.

First, start with an image of an otherwise unsuspecting pumpkin:

Original photo of a girl holding a pumpkin

Next, draw the face you want carved into your pumpkin on a transparent background. For this evil grin, Deke used a Wacom tablet and his own vivid imagination:

A scary face in Photoshop, drawn with a Wacom tablet

With the face drawn, Deke adds the face to the original photo using the Transform command to get it to the size and angle he’s looking for:

The scary face positioned onto the pumpkin in the original photo

A mask, created with the Color Range command and some hand-crafted detail, removes parts of the face that have spilled off the pumpkin onto the girl’s arm:

The composited photo modified with a mask

A variety of layer effects—a drop shadow, color overlay, and outer glow—along with an application of the Median filter, digitally carve the face into the pumpkin flesh.

The composited photo with a variety of layer effects in the Layer Panel

The final touches are added by duplicating the mouth of the face, coloring the teeth white, and giving the teeth some transparency by changing the blend mode in the Layer Style dialog box.

The final composite of a girl holding the now-carved pumpkin

For members, Deke also has another exclusive Halloween video this week called Simulating a glowing jack-o’-lantern, in which he shows you how to create a classic glowing-eyed jack-o’-lantern effect, starting with the a fresh, faceless pumpkin image.


Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on
• Courses by Deke McClelland on
• All Photoshop courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Intermediate
 Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter5Share on Google+3Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0 - start learning today

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply