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Create a Halloween Pumpkin

Updated on February 11, 2015

Halloween Pumpkin

Halloween pumpkin
Halloween pumpkin

Let's open GIMP and create a new project. Our project will have a width of 5000 and a height of 3000. You will be able to change your image's size later, but, for now, we'll be using this size.
We'll be adding some Vertical guides at 100 and 4900. Then place two Horizontals at 100 and 2900. Select the Ellipse Select Tool from GIMP's Toolbox and create an ovalish shape to take up the space between our guides.

Selection created
Selection created

Undock your Layers, Channels, Paths, Undo dialogue (if it already is not) and create a new layer. Let's name the new layer Base. Go to the Foreground and Background Colors box and change the foreground to white and fill the selection. At this point in time, we won't be needing the surrounding background of our image. So, turn off visibility for the Background layer in the Layers, Channels, Paths, Undo dialogue.

Selection filled
Selection filled

Now, we will be making up the "ribs" for the pumpkin to give it a realistic appearance. To create the ribs, We'll need to add some more guides. This is so that we get the ribs perfect. Place the first set of Vertical guides at: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 4000.

Rib guides placed
Rib guides placed

First we need a new layer. We'll be creating new layers for each one of these ribs. Now, go and pick up the Paths Tool. We are going to be placing some anchors to create the path for our ribs. The first one will go right on the left center edge of our selection and the other two will be placed right on top of the 100 Vertical guide at each end.

First rib anchors
First rib anchors

Once you have the three anchors in position, tug them until they form the shape of the outside. After you have the shape, take the path running parallel with the 100 Vertical guide and tug it towards the left side too. We want to create a little bit of a "curvature" to give it a 3 dimensional appearance. Don't forget to click the Selection from Path button in GIMP's Toolbox afterwards. Then fill with the color ff7619. After that, we go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use 800 for settings. We'll be applying the Gaussian Blur for every rib we create.

As you add more ribs closer and closer to the center, be less and less dramatic with the curvature. Be sure that you slightly overlap your ribs with the white of the Base background, or else you may get some areas of white on the final image. I zoomed in by 100% after placing my anchors to check for areas of white showing. Once you get to the halfway point, start from the far right end of the selection and work back towards the center. This ensures that our pumpkin turns out equal in proportion and appearance.

Note: If you feel that the guides are messing with the anchor placements, you can always select View from GIMP's menu and click to uncheck Snap to Guides.

First rib created
First rib created

Don't forget to be less dramatic with the curvature the further towards the center of the pumpkin that you go.

Second rib created
Second rib created
All ribs completed
All ribs completed

Be sure you have the foreground set for the color ff7619 and choose black for the background. Then grab the Blend Tool and, starting from the bottom, apply up. Right click every other rib layer in the Layers, Channels, Paths, Undo dialogue, choose Alpha to Selection and apply the same.

Blend added
Blend added

You may decide that you like this one instead. Should that be the case, your finished; otherwise, stay tuned for the rest.

Final Touches

  1. Now, right click every layer created for the ribs and select Merge Down until you get to Base #1.
  2. Right click Base #1 and select Alpha to Selection.
  3. Go to Select > Grow and grow the selection by 1.
  4. Create a new layer.
  5. Be sure you have the foreground selected for the color ff7619 and fill.
  6. Now, right click the layer Base and select Alpha to Selection.
  7. Turn off visibility for all other layers.
  8. Go to the Foreground and background colors box and ensure the foreground is set for the color ff7619 and set the background to white.
  9. Select the Blend Tool and apply a blend from the top down.
  10. Now, select Image > Transform > Rotate 180 degrees.

At this point, you may turn back on visibility for all layers except the Background.

Final effect added
Final effect added

Creating the eyes, nose and mouth

Add a new Vertical guide by 50%. We need this reference for the alignment of the eyes, nose and mouth. Then add the following new guides:


800, 1300, 1750, 2200, 2800, 3250, 3700 and 4250


500, 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500

The guides are there just for your reference as far as the creation of the eyes, nose and mouth. But let me explain how I did mine. I placed some paths at various points. I create a new layer and named it eyes-nose-mouth. After that, I filled it. And then I applied a Gaussian Blur.

Completed eyes, nose and mouth
Completed eyes, nose and mouth

And, yes. It would appear as though he is sticking out his tongue. As far as the stem? Well, I already had a stem made and I simply pasted it onto my finished pumpkin.

Final pumpkin
Final pumpkin

Halloween Poll

What is your favorite Halloween costume?

See results

Happy Halloween!

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