Family how-to: carve a Halloween pumpkin inspired by the RA Collection
By Zoë Smith
Published on 26 October 2018
Have a go at using a stencil to carve a pumpkin this Halloween. These stencils are all inspired by artworks from the RA Collection. Download it and get crafting!
How to use your stencil
• Print off the stencil on a sheet of A4 (choose the large or small option, depending on the size of your pumpkin). Or, using a mobile you could copy the design onto some A4 paper. If you're using a tablet you could trace the design, or you could simply use it for inspiration.
• If you're printing your stencil, pin or tape the stencil to your pumpkin at the edges and flatten it down against the curve of the pumpkin.
• Then, use an old biro, knitting needle, toothpick or pumpkin carving kit to punch dots into the pumpkin, tracing the edges of the grey pattern of the stencil. The red dots on the skull show you how to do this.
• The grey parts are to cut out, the white parts are to keep intact.
• You can then remove the stencil and carve along the dots, referring back to your stencil design as you go.
• Make sure an adult supervises or does the carving.
Eric Ravilious made this illustration of an owl from engraving a piece of wood. This means he carved into a piece of wood then used it to print the design on paper.
Have you ever seen or heard an owl? What noise do you think they make?
Sir Thomas Lawrence painted this painting of Satan, the angel who was sent to Hell. Standing by a lake of fire, Satan summons his followers.
What do you think is going to happen next?
This drawing is part of a collection of sketches by George Dance RA of fantastical creatures and figures.
Who do you think this ghostly figure is?
John Gilbert RA was one of the best-known illustrators of the Victorian age. This is a "study", meaning he looked closely at a real skull in order to sketch it. He was famous for how quickly he could draw.
Can you make a quick study, like Gilbert's skull, of an object you can find at home?
Download and print or trace your stencil
Enjoyed this how-to?
Our Family how-to series offers lots of ideas for family art activities to do at home in half-terms and holidays. You could try making a spinning paint-splatterer, crafting some multisensory slime or making a relief print with polystyrene!