Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin of the Opera...aka...Phantom of the Pumpkin Patch

Hey work, you made the grave mistake of letting me into your pumpkin painting contest. The rules were simple, take a small sugar pumpkin, and decorate it any way you want as long as you don't carve into it. I think I took the contest a little too seriously.

I probably would've settled for just very simply painting a pumpkin, but I was specifically challenged by a few of my coworkers. They literally came in to my room, and taunted me. What's a guy to do?

Fueled by the incessant workplace taunting, I added more and more detail with each wave of smack-talk. Things like, "Aw bro, I'm going to destroy you." only fed my weird competitive streak.

I knew that I wanted to do a Universal Studios monster from the beginning – even when it was just a lone, painted pumpkin. I chose the 1925 Lon Cheney version of the Phantom of the Opera- because Lon Cheney was the best. However, as time went by, I added cardboard structures cut out with X-Acto knives, papier-mâché, and a blowtorch to the works. Okay, there was no welding…but it was way more time and effort than I should have put into him.

Oh, I failed to mention – this is for a contest at Trader Joe's. This is not some art studio that I'm working at where all my competition are also artists. I literally pouring tons of effort into this pumpkin contest and I really don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm pompous and I JUST HAVE TO WIN ALL THE CONTESTS!! At this point I'm actually expecting to lose because I put so much effort into it.

The organ is made of corrugated cardboard that I cut with an X-Acto knife, taped with blue painters tape and then finished with papier-mâché. I waited overnight till the papier-mâché was dry completely and then I painted directly onto it with acrylic paint. The papier-mâché I went with is simple: little bit of flour, a little bit of water, and strips of newspaper. The "cobblestone" base is 1/8 inch plywood that I cut with a jigsaw and then painted with acrylic paint.

Everything else is painted in grayscale tones of acrylic paint with little cut paper hands and feet and a cape made of heavy duty paper towels that I drenched in ink. Lastly, I finished him off with little yarn strands for hair.

 Happy Halloween everybody!


  1. The cutest (in a not-so-cute-more-like-Halloween-scary-grrrr kind of way) little painted pumpkin, ever!

  2. Bill, your pumpkin is AWESOME! You should enter it into my design firm's pumpkin contest too! We've had our contest for the past 3 years & usually only get a handful of entries. Certainly nothing as creative as this pumpkin!!!

    1. Sheesh, I really should get better at publishing my comments! Thanks Alison and Jason for the link to the pumpkin contest. I was swamped since Halloween and haven't had an opportunity to publish comments so I'm a bit late on that!

      Thanks Christina for the cutest (actually really sweet) comment.


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