Pumpkin carving artist creates spectacularly spooky masterpieces

(WRIC/WABC) — One of Halloween’s most cherished traditions? Jack-o’-lanterns! Anyone equipped with a pumpkin and a knife can carve a spooky creation. But this pumpkin carving artist is especially skilled at lighting up the spooky night!

Edward Cabral of Chicago makes incredible pumpkin concoctions for the Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular in Louisville, Kentucky. Cabral’s pieces are meticulously detailed with figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and William Shakespeare illuminated on the fruit.

MLK jack o'lantern

A post shared by Edward Cabral (@edward.j.cabral) on

Cabral’s process for designing his jack-o-lanterns is extensive.

“The image is selected and then we find a pumpkin that has a shape that would work well with what we want to draw,” Cabral told 8News affiliate WABC via email. “Sometimes we use a projector to align the image, and then use our references to render the darkest blacks and shadows on the skin of the pumpkin. We then carve out the highlights and texture before gutting and lighting the pumpkin.”

My #tiger #jackolantern on the trail last night

A post shared by Edward Cabral (@edward.j.cabral) on

Cabral says he’s seen an enthusiastic response from folks checking out his jack-o’-lanterns.

“People love the artistry and themes, [they] generally are amazed it is even real,” Cabral said. “A lot of people get sad because they rot, but I love their impermanence. Eventually a painting or pot would rot too just over a larger time frame. When a pumpkin needs to be replaced I just add more details and make it more grand.”

Final pic of the man on the moon, carved and lit up. Show opens in a few hours!

A post shared by Edward Cabral (@edward.j.cabral) on

Even though Cabral has mastered the craft of carving pumpkins, he has tips for those who want to make some scary good jack-o’-lanterns.

“Whenever anyone asks for advice I always say invest in some linoleum cutters (like Speedball, available at craft stores) so they can carve the surface and not just cut it out,” Cabral said. “Markers and (black) paint can also be used to obscure the surface, and those things combined gives you a range of tone to replicate an image well.”

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