This is my next Instructable for pumpkin carving.... How to carve The Dark Knight. This is an extremely detailed carving. Feel free to use my pattern if you want to give it a shot!
Step 1: Step 1: Choose your image.
In this case, I chose an interesting image of Christian Bale as The Dark Knight. It is important to pick an image that has enough contrast to allow for good light/shadow interplay. For Batman, the light playing off his armor provides some excellent (but challenging) details that I thought would show up amazingly well on my pumpkin. His strong stance and look in general also makes for a great presence when lit.
Image credit: Google search, DC comics, Warner Bros.
Step 2: Step 2: Draw your pattern
For most of my patterns I get a basic outline of the character and then start deciding how much detail is going to be in the pattern. In general I try to keep details based off the "hard" lines in the original picture. So essentially anything that is easily discernable in the original picture whether it be a shadow, and edge of a piece of armor, or what have, are details that will make it into the pattern.
Once the pattern is drawn, you then have to chose what will stay and what will go. To get detailed pumpkins like this one you have to utilize different carving depths. I usually use a 4 depth system:
1 Pumpkin that will be left in completely, skin and all (Black)
2 Just the skin removed (Grey)
3 Skin plus some flesh removed Light grey (White)
4 All skin and flesh removed (orange)