A big "aw shucks" goes out to all who commented on the pumpkins. Ced I'll tell you how quickly. Get your picture, preferably a B&W image though that doesn't really matter. Get it onto your computer. If you have a program like Paint Shop or something like that open the picture with that program and then outline the head or main image in a lighter color then eliminate the background. Greyscale the image and if you feel it's necessary adjust the contrast to bring out the details. PSP has a "posterize" function which essentially reduces the colors in the image. Use that function. Then replace some of the grey colors until you have 3 colors, black, light grey and white. You might need to replace some of the darker grey with black. Remove any speckles by coloring in with the main color from that area. If the area is predominantly white, with a few speckles of grey and the grey isn't part of a detail like the hair or something, color it white, etc. Now, make sure there are no unconnected black or grey areas in the middle of white areas. Widen any thin black or grey areas which look like they might break during carving. Now, turn this manipulated image into a negative.
To carve your pumpkin, wash the pumpkin well. Use a glue stick or spray adhesive to place your pattern on the pumpkin. Obviously you have prepared the pumpkin by cutting the requisite hole and removing the seeds. I cut the hole through the bottom as it is easier to light that way. If you have a very thick pumpkin you'll do well to scrape away some of the inner wall behind your pattern.
Here's where the Dremel is really handy. If you have one you can just start carving, leaving the paper on the pumpkin. If you are using hand tools you first have to poke holes through the pattern to trace it (BTW, print an extra pattern for a reference). Once this is done, remove the pattern and start to carve. The grey areas you're carving the flesh away but not going through, the black areas you are cutting and removing entirely and the white areas are being left alone. Voila, a mummy. I know this isn't a great photo but I think this one is hard to photograph because there are very few actual holes where the light comes through and the flash gets in the way. So Biggles, I may be able to carve for the competition but I sure can't photograph. This is a poor example of the process. Johnny Cash is a better example of the photo transfer.
A few tips. A nail or something sturdy is a good poker. The pumpkin carving kits in the supermarket actually have decent little saws in them. For carving the fine lines I have a Speedball carving kit that is used for I believe, linoleum block prints. It's got a little handle and a few changeable tips that look like "vees". Don't remove the entirely cut-out areas until you're finished carving.
Then stick your light underneath and in the areas where not much light is coming through, scrape away the inner wall. I have a clay working tool that makes a good scraper. I also recommend using a constant light source like a bulb rather than a flickering candle. The candle does provide some mood and ambiance but you want the world to see your creation dammit and that flickering light just doesn't cut it.
Next up (hopefully) Edgar Allen Poe.
I haven't forgot about you pig enthusiasts, but Halloween has me sidetracked. We'll get to headcheese in a bit.