Before we start carving, here are a few basic carving principles. Stop cuts are cuts that protect areas you don’t want to remove. These simply sever the fibers and define shapes, allowing you to make cuts into them without cutting past them. Next, remember you can always take more off but not add it back. Finally, work with sharp tools. Sharpen your tools with a good stone and keep a strop handy so that dull tools turn you into a Scrooge.
Begin by penciling in a few guidelines to help proportion Santa’s face using the diagram at the bottom of this article. You can start on a flat side or take advantage of a corner to help guide you. I found working on the flat face resulted in a Lego-like Santa. Now, carve out the shaded areas as noted. The upper area tapers the face, while the lower taper will transition from the bottom of the nose to the mustache. By removing these two areas, you are defining the nose, which you want to be the proudest feature of the face.
With the block prepped, draw in the eye sockets, nose, mustache, and cheeks.