One Man's Woodcraft: Carving.
The Green Man: Part 8
Here, we've taken out the waste wood around the top of His head, down to a level a few millimetres shallower than we think it will end up, and started to give His head some sort of rough shape, that we think it ought to be at about this stage. His face is still essentially flat – it ought to curve down from about eyebrow / cheekbone level (and I'm not looking forward to coping with that stage).
All the cuts are scooping cuts. Starting at an angle shallower than you want and taking out a little, scooping, cut then back to the start, this time going a little deeper/steeper and repeat until you have a shape and slope nearish to what you want, then refine – perhaps steeper/deeper at the start and/or a bit further down the slope?
Every cut is a practice cut...
… and so to deep cuts:
You will, almost certainly, find that the Wood Elves are mostly kindly little folk. They have a fair knowledge of and some sympathy with what you're trying to do. If, therefore, they feel you're cutting a little deeper than you ought, they'll put a bit of hard grain in the way, to make you pause and rethink.
The Wood Goblins, however, are of a different breed. They know but don't understand, and they dislike what you're trying to do and will often intercede, at any depth. They are likely, without warning, to introduce a bit of soft grain just in front of your chisel, so that you go scooting off and jab into some important, delicate part of your carving, His nose for instance...
The only way to avoid the Goblins' attention is, of course, to take VERY light, shallow cuts each and every time, so as not to alert them to your presence.
Good luck with that.Rod