Accordingly, and completely unexpectedly, I got a set of good quality wood carving tools and sharpeners for Christmas (THANK YOU so much, Grammy!), as well as an amazing book by Harold Enlow named Carving Faces.
It has everything that you would need to know on the subject, with step-by-step pictures to show what he's doing and how.
Pardon the commercial, but if you like that kind of thing, it's the kind of thing you like.
Also, for my birthday I got a large amount of pine wood blocks, special for carving. (again, thanks to Grammy).
I have not been carving many stamps lately...
A large amount of Band-Aids will also be invaluable.
In the top picture, there are two female figures; one on the top and one on the bottom. The middle one I did because I was bored. But that's not the point. The top one I did while barely glancing at the instructions,and the bottom one I am trying to follow as closely as my still limited skill will allow.
I have not finished the bottom one, but you can clearly see that the face is far and away more three-dimensional, and thus more realistic; It surprised me when I held them up to look at together. The differences were so clearly marked; proof that (as it has taken me several such experiences to learn) the instructions do know what they're talking about.