When you draw your own patterns you may draw some of each. Some will say it's easier to draw and carve from the side view blank.
Here's a photo of (from the left) a front view paper pattern of a Santa, a sawed out wood blank of the front view Santa, A roughed in carving from a front view blank of a Santa, and a finished carving from a front view Santa.
There are subtle differences between carving a blank that is cut from a side view pattern and one cut from the front view pattern. One of the main differences is when carving the "front view" pattern one must be sure to rough in the piece in such a way that it will not have that "flat" look when carved. While this is important when carving from the side view blank; there is more wood to be removed from the front view blank to be sure it is rounded.
We'll be focusing on these differences (front view carving and side view carving) in the next few postings.......