Gnome blank front.
To prepare these blanks the first thing I would do is draw the Santa and the Gnome on the blanks. Draw the Santa on the front view, and the Gnome on the side view. Next I would draw a center line down the center of the front views. Next, pick up the blank(s) and study the Santa and the Gnome. Determine what part(s) "stick out" the farthest on the fronts. On the Santa, I'd be the hands and the forearms then the nose. On the Gnome I'd be the beard then the nose. Once you make note of what parts stick out the farthest, don't carve any wood from those areas at the start.
Starting with the carving knife on the Santa:
I like to place the Santa head farther back to keep the piece from being too flat. To achieve this head placement start making slicing cuts UP and to the left and right from the CENTER LINE, starting from about where the elbows are.
The next knife cuts can be slicing cuts starting at the nose and slicing straight up to the top of the blank.
Now might be a good time to redraw the face.
I usually try to rough in the head before the rest of the body. When you do this you need to be aware of the body size so that the proportions are correct, or nearly correct. Rough in the hat too.
It's time to tackle the arms and hands now. Begin by making a stop cut at the top of the forearm, and slicing down to this stop cut.
Make a stop cut at the bottom of the forearm and remove wood up to the stop cut. Begin to round the arm.
Make stop cuts that define the mittens, and remove wood down/up to these stop cuts. Be careful not to remove the thumb.
You will notice that I kinda got ahead of myself, and roughed in the nose and eye area.
I have to stop now and get ready to go to the Evert Woodcarvers Roundup, in Evert Michigan. I'll return in a week to finish up this whittled Santa.