To create a tree trunk face, draw an approximate sketch on the wood, marking details such as eyes, mouth and nose, cut it into a rough shape with a chainsaw, then continue to make more detailed sketches and finer cuts. Finish the carving with manual or more delicate power tools, then sandpaper away sharp edges and splinters.
When working with a chainsaw, use protective goggles, gloves and, if available, protective clothing, and pay close attention to safety instructions. Chisels, a utility knife and a specialized wood gouging tool set are good choices for the finer carving. A Dremel rotary tool kit is another good alternative.
Try to follow the shape of the trunk as close as possible and avoid removing large chunks of wood, as thin shapes tend to become fragile.
To avoid cracks as the wood dries, keep it out of sunlight if possible and apply a protective oil, such as mineral, teak or boiled linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits or turpentine. The protection must be applied repeatedly for at least a week. Only apply Sanding Sealers after the oil has dried in.
To protect the sculpture from rot, chose a durable wood type such as oak or chestnut, and avoid carving shapes that create pools where rainwater gathers. Coat the piece with a wax or urethane finish two or three times initially, and repeat once or twice a year.