The first step after determining what to carve is to make some sketches. This especially true if you have never carved the subject before. I usually try to make several sketches. I try to make the sketches as near to the finished carving size as I can. I am not really satisfied with the sketches yet so I'll try a few more. I do this, even knowing that no matter how many sketches I do, the first one is usually the one I pick.
This carving will be a bust. I'll try to limit the carving to the head and the chest area.