The first stage is dealing with the background around the letters and this involves a step by step process of 'lining in', 'lowering' and 'levelling' as I call it. If you have looked at other relief carving projects on Woodcarving Workshops.tv, you should immediately recognise what's going on!
The letters in the fonts I've chosen are tight together, which cramps our working space, but, hey, we can get in there. Clearing this background is called 'grounding' or 'grounding out' and we need 'grounder' or grounding tools': flat shortbent gouges or chisels and shortbnet skew chisels. For more information, look to the workshops below.