Practice sticks, study sticks, whatever you like to call them. These 1" blocks are 6" long and I normally put about three faces on them. This is not only a great way for me to practice carving expressions but also a way for me to play around with painting techniques as well. I use 1" because it's an easy size to play around on and it doesn't take up a large amount of space if being kept out at the desk or work bench.
So if you never have, give it a shot, get some 1" blocks or whatever size you like to carve and give it ago, see what you can come up with.
"Good night and May God bless"