I put together this 2 page explanation of how to sharpen a curved gouge in the traditional way. You should be able to print each page.
Before you start to carve anything, it is so important to make sure your gouges are razor sharp. It can be very frustrating to try to carve when the chisels drag and rip through the wood. The difficult part about teaching how to sharpen a gouge is it really is best to actually see the subtle movements – actually watching someone would be best. Reading instructions don’t do the trick completely, but it is a start.
Not to discourage anyone, but my first gouge took about 20 hours to sharpen. I did it the long way around by using a very smooth Arkansas stone, and I had a LOT of metal to remove. I look back now, and I should have used a rougher stone to get most of the metal down (or even put it on a grinder), and then moved to the extra fine stone as the final sharpening. It would have probably cut the time down to about 20 minutes. Ah… live and learn.