I am not gifted at carving, so I mostly stick to gouges, gravers and pliers. It’s easy to make deadwood look convincing when stripping a live branch. However, on old, dry deadwood, power tools can do the job faster. They can also ruin the job fast! I’ve had some good experiences and some not so good experiences with power tools. One of the best for detail work like this is a Foredom with flex-start and variable speed foot switch. This one was used and a great eBay find!
This Itoigawa is an old import with some aged deadwood with nice, natural-looking cracks developing over time. It has a nice outline, but the deadwood is visually massive, and some texture will help add interest, age, and lighten up the mass.