A Nicholson #49 patternmaker's rasp is the best single tool for this kind of shaping, IMHO, once you've rough-cut a blank. File to shape, then sand to smooth, raise grain w/ H20, then sand again...
Available from Midway
; cheaper from Amazon
. You'll also want a handle for it.
Another trick is to attach the blank with double-stick tape to a smaller block of wood before starting to hand-shape it; this gives you something to grip and is much easier on the fingers.