Now if you filled in the panel spaces with carvings....
There are two other ways to get depth in a panel for carving
apart from the centered in the groove technique for
a full sized panel with tapered edges on each side
as opposed to the simple 1/4" panel inserts - which
can be painted of course. Or have carved appliques,
some of which could be high pressure embossed designs
available from craft stores and woodworking suppliers.
One is that you have the tongue on the back of the
panel and do a deep carving on the front.
The other is that the carving can be done - much deeper -
by having the tongue of the panels on the front, in which
case you can put them in an arcade or something similar.