Blackwork Embroidery Pt 2 (Shading Again)

Read Pt 1 (Shading) here.

I’ve been doing up some blackwork patterns to sell on Etsy, which for newer ones means tidying up some shortcuts, making some quick fixes to things that annoyed me when I was stitching. For some of my older ones, though, this means a complete redo because my methods and organisation were… questionable… when I started making blackwork patterns.
Gardevoir was the second blackwork Pokemon I stitched, and the first on black cloth. It doesn’t look as good as it could. I’m currently redoing this design, so I’ll talk about the mistakes I made and how I’m rectifying them!
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Blackwork Embroidery Pt 1 (Shading)

This is NOT going to be an introduction to or guide on how to do blackwork or any other type of hand embroidery, those are very easy to find online if you’re inspired and interested, but I enjoy talking about my favourite craft a lot and people seem to indulge me in this. (You can find my page of finished embroidery photos here and keep up on my embroidery Tumblr which is updated more quickly than this site.)

I took up cross stitching in 2010, and then in 2013 I tried out some blackwork because I’d seen some and it looked really fun. I’ve never looked back. I find blackwork much more enjoyable and fulfilling than cross stitch! It takes much longer to create the design, but usually it’s faster to stitch and the end result is just so lovely and unique. Most people can cross stitch a Pokemon sprite, but how many design and stitch a blackwork version of it? Like, three?

This is one of the first full blackwork pieces I did. It was more impressive than the cross stitch I’d been doing but I was still finding my style and knowledge. I had much to improve upon!

One of the interesting things is that there are many more ways to show different shades in blackwork than in cross stitch. In cross stitch, if you had five different shades of blue then you would either use five different shades of blue thread, or fewer threads and blending them. But here are some shading methods available in blackwork:
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