These ladies are meant to be somewhat stylized rather than a more photorealistic needlepainted style. That being said, I still wanted the stitches to follow the way their fur grows so it doesn’t look completely flat.
To that end, I’ve been drawing in lines to indicate the direction of growth and filling in with a combination of straight and split stitch. I fill an area with straight stitches in the direction of growth of fur, then split those stitches with the next group of fur stitches.
So far, I’m happy with how it’s turning out. I’m using Waverly Wool, which has a soft, smooth hand to it. I like it. I used to cotton floss to outline their eyes, and I will probably use floss for the finer details of their faces (the wool would probably make their noses a little indistinct) and I’m considering silk for their eyes.
Pretty monochrome so far, although that’s certainly true of the models as well.
I’m considering my options for a colorful background once the cats are finished, but I haven’t made any solid decisions yet. Sometimes it’s fun to play it by ear.