I'm ready to finally make a big push to finish a large-ish red dragon cross-stitch, but I'm not happy with what I've got so far and am thinking about ripping it out and re-doing it after modifying the pattern.
The pattern calls for using overdyed variegated thread, which normally you stitch one x at a time in rows, so that the color shifts along that row. But when doing the body of a dragon, I'm not really loving the effect--here's a picture snagged from a store website that shows the stripey result, under the cut:
[red cross-stitched dragon with stripey body]
So I'm thinking of freehanding some scales over the pattern, which I would stitch working from the outside inward, in a spiral. I'd probably also start each outside from the darker end of the thread, so that the center would be lighter. (Probably no backstitch outlining them? There's already a lot of stuff going on with the wings and the belly.)
Does that sound like it would be cool? If so, about how many scales across the widest part, do you think? If not, what else might I do to get interesting, non-stripey shading?