Suzanne was noting that she didn't know how shading could be accomplished with threads, so I thought I'd attach a photo of what one of these charts looks like.
The different colors of markers on this chart are an invention of mine so that I would know how much I got done on any given day. Purple is Sunday, Yellow is Monday, Orange is Tuesday, Blue is Wednesday, Red is Thursday, Green is Friday, Pink is Saturday.
It doesn't show very clearly, but each of those black blobs at the bottom -- the unmarked portion of the chart -- is a different symbol, and each symbol represents a floss color. The largest manufacturer of flosses, DMC, has a range of close to 4,000 colors; I've never seen a project with all 4,000 colors (egad), but the blend of all those colors is how you get that painterly effect.
I forgot to mention that this Saturday, my church is starting up a needlework group for the ladies of the parish -- women have been invited to bring their knitting or embroidery, and the idea is just to carve a space out of the month (first Saturday of each month) to get together and make time to work on projects, and hopefully, make some new friends in the parish. I bet I will be the only one to show up for a few months, though I might be surprised.