As I state every time I start a new piece, it never adheres to the original plan. I'm liking the way the shell looks at this point, but the "pearls" will be in a different place, and the color I was going to use for a secondary "jewel" has changed. An interesting process!!
Anyway, this is how it looks now. I've used soft, muted colors in Petite Very Velvet to better show up the pearls and other jewels I intend to place. (the colored ones across the peach band).
Also, another possibility for threads would be to use perle cotton for the stronger stripes on the shell, for the "pebbly" texture, and Satin Floss for the less dominant ones - for the shine against the perle cotton. There are lots and lots of combinations of threads that could be used - as well as colors.
The fish is really coming to life and fun to work on with the addition of the colors. I used the same Flair on the dorsal fin that was used to make the "jewels" - but in basketweave, as it represents the enamel on the original piece of jewelry. Again, Petite Very Velvet is the background thread, as it shows almost no stitch texture, but only a soft, solid background that shows up the shiny stuff best.
Incidentally, this fish is a salt water Angel fish, which illustrates what one can do with tracings of actual fish! The band on the face is stitched with DMC Satin Floss in dark navy that looks black. I don't like using black on needlepoint unless it's something necessary, like Zebra stripes, as it's too harsh looking. Even on my Talavera designs, the outlining is done in dark navy - not black as on the ceramics. The blue "sapphire" eye is made with Renaissance Shimmer.
Now it's time to go prop my feet up and stitch for a while. Maybe the tail next, for which I've chosen a burgundy Petite Frosty Rays (Rainbow Gallery), as that's what was on the original brooch that inspired this design. I believe they were baguette garnets.