Pattern are a great way to start with embroidery. Here a designer has done all the work, they have created the design, picked out the colours and take you step by step along the road to creating!
Patterns come in different styles with each embroidery type. Cross Stitch patterns are on a grid, mimicking the fabric you are stitching on. Symbols represent the colours you will use, this allows you to be creative with your colours!
Don't like that part in pink but you'd rather it be purple ... then change it up!! Purchase a colour card for the line of thread you are using and find another colour with the same shade (darkness/lightness)! Check for any other shades used with this colour and change them too, make a note next to your symbol and presto!! you've made it your own!!
Some patterns will come with stitch diagrams to help you with the order of stitches used to create this texture. Remember in styles like canvaswork there are some many stitches that even the designs refer to their stitch diagrams when building their designs. With Canvaswork the designer will also use a grid but the instructions will tell you the 'filling stitch' for different areas.
Colour change here too, but with canvaswork change up the texture of the thread and the thickness to get a different feel. The same stitch done in Rainbow Gallery Fuzzy Stuff will be different from the same stitch done in a fine thickness Perle #12. Also change up the type of base canvas you are using for smaller or larger stitched designs!
Design transfers are great for needlepainting and some styles of blackwork. The design has drawn the shape and you transfer it to your fabric. With needlepainting you use muslin or silk to stitch directly on (there are NO hole!!!) designers will take you step by step on their method of transfer, from iron on transfers to tissue paper stitched transfers. They will then take you step by step to fill in the design with different stitches or colours.
With needlepainting, you mimic the texture of a flower or animal to make it realistic, so here the direction of your stitches is key to your design. This really is Painting with thread!!
Patterns are only the start, try out different styles. If you've only learned Cross Stitch then you can understand the grids in Canvaswork too! Class are a great way to get out of your comfort zone and have help as you learn, look for Embroidery Marketplace classes near you!!