Here’s a recent FO (finished object), with a front and back comparison pic. I nearly always stitch in rows, which I did for this. The black outline I did stitch by stitch. I stitch in up/down rows for two reasons - it’s economical on thread and it makes your stitching neat and even all over.
I'm wanting to learn how to do embroidery, are there any websites you would recommend? Also: materials that I should possibly invest in? I've seen WIPs that have what looks like pencil marks on the fabric they're working on?