Have you seen the beautiful hand drawn water color embroidered portraits by Izziyana Suhaimi? You can find her work at her website here.
The top photo is an embroidered piece by luckdragon. You can see the photo that inspired her piece and a closeup of her piece at the Craftster link. Her process for making the scarf embroidered piece was this:
I outlined the main parts of the photo with sharpie. Then I traced the scarf part onto 14 count Aida and cross stitched the scarf. I was going to use one of those cross stitch chart programs, but then I decided to just wing it. Once the scarf was done, I cut it out and put some glue around the edges from the back to prevent fraying. Then I traced the rest of the picture onto plain fabric and just used straight stitches for the outline. Glasses are of black felt. Tacked the glasses in place then tacked on the scarf.
Here are more exquisite embroidery pieces by Izziyana Suhaimi below: