The more natural way of shading is to let the stitches follow the lines of the drawing, and so make use of them to express form, as with the strokes of the pen or pencil upon paper. The term "long-and-short-stitch" is frequently used by way of describing the stitch. It does not, as I have said, help us much. And this, in the case of gradated colour, makes the shading softer.
The filling in of the leafage, the diapering within the leaf shapes, and the smaller and more elaborate details generally were done in long-and-short-stitch, or whatever came handiest. In fact, the thing to be represented, fruit, berry, flower, or what not, seems to have suggested the stitch, which it must be confessed was sometimes only a sort of scramble to get an effect.
Embroidery is often described as being in "long-and-short-stitch," a term properly descriptive not of a stitch, but of its dimensions.