Three days of off-and-on stitching has brought me to this point:
The red lines above the castle may look like lightening, but are the start of the sun's rays.
Marsha was kind enough to post a comment to my last update:
My approach to needlework pictures like this is to outline everything first to make sure that everything is in its proper place before filling in with color. I believe this is how the original piece was done. The design was painted onto linen and first the figures were outlined in a dark color, then the shading began, the fun part.
For anyone interested, here are some quick links to a few unfinished 17th century pieces. Looking at images like these always leaves me a bit wistful. Why were they not finished? How did they manage to survive?