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The Difference a Year Can Make

I was redoing the photos for some of the items in my shop and was struck by the difference between my original January garnet birthstone dragon and the most recent rendition. I'd grown to detest the original photo so much that I was considering changing the design completely. However, after making the dragon again, I realized that the design was not the problem. In fact, it's a pretty cute design! I like making little mohawks!

So I thought it would be fun to post a side-by-side comparison. It's been less than a year and half since I originally designed the birthstone set, and my dragons have changed a lot in that time! It's funny to see that the basic construction is still the same (those legs look pretty much identical), but the faces are completely different, and the wings have become so much more refined with time. Dang, my current dragon faces are so much cuter, I can't even believe it. That shorter snout makes a big difference. xD

I probably sculpt, on average, one or two dragons a day, so this just goes to show how a year of practice can refine your style. I can't see anything changing from one dragon to the next, but I do make tiny changes here and there either consciously or not, and over time, the end result can look substantially different. So if you're just starting out and you're not happy with how your art looks, I encourage you to keep practicing, as skill and personal style come with time and effort. There's really no substitute, no shortcuts or secrets. I would not be able to make what I make today if not for the hundreds of dragons that came before.

Cute little shortsnouts
Pandragon by HowManyDragonsOpal Birthstone Dragons by HowManyDragonsMine, All Mine! by HowManyDragonsHetalia: America as a Dragon by HowManyDragons

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Image details
Image size
570x900px 154.62 KB
Shutter Speed
1/20 second
Focal Length
60 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
May 23, 2014, 1:16:20 AM
© 2015 - 2021 HowManyDragons
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JamieLynWeigt's avatar
Hi Lindy my dear!  I just wanted to let you know that I've featured these dragons in a post called January Birthstone Dragons - Garnet on my dragon artwork blog (with proper attribution and links back, of course and as always).  I love your work, as you know!  You can find me at Writing Dragons, and this feature here.  Your advice about continuing to practice even gave me the perfect way to end the post, so double thanks!  Take care!!
xXMistDragonXx's avatar
Garnet is my birthstone too!  HE IS SO PRETTY
MLP-Bases-for-u's avatar
Is that one inspired by the "Ruby" gem?
HowManyDragons's avatar
No, this is my garnet dragon. The ruby dragon is brighter red.
InkOfSpades's avatar
Oh wow, that's a big difference 030 cool :3
Velvet-Softpaws's avatar
HowManyDragons's avatar
I do like my dragons shiny! :)
stormfeather-cat's avatar
The new one definitely has more character to it! Good improvement! 
MelodiSketch's avatar
so cute:) I'd love something like this for my birthday:3
WickedandEnchanted's avatar
Gosh darn... One or two dragons a day!! I can barely make one a week!!! O.o
But, the improvement has been fun to spot over this year! I personally don't see a huge difference between the two dragons, other than head shape and sizing. But they look super cute, and the bottom one looks so soft and cuddly. He is a sight for sore eyes! :)
HowManyDragons's avatar
That's the difference between a hobby and a job, I guess. ^^

Yeah, the change isn't huge, and it's probably much more apparent to me than anyone else. It's less that my style has changed, and more that it's become much more refined. Anyway, thanks for the comment! I appreciate it.
WickedandEnchanted's avatar
Yes! When you like your "job" more, you work harder or better!

My style has changed drastically over the year! As for I started about two and a half years ago...
And you are very welcome for the comment. :)
Candle-stic's avatar
They say ten thousand hours makes you a master of something :). A lot more truth than we realise sometimes.
Meownimator's avatar
but I kinda like the head style of the first dragon better, but the wings and body of the second is so much prettier ;0;
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