"i left your name on the wind"
This work changed everything for me. It was an art trade so I was under no financial pressure to finish it (although she did wait forever so I felt bad about that lol). I chose a stock that put a lot of emphasis on paws, which has always been a struggle for me, so usually I would hide them in foliage or something. I feel like putting emphasis on the paws really grounded the character into the new setting.
I used different levels than what I was used to and the outcome is still what I strive for in future pieces.
It got me into lion tails, which I just love now.
It broke my "dark" streak - dark was always easier for me because it hid things. I learned from this piece that LIGHT is GOOD and putting MORE effort into the details before uploading, even if you feel rushed to complete it, is 1,000% worth it.
It taught me to go for unique poses, that used to be too daunting, and to gravitate towards wolves (or horses or whatever) that exhibited unique attributes that I could even consider "ugly" in the stock photo. At first I thought the paws were ugly, but now they're my favourite part about the piece. I think using less than perfect subjects makes them more realistic and believable.
On that note, it also steered me into trying to make fantasy look as natural as possible, as opposed to stylized. I love it! Its my favourite.
What's yours and what did it teach you?