ETA: Replacing the sketch I uploaded first with a colored version. Originally, I'd thought that the new version was supposed to be in the same medium as the original (i.e. black and white pencil sketch), but looking at some of the others it seems a number are doing colored versions of sketches. So - I decided to update to the colored version of my re-draw, since my digital coloring of sketches is one of the skills I've learned in the last couple of years. (No way I could've managed that in '10 with my original sketch!)
I wanted to do a new version of one of my paintings for this contest, but I don't think I'll have time to finish it. In the end, though, I think this sketch is a good demonstration of the progress I've made over the last couple of years.
I was really happy with this dragon head portrait at the time. I thought that I was finally getting the hang of things, making real progress in my style - and I was, compared to what I had been doing.
But now, looking back at it, I realize how much things have changed just over the last couple of years. My understanding of anatomy and overall composition of pictures is getting better, certainly I'm far more flexible in posing (rather than only feeling satisfied with the way things turn out if I did a straight-on side view of heads), and I've learned a lot about making faces look more individual and expressive. Also, shading and textures! Still a place where I have a lot to learn, but it's improving.
(Link to original picture in my gallery is here: Spiky Dragon