i'm so sorry i took so long to do this! i just couldn't seem to find the right energy to get it done until this weekend. hopefully you like it despite how long you had to wait <3 i feel it's much better than the first image a made you lol.
i feel i keep using the same colors over and over again u.u hopefully it doesn't take away from the image.
everything else is copyright to jordan bowker aka sigath.deviantart.com. i spent time on this and i'd appreciate it if you let me enjoy it! no copying, reproducing, cutting, using, or modifying in any other way.
well, this one is on the moderate side of stock - anything that just seems desaturated with as little blur on paws/etc usually counts as a good piece of stock for me.
my way is usually i fiddle around with the curves of the image (much more reliable than brightness/contrast though that will work too) just to make it seem less bland. at this point i will also play with sharpness and light smudging if a stock is a bit too blurry. then i add my own highlights and shadows, being vague at first and adding more detail as i go along. i do repaint over things completely (like the paws and mouth here) but mostly i tend to rely on lighting to make the stock really work. i will say that i tend to try and work with what i already had then going over it completely. my obsession with a complete outline also helps stock that is a bit fuzzy.