Is this topology good enough for 'above-amateur' level?

I’m working on a project and I want it to be the most professional-looking possible within my skill levels.
I’m modeling a dragon for the purposes of animation.
I have never modeled a quadruple before, much less for animation.

I’m pretty lost on how to work the topology of it, so any feedback at all would help me greatly!

Here’s the image of how I’m thinking of doing the topology, with the muscles reference image I’m using.

note: I will NOT use subdivision, meaning I won’t be adding extra geometry to the model other than what I’m already adding by hand, so a few 5 poles should not be an issue (correct me if I’m wrong).

So, should I continue to do things like I’m doing? Is there anywhere I can improve the topology? Like I said, any feedback at all will help.
Thanks in advance!

Man, what a density!
if you start like this you’ll get mad before the end of the project.

super dense mesh doesn’t mean better models.
may I advise you to start with a skin modifier to rough the shape of the dragon, then sculpt it with dyntopo and then make your retopology on a sculpted mesh. It will be way easier and accurate than mesh modeling this beast.

Here is a timelapse where I’ve used this process

You’re still so early in the process. Like Pieriko said, you’re going too high poly too early.

Focus on the form of the entire thing with as little geometry as possible. Adding detail is the last step we do later on the pipeline.

Hey, thanks for the reply!

I watched your video and that’s really awesome!

I’ll confess that I’m somewhat afraid of sculpt modeling, as it was never my thing. I did not know about Dynamic Topology Sculpting in Blender, that might make things easier. I will try it and I’ll update my progress here.

Again, thanks for the help!

Thanks for the feedback, @Panupat!

Really appreciate it.

Just keep sculting with as rough shape as possible with super low resolution. Never go further in detail till you don’t have a satisfying base sculpt. Detailing won’t make bad proportions looking better.

Ok, so after many fails and starting over, with different techniques, 4 or 5 times, I believe I’m finally getting the hang of sculpting and found a workflow that pleases me.

Since your guy’s advices were very helpful, here I am again asking for feedback before continuing on what I’m doing.

Using Dynamic Topology.

I’ve only done part of the front legs and the torso, ignore the rest. The wings, head and tail don’t show in the pics, but they are there, with rough shapes.

Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I supposed to sculpt with Smoothing on? Any obvious mistakes or useful tips?

Again, any feedback would be extremely helpful.
Thanks in advance!