how can I take the shiny-ness with out having to make my lizard look toon-ish?
If I’m understanding your question, I’ve never had to resort to toon shading to get rid of shininess. Adjust the sliders right next to the menu to change it to toon shading. Toy with the spec and the hardness and the ref to your liking.
can you tell that the dragon head (work in progress) has a more organic feel to it than the lizard?
Thus far, yes, although parts look a little square-ish. I think the “lip ridges” are too, what’s the right word?, abrupt, sudden, contrasting? Smooth them out. (select the vertices, hit “w” key, choose smooth. You can always undo.)
is there something else I should do to it?
I would add a cheek bone or some kind of roundness to the face. That was the first thing that struck me- the flatness of the side of the face. (It may just be the angle.) Also, the eyebrow - it’s not working for me. It might look better by first getting rid of that eyebrow, then selecting the eyebrow vertices. Next, go into proportional edit mode (hit the “O” key) and pull them out. If you don’t know about proportional edit mode, it’s great for organic work. It basically pulls other vertices along with the selected vertices, giving something a more rounded look. You can control it’s influence with the + and - keys, I believe.
Sorry if I sound overly critical. My first works would horrify people. :o
Keep us posted on the dragon. Move it to WIP.