Maybe by the time i did the "after" version i was more focused on the coloring than in the drawing itself, so as a hole, it doesn't have the same "feel" as the "before" version . I've always liked that drawing so who knows, i might give it another try
Somehow I feel like both versions are at the same level but have very different styles that it's like they've been drawn by different artists. I'm not saying that you haven't improved, though! The attention to detail on the new one is a great improvement. And I agree with ~rinorate, it seems that you've found your own style with the new one, which I think is incredibly important. Great job!