Trying to take the time to actually look at animals and learn what it is about their shapes and features that make them look like what they are. Still need tons of practice, but hey, practice is what gets you to the destination you desire!
Top: zoo sketches and some watercolored pencil work
Bottom: Lion face studies from the other night. Looked at a series of photos and without trying to go for a style, just drew the features as I saw them.