Feel free to use this as a tutorial for anyone who is curious. I included my pre and post processing steps so you can see what is done before and after the layers are all merged. I included the important settings for the Topaz Clean, curly smooth filter that I use to sharpen my image. When using the smart sharpen filter, try really hard not to destroy your quality as it tends to make the image bland and darker as you increase the sharpness. Personally, as I look at both sides of the image, I just see the right side as being more crispy and distinct whereas the left side looks much more soft and a little scribbly (because I scribble when I paint in things).
All of my images have a final, post-processing step of using Topaz Clean to sharpen because it's an amazing tool that sharpens while lightening edges and keeping good color. I hope that this helps everyone sort of have an understanding of how useful this tool can be, especially those of you who have had as many sharpening problems with smart sharpen as I have had.
Good luck in your arting, and I hope this helps.
Another amazing tutorial that I use to really finish it off is this one....
... by my favorite artists ever, DanLuVisiArt If any of you guys want to see what stuff I use, check out my favorites folder "Tuts and Brushes". I try to favorite all the resources I find particularly helpful and useful.
And I use this brush....
... the "diamond basic" to do my manes and tails! The diamond basic brush on 1 or 2px really gives the highlights that sharp look.