So about 4 years ago, when I first began celebrating the Day of the Leviathan, I did a quick little sketch:
Then, I said this:
“I thought it might be cool to have a tattooed Leviathan, but then abandoned it, which is a shame, because the head of the last one I got to do looks a little bare …”
However, for the next three years I never touched it, nor even looked in the direction of the original source material, which I imagine at this point (after an hour or so of Googling about) is a Hebrew text of some kind, but being completely realistic about it, I have no idea where to start. In fact, rummaging through the internets reveals that Leviathan might have even been able to -wait for it- fly.
In the Talmud, Rabbi Yochanan said (Baba Batra 74b): “This refers to Leviathan the flying serpent [male] and to Leviathan the twisted serpent [female], for it is written: ‘In that day God . . . will punish Leviathan the flying serpent, and Leviathan the twisted serpent; and He will slay the dragon that is in the sea’ (Isaiah 27:2).”
I mean, I’m disinclined to believe this, as even for a holy book that doesn’t make sense. Leviathan is described as living in the sea, frolicking in the water and so on. Also, after reading some more, it has come to my attention that because of the events that led to Leviathan being a singular creature, bred to suffer alone and born to die at the end of the world (in order to be eaten by the righteous, then have his skin drape the walls of Jerusalem), it would imply that Leviathan is in fact a fish, as I can’t imagine a dragon being at all kosher:
From The Pentateuch According to the Talmud: Genesis: with a Talmudical Commentary, Part 1
(thanks, Google books!)
So I guess I told you all of that to tell you… I’m not sure what, exactly. I set out to figure out what Leviathan’s horns might look like, and I ended up with a flying fish that shoots sunrays out of its eyes and plays with God, or at least in the ocean. I’m not sure if I’m disheartened or confused.
To say nothing of all the quasi-conspiracy theory stuff that comes up when you Google “Leviathan Horns.” It’s bad enough that they imply that Leviathan is the Dragon of Revelation, which makes even less sense (the righteous will eat Satan at the End Times? Really?), but then they staple their own real-world projections onto the poor creature. Bah.
So I guess it’s no more source material for me; from this point on, it’s all pure conjecture, same as the original.
You might notice that I didn’t color Leviathan himself. That’s because I’m still not sure what color he is. I also realized that the jagged underbelly scales didn’t work, so I broke them up. They’re still layered, but at least now he can (ostensibly) do serpentine things without getting bent out of shape.
Lastly on the anatomical points, the extra jawbones always made sense from the side, because lazy, but letting them lay flush didn’t feel right, so I tried to pull them out a bit, kind of like a snake’s wedge-shaped head.
And that’s all I got tonight. May the creatures you seek be what you expected.