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Adaptation of Daniel 7:4-6 + Commentary by Anderson Carman


I have always loved animals. When I started my illustration career in earnest late in my senior year of high school I flexed my creative muscles by drawing chimeras. The chimera from Greek mythology is a creature described as resembling a lion with a goat’s head and a snake for its tail. In the common vernacular, a chimera is less specifically, a combination of two or more animals into a creature of myth.

Most creatures of myth are chimeras, the Dragon is a lizard bat. The Unicorn is a majestic horse with a single rhino horn. A mermaid is half human and half fish. This makes sense, because the best way to describe a new creature is by comparing it to what already exists and is commonly known to your audience. Daniel does this quite simply and effectively in his record of the dream of the four beasts.

My process for designing the beasts started with silhouettes. I took a black marker and illustrated several pages of silhouettes for each of the beasts, trying to give each one a distinct shape and iconic visage.

The First Beast (Daniel 7:4) had a few different versions, the main design element that I stuck with was having the wings connected to its forelegs, instead of coming out of its back like a typical dragon.

The Second Beast was tricky. It was described as a “like a bear” (7:5) and some translations and commentaries consider the “ribs” in the teeth to be “tusks” or large teeth. I played around with a few different tusk designs before landing on the final asymmetrical design. This beast was meant to look like a devourer, so the mouth and large belly were key to this design.

The Third Beast (7:6) felt very straight forward in its description, however I wanted to take some time and explore alternate ideas. Most versions I designed had the four heads atop their own necks, but I tried one where they were all stacked, I like how creepy and other worldly it looked but, this creature was supposed to convey a certain regal serenity, so I opted for the final more angelic serpentine form.

Next time, we'll see what went into designing the Fourth B


A REIGN OF BEASTS is our comic adaptation of Daniel 7 illustrated by Anderson Carman. Now Available.


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