At the end of this month, I'm going to be writing a short article about the NUCKELAVEE, a monster from Celtic faerie folklore, and would like to include a thumbnail gallery of different interpretations by different artists. The best entry will end up as the article's full-size introductory pic, so uh, yeah, not really a big contest with prizes and stuff. It's just that the Nuckelavee is unbelievably awesome, and has very rarely been illustrated at all.
You have until the 31st to send your drawings of the monster to my e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in response to this journal, along with whatever name and link you wish to be credited with.
So what would you actually be drawing? In Scottish mythology, the Nuckelavee, Nucklavis or Nucklavee is a unique, powerful sea-fairy and the single most hideous, hateful, malicious creature to ever walk the Earth. In the ocean, it has no tangible form, but it acquires a nightmarish living body as soon as it breaks the water's surface, strolling onto land whenever it gets angry enough to spread plague, famine and chaos. Descriptions of the monster are complex and a little varied, so I'll break down the important parts:
-The Nuckelavee's most prominent, consistent feature across all recorded stories is a lack of skin, with raw red muscles and exposed, pulsing veins.
-The shape of the Nuckelavee is usually said to be that of a skinned humanoid riding a skinned horse, but this is commonly accepted to be a single, fused body; the "rider" is a head, torso and arms growing directly from the horse's back.
-The horse head usually has only one eye (always red), and may be disproportionately massive, especially its mouth.
-The humanoid/rider's head (when applicable) is almost always said to abnormally huge for its body, and with a wide toothy maw. It may or may not be a cyclops as well. Multiple stories also make a point to say that this head hangs or rolls around as though the neck cannot support it.
-The humanoid arms are also weirdly proportioned, long enough to reach the ground and with gigantic hands.
-The legs of the horse are the most confusing aspect. Nearly everything I've read refers to them as "part flipper" or "set with flippers," but without detailing what this actually means. I've heard at least once that one or both pairs of legs are simply seal-like flippers.
-All of the above are present in some of the most famous stories, but alternative and older versions abound. It may be just a skinned horse without any humanoid components, it may be a humanoid torso with a horse's rear, or it may be a centaur-like shape. At least one story leaves out the horse parts and describes a titantic, one-eyed head that runs around on a pair of tiny arms!
(yes, the word "MORTASHEEN" had a cultural origin. Horse disease! Now you know my dark secret!)[link][link][link][link]
A couple of the only images that turn up on google, most of which skip the giant heads, flippers and other prominent features:[link][link][link]
(MINE!!! But on some spanish website, lol)[link][link]