Imagine yourself standing on the dead and wounded in armor, with an axe and a shield in your hands. You're clamped between your comrades, pushing on, and the shields of your foes, pushing back and trying to strike you in the tightness. The crowd is so dense, that you can't move. Only the spearmen from the second and the third lines can thrust their spears above your head. Their spearmen do the same. Only thing you can do, is pull your head in, raise your shield and pray you won't be stabbed with a knife from below.
I've always liked how mad and terrifying are the beasts on medieval crests and shields. Their faces look ugly, distorted, and at the same time they are kinda beautiful. Modern "combat" design is all about coolness and good-looking. But in the old days, when power was equal to physical strength, when scramble was close, personal and brutal, they wanted to express something else: brutality, terror and primal violence. Not for likes on facebook, but for making their enemy shit their pants.
So i tried to do the same, or at least get close to it. I made an old monster-lion in his final furious combat. In the heat of battle he became part dragon or lizard - ancestor of a mammal. His face is terrifying, he's captured by the stroke of the fight, yet his mane and pose express power and nobility.