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May 27, 2008
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Mulefa Concept by KatSaw Mulefa Concept by KatSaw
This is a mulefa from the final book of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. In the books; the mulefa are strange four-legged creatures that are as intelligent as people. They are strange in that they have evolved in such a way that they have no spines and their legs are positioned in a "diamond" shape - one in the front, two in the side, one in the back. They use the side limbs to push themselves along because the forelimbs hold seed-pods that they use as wheels.
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:iconcricketflint:
cricketflint Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is fantastic, the best concept I've seen so far. Most people drew the mulefa based almost entirely on elephants (which, obviously, is not even close), and others based them on tapirs and make the trunks far too short to use tools and weave.
I'm going to try to do one of my own, I'd really like to see Pullman's depiction for all the curious readers.
Great job!
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you very much .. I should probably redraw this at some stage; it's gotten a lot of love but it's pretty old art and a bit .. dated-looking to me. And I keep feeling it should be a bit more stocky -- Mary seems to convey the sense of largeness the whole time; or so I felt anyway. My drawing looks a bit spindly to me. Thanks for your observations on practicality; I tried to make it as logical as possible =) Do please link me to your concept if you get around to drawing something.
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:iconroisinpower:
roisinpower Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
That is so how imagined them
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Ah thank you very much ... I wanted the horns to be a bit smoother; like the oiled claw, kind of; but then stuff happened and they went knobbly =)
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:iconroisinpower:
roisinpower Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
Its still a great picture
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Many thanks =)
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:iconlozzawaterbender:
LozzaWaterBender Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
omg i LOVE the mufela ^^
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you <3 Lots of fun to draw .. I'm waiting with interest to see how they are portrayed in the movie [if anyone ever decides to continue with the screen versions].
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:iconlozzawaterbender:
LozzaWaterBender Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
yeah I bet lol, I don't know if they will make another movie... lol
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:iconjiuhfgtr:
jiuhfgtr Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2010
Great concept, it almost looks like what i imagined.
I hated the movie too, it didn't had the magic the book has and the plot is too mixed, too that it makes the movie just another cliched hollywood film, Pullman should ask master hayao miyazaki to do the series into a real animated movie
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
I'm still waiting for the second movie .. The first kind of left us all hanging. Silently I still hope that the film series can be redeemed by a good director.

Glad the drawing was close to your conception as well. As I drew, it came out more slender than intended but on the whole I am pleased with it.
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:iconjindar:
jindar Featured By Owner May 20, 2010
A step away from the elephants-riding-motorcycles image that I got when I read Amber Spyglass.
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:iconblinkwolf:
BlinkWolf Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Finally! It was totally impossible for me to imagine them... I could only imagine an elephant. Your concept is great :D
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it .. It's one of my favourites too. I'm still kind of hoping for that movie to be made although The Golden Compass was so disappointing - it's just interesting to see how other people conceive of impossible things.
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:iconcoterabeth:
Coterabeth Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree, movie sucked.

Books, however, blew me away.
Great pic.
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
The books were amazing - favourite series ever.

Thanks.
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:iconcassylyn3989:
cassylyn3989 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008
I've always had a hard time imagining these.
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
You know, so did I... Well I had an idea of how they would look but drawing it really made me solidify my mental image to how it looks now. I think it's hard to imagine because it's just such a surrreal creature.
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:iconcassylyn3989:
cassylyn3989 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
Yea... I kept trying to mix an elephant and an anteater, but... diamond shaped. And I could never figure the feet out. Ever. Nothing to even compare it to. I think I kept putting the log-like pod between their side legs with a toe in on either end, but that didn't work with the grove in the middle. I don't know. I like this, though!
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks so much... Yeah after a while I worked out this viable design for the feet/claw thing and I was going to draw it alongside the main picture with some annotations but thought it would spoil the effect.

Now of course I've forgotten it, heh.
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:iconcassylyn3989:
cassylyn3989 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
Lol! That's how it always happens.
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:iconjuijk-silver:
Juijk-Silver Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2008
thanks for doing this one! I think you're the first person who sees them the way that I have while reading the book. For some reason people put these huge 'wheels' on them - which doesn't make sense for them to be seedpods. D:

+ also i hated the movie too. I've loved the series since I was a little kid and when the movie came out I was so excited. But they were all mixed up in it with the time... and Roger didn't die.. Pan sucked... Lyra didn't go to the tower and hear what the man said...Iofur was dumb (as was Iorek) ... gah! >.< they tried I'll give them that... but... they did waste everybody's time XD especially for the people who haven't read the book.
Great art work too! +fav
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you very much... It actually came out a bit more slender than I intended but otherwise the rest is true to how I pictured it.

I just hope that the sequel adheres to the truth of the book more accurately. Movies like that get on my nerves.
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:iconwhitewolfos:
Whitewolfos Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2008
Wow! I love this concept~
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the comment and fave :floating:
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:iconwhitewolfos:
Whitewolfos Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2008
It's okay~ I was listening through the amber spyglass again the other week, and had to check out some Mulefa artwork! I must say, yours was my favourite ^.^
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:iconexiledbylif3:
ExiledByLif3 Featured By Owner May 27, 2008
i love that book. i've still yet to read the other too (been lazy>_>;), but the first one was so inspiring. Magically written and amazingly descriptive.

Have you seen the movie . . . ?
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner May 28, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
No, but I want to so badly! It came out just as I left South Africa and by the time I got to where I live now, it wasn't on circuit any more..

What did you think?
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:iconexiledbylif3:
ExiledByLif3 Featured By Owner May 28, 2008
Honestly, it was horrible. The action scenes were pretty good, very visual, beautiful graphics!!! . . . But since there was so much story, detail and conspirisy in the book you easily get lost in the movie.
But they tried so thats the credit i'll give them.


And i hated the ending . . .

You should see it though.

And its on dvd in America, would it be realeased, as well, in your current location?
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner May 30, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Coincidentally I watched it the night you asked.. We went to this anniversary party and there was a kid there with the DVD.

Sadly, I must concur with your observation.. I don't think anyone would really follow the story without having read the book. I was slightly lost at times because the timeline was a little messed up - she gets captured by Tartars and brought directly to Ragnur/Iofur and I'm going "No! That happens right at the end of the book!! What about Bolvanger??"

And Pan... disappointed me. He seems such a weakling in the movie, somehow..
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:iconexiledbylif3:
ExiledByLif3 Featured By Owner May 30, 2008
Well, they quite literally made Pan her exact opposite . . . Not a good idea . . . In the book they seemed to be very little opposite, but none the less, opposite. She was constantly brave, he was constantly peeing himself (heh, in my opinion ;D). Any idea she had he always disagreed with. Just a strange relationship.

And, yes, it was very sad cuz my bf went with me, hasn't read the book and kept asking me what was going on and . . . HOLY PAIL OF MONKEYS!!!! I'M SO MADDDDD!!!! When Ms. Coulter told Lyra that SHE was her mother . . . Farder Coram did that!!! i yelled in the theatre! "What?! Farder Coram tells her that!!!"

But, they made the effort. And i appreciate them putting forth the effort to tell such a great story with live action.
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
I know! He was strong, but he always tried to get her to do the right thing. As a conscience, not because he was a wimp. It was sickening. And his voice was so stupid and whiny - "It's cold in the North!!"

He was rather superfluous.

Annnd the eeeennndiiiinnnggg..... I was so looking forward for Rodger to die. Not that I wanted him to in the book; but I really wanted to see the severance of his soul powering a bridge to another world.

You're right.. They made a good try of it, but it's not really cohesive/effective/worth three years waiting for.
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:iconexiledbylif3:
ExiledByLif3 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2008
I know. It really wasn't.
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:iconexiledbylif3:
ExiledByLif3 Featured By Owner May 27, 2008
Wow. Its very interesting how you concieved this.
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner May 27, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you. The original idea was very different but as I drew it started looking less boring =D

I added a description five minutes ago so you can read what it actually is if you like.
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:iconjadefuzz:
Jadefuzz Featured By Owner May 27, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ooh, this is a nice piece.
I love the idea and design. Also, good job on the shading!
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:iconkatsaw:
KatSaw Featured By Owner May 27, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you so much.. The shading took me forever.

I've just added a description so it can be understood a little better.
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:iconjadefuzz:
Jadefuzz Featured By Owner May 27, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem ^^
I imagine it did, it looks very good though :)

I read the description -- I love the way you derived the design of the creature from the text :)
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