Aphrael7's avatar

Mulefa Anatomy Sheet

81 40 7K (1 Today)
By Aphrael7   |   

I started this ages ago, drawing on artgrounds, but lost interest as I started to put it together because it was so damn complicated.

However Bridge To The Stars (the HDM fansite which is my homepage) got refurbished last night and now the main page links to the fanart section. So I decided to go and see if there were any new comments on my Mulefa fanart and lo and behold, they are all bitching at each other about trivial details. There really are some horrible people over there....anyway. Apparently my wheels are too small and my grey is too purple. The first paragraph disclaimer thing is mainly for them. Its a bit of a 'duh' factor for other artists.

Anyway I decided to finish this up so that I can show them why I draw Mulefa the way I do. I'm just trying to find the most biologically practical way that they could work and not fall down.

I have no experience in drawing anatomical studies. I looked at lots of skeletal and muscular system refferences as well as drawing on my biological knowledge from 18 years of David Attenborough documentaries.

Mulefa belong to Philip Pullman. Yay for HDM! Two years (ish) until we get to see them on film!
Image size
900x1737px 2.15 MB
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Craaske's avatar
CraaskeHobbyist Digital Artist
I Love these creatures <3 they're so cute and sympatic :3
Mikaceous's avatar
I've been meaning to do something similar, but yours is simply delightful and detailed and epic in all ways^^
Amuttaja's avatar
This looks great! Really awesome, because the zalif creatures are really hard to imagine, I think... :)
kaoshoneybun's avatar
kaoshoneybunHobbyist General Artist
Beautiful and very clever, my attempts at their anatomy might go up eventually but are not this thorough!
I guess the reason a lot of people see them having bigger wheels is something to do with Mary's comment they looked like a group of motorbikes from far away - so I'm guessing bigger wheels and handle bar shaped horns.
Trivia-Master's avatar
Absolutely outstanding!
stashthesocks's avatar
This ia amazing, just how i imagined them :D
leonvw's avatar
leonvwProfessional Interface Designer
best mulefa design ever. Period.
SueaNoi's avatar
SueaNoiHobbyist Digital Artist
I thought I'm pretty good at Biology, but the mulefa's anatomy is so ... unique! that I cannot imagine correctly from the book!

man! you're so good!
I've always thought that the wheel was ball-shaped, but may be it's just my language's fault. because the word "ball-shaped" and "disk-shaped" are the same.

I guess you're more correct.

and the skeliton. that's very greatly imagined. (my brain stucked here. :( )

so, awesome job! :clap:
xxdeceptivexx's avatar
Hi, I was checking out the fanart on BttS and found the link to this piece - I'd just like to say that I am very impressed at the rationality of it. You've brought up some interesting questions and solutions I didn't even think of.

I also have some mulefa fanart but haven't been able to upload it yet.. Mine isn't quite as scientific as yours though.

Anyway, well done! It's an interesting piece.
Aphrael7's avatar
Thank you for your kind words, here and on my main page :hug:

I'm glad that someone actually clicked the link...I got carried away with this and it ended up much too big for the BttS gallery. Oh well.

I seriously thought too much about this :D I was trying to solve all of the problems that I could see when I drew them, and it snowballed into this pseudoanatomical study that took me a whole day. It was fun though, and I'm glad that you found it interesting.

You should so upload your mulefa fanart. The internet needs more mulefa fanart :D
xxdeceptivexx's avatar
I agree with that. If you type any word into the "Search Art" space you'll come up with about ten pages of artwork. I tried that with mulefa and found two... word needs to get around about them. They are so interesting to draw.
Disneyfairy's avatar
DisneyfairyHobbyist General Artist
I almost forgot about these guys.
Aphrael7's avatar
Never! I love them :D I spent the whole of Amber Spyglass wishing there were less plot-forwarding chapters about Lyra and Will and hoping that the next chapter would be about Mary. Seriously.

"They're making ROPE. That is the coolest thing ever. Oh, and Lyra and Will are going through the land of the dead, doing dramatic (and spoilery :P) things....but the mulefa and Mary are making rope and talking about water. That's AWESOME."
Caliypsoe's avatar
CaliypsoeProfessional Artisan Crafter
Wow, almost exactly how I pictured!
What a wonderful model sheet.
raptoress's avatar
This helps, but I pictured them to be "thicker", and the pods are rounder and large... here they look like wheelbarrow wheels or something, or enlarged rollerblade wheels. I also pictured the claw/finger just entering the pod rather than the whole hand gripping the wheel.
raptoress's avatar
Holy, I totally forgot about this comment! :D

I see what you mean. I found it hard to visualize the creatures when I was reading the book. It would be neat if Pullman could commission a kick-ass artist (can't remember his name, he worked on the Lord of the Rings movie) to do some renditions of the creatures.... maybe in the future?
Aphrael7's avatar
(I can't believe how bad I've been with answering comments on this picture. I'm so sorry for the several month lateness)

Lots of people see them with the big wheels. I have to say that I never did, just because Mary retrieves so many of them from the river which would be difficult if they were car tyre sized. Also if they were significantly larger the mulefa would have to have very short front and back legs to be able to stand properly on their wheels, and then I don't know how they would be able to stand without the wheels. The babies would be more than clumsy :P

I did however originally see the claws as just sitting in the pod, but changed my idea because I figured they'd probably just fall off unless there was something holding them in. But I don't know how they'd overcome the whole palm friction thing...Anyway.

(I think the thicker thing is just my crappy drawing :D)

I wish Pullman would release a design for them or something. I'd love to see exactly how he visualises them.
diamond-blush's avatar
Hi, I was just on Bridge to the Stars and saw your work - this is just how I imagined them. I saw the movie yesterday and it was really good :+fav:
Aphrael7's avatar
*seething jealousy* The movie doesn't come out here until the 26th :( But hearing that you enjoyed it makes me a lot less terrified that it won't come out well :D

Anyway I'm glad you like this :D If we both imagine them the same hopefully we are imagining something right :D
Zairynne's avatar
Wow that is amazing.
you really though about it.
well when thelast movie comes out we
will see if your vision was right :thumbsup:
Aphrael7's avatar
I don't really care if my ideas are right or not :D I just can't wait to see them, they are such weird creatures :D
Zairynne's avatar
lol true but it would be neat to compare
they are my favorite out of all the creatures in the books! :D
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In