Fantasy oil painting “Rabbits moon”

Fantasy oil painting “Rabbits moon” ©YueZeng


There is a rabbit on moon.

Everyone knows that fairy tale when I was little. The rabbit on moon is an Asian folklore. We call it 月兔 (yue-tu) or 玉兔 (yu-tu) in Chinese. The rabbit is a pharmacist that helps medicine preparation. This year 2023 is year of Rabbit so I want to paint something about rabbit and moon. I tried the rabbit on moon, rabbit watching moon and rabbit astronaut floating around moon. But I didn’t like my sketches. A little while later the idea starts to kick in.

How about the rabbit IS the moon? Not just one, I need two rabbits to do the job. One is white for the bright phase, one is black for the dark phase. These two rabbits are cuddling each other, spinning and turning into different angles. Like Yin and Yang, together they create the Lunar phase from full moon to new moon.

As to background, I choose a Japanese shrine to indicate Asian culture. The character on the shrine is “守” in Japanese, meaning protection. The bamboo is also an inspiration from a Japanese story “輝夜姫” (Kaguya hime). Generally speaking, it is a story about a fairy girl goes back to moon with the help of an old couple who farm the bamboo for living.

Overall, I like the combination of two rabbits, shrine and bamboo with night clouds.

Digital sketch

It is a little difficult to make two rabbits into a circle. I have to use their belly. 🤣

Also only the white one should be glowing. I tend to make both of them glowing but the black one needs to be dark.

Digital sketch


My favorite part of this painting is the shrine. It gives me the feeling that painting an architect can be fun too. I often struggle a lot with those straight lines, parallel lines and corners. I am more used to random lines. 😂

PS: nice rabbits for Easter too~!

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.