The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder

I had been working on the painting for a few weeks now and finally finished it recently. It is based on ‘Cinder’ the first novel in the sci-fi fairy tale series ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer, and I have three other paintings I am currently working on based on other books from the series. Cinder is based on Cinderella and is set in a futuristic version of Beijing and follows Cinder, a cyborg mechanic who live with her stepmother and stepsisters just like the fairy tale.

With this series of paintings, I want to illustrate these futuristic stories in a classical, storybook kind of way and feature elements from both. For example, I have decided to illustrate scenes from the book which can also represent familiar and iconic scenes from the original fairy tale, that scene here being Cinderella/Cinder fleeing the ball down the palace staircase.

I also wanted to draw upon my interest and influence from medieval and renaissance imagery as well as classic fairy tale imagery to create my paintings and think of these images as a sort of traditional Icon and mural for the main characters and their stories with hints of the futuristic and sci-fi elements included. In the case of this painting, those elements are the city seen in the background, and Cinder’s mechanical left leg and arm.

Even though this is the first painting in this series, I actually found it the hardest to compose as I basically knew what I wanted to do for the other three paintings and had had them in mind for a while. The other paintings also feature more obvious medieval and renaissance influences compared to this one, and I really struggled to create that in this image, that is why I decided to focus upon more traditional storybook images and depict Cinder leaving the ball as that is such a very know scene from Cinderella which also features a lot of familiar imagery e.g the staircase and the prince in the background.

I have also included the prince of the story in the background (named Prince Kai in this retelling), something which i wasn’t originally intending to do, but it sort evolved itself as i realised I had included the love interests of the main characters in my sketches for the other paintings and felt like I couldn’t leave Kai out.


Animal Alphabets is a weekly art based challenge I recently discovered on twitter. Every week, artists are encouraged to create an image inspired by a particular word thats starts with the letter of that week. This week’s word was Rapunzel and I couldn’t resist taking part myself and painted the image above for the challenge. You can see other great and varied artwork on the twitter page of Animal Alphabets here: