This piece was created for the 2018 Peoria Illinois Community Festival of Nativities, where I was asked to be the guest artist. This no-cost interfaith event features hundreds of nativity sets beautifully displayed as well as live music. The director loved my “Oh Come, Let Us Adore Him” piece and asked if I would create something in keeping with their 2018 theme, “Hallelujah!” in order to have it printed as a nine foot banner. The dimensions of the banner determined the size ratio I used (the prints of this piece are not a standard size). I pulled out my own marked up copy of Handel’s Messiah to choose the phrases that appear in the artwork. I initially typed and printed out these phrases to get a sense of where I wanted them and what size and style they should be on my 26X45″ page. I worked on a piece of gridded drafting vellum to get the calligraphy and illustrations positioned just right. I did a color trial with Prismacolor pencils on tracing paper to get an idea of how to position the colors throughout. One tricky thing about layering the colors on this piece is that I had to do the lettering and illustrations in acrylic so that when I put a watercolor wash over them, they would not move. Another difficulty was working on such a big piece of paper; I had to make sure that I did not crease it on the edges of my light table. It seems that everyone wants to know how long something like this takes, so I will tell you: 63 hours. I used acrylic ink, watercolor, gouache and Micron Pigma pens on 140 lb. Arches hot press paper.