Back in 2010, my local church was teaching through the short book of Haggai, a minor prophet in the Old Testament. The minor prophets are not very well-known and can be tough to read through; they reference a lot of unfamiliar places and events in poetic ways that can be hard to follow. As we started the series, imagery jumped to mind—so I used a variety of mediums to create ten drawings inspired by the text.
The drawings are more on the abstract side. At the time I created the series, I was exposed to a lot of very shallow and cheesy Christian art, and in some ways, the style I chose was a reaction against that.
A designer friend helped me compile the ten drawings into a coffee-table book. We used the old King James text since it was in the public domain.
All the Haggai art pieces
Here are all ten of the Biblically-inspired drawings, along with the verses the ideas came from.
A Bag with Holes
The first drawing is based on Haggai 1:6, which reads:
You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
I used an illustration pen on cream-colored paper to make the initial drawing, then splattered it accidentally with some ink. I ended up liking the effect, and added some more.
When You Brought It Home, I Blew It Away
The second drawing came from the text in Haggai 1:9:
You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
The drawing was on a piece of 14″ x 17″ vellum, using illustration pen and colored pencils.
The third drawing came out of Haggai 1:10–11, which say:
Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and son all their labors.
This turned out to be one of my most popular drawings. I used colored chalks on a piece of 11″ x 14″ paper.
Stirred Against Gravity
Haggai 1:14–15 says:
And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
I took a symbolic approach to this turning point in the text, where the people respond to God’s words of rebuke and warning.
Haggai 2:13–14 talks about cleanliness (relating to Levitical laws):
Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the Lord, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean.
This drawing was on an 11″ x 14″ piece of vellum, and I used a single pencil.
Not Enough in the Vat
Haggai 2: 15–16 says:
Now then, consider from this day onward. Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the Lord, how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty.
I used an illustration pen on this drawing, and then took acrylic paint mixed with varying levels of water to fill in the color. Probably not the intended use for acrylics, but it served my purpose.
Shaking the Nations
I took a snippet from Haggai 2:21 for this drawing:
Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth…
This drawing used an odd assortment of mediums: I drew with pen, then mixed acrylic paint with glue to give it some translucence.
The Throne of Kingdoms
And another snippet from Haggai 2:22a:
…and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders.
I took an illustration pen and laid down the initial drawing, then blended over it with some red and yellow oil pastels.
Haggai 2:22 finishes with this sentence:
And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother.
Oddly enough, I chose a ballpoint pen to do the initial drawing (I may have been traveling at the time), and some marker.
I Have Chosen You
The final verse in Haggai is chapter 2, verse 23, which says:
On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.
The closeup of the signet ring and the wax seal was made with illustration pen and colored pencil.
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- Proverbs 30 art series
- How Firm a Foundation illustrations
- Art made in 2010
- Theme verse art
- Apostle portraits
Learn more about Laura Kranz.