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Artist Combines Old and New Techniques to Create Vibrant Knit Portraits

Faith Humphrey Knit Prints

Mixed media artist Faith Humphrey Hill combines modern tools with age-old creative traditions in her innovative knit portraits. These dynamic portraits contain traditional drawing techniques made on digital apps as well as knitted textures made by hand.

Hill spent 20 years working in a variety of creative roles in galleries and community arts organizations until she finally made the decision to fully commit to her studio practice in 2016. The artist began her website, dartily (a portmanteau of art and daily) as a way to discover new sources of inspiration and to document her own artistic experiments. During this time, Hill forged her signature artwork, which she calls “knit prints.”

These striking portraits of people and animals combine digital drawing and traditional knitting. First, Hill sketches the subject in the Procreate app using her iPad. Once satisfied, she exports the underpainting layer to another app called StitchSketch, which creates knitting patterns from digital art. The artist then uses this document as a reference as she begins to hand-knit the pattern row by row. In her explanatory video, Hill states that she uses a variety of knitting techniques to do this, including intarsia, stranded, and backward.

Once the knitted portion is complete, Hill soaks it in water and pins it to a block of foam to dry flat. She then photographs the piece and merges it with the digital drawing—finally fusing the intricacy of her sketch with the texture of the knitted project. The result of Hill's innovative process is mixed media art that embodies the best of traditional and modern creative techniques.

Scroll down to see Hill's knitted portraits and, to keep up to date with the artist's latest creations, you can follow her on Instagram.

Mixed media artist Faith Humphrey Hill creates knitted portraits of people and pets.

Faith Humphrey Knit Prints

Her artwork uses a variety of tools to achieve the unusual layered effect.

Faith Humphrey Knit Prints

Hill merges the intricacy of digital sketches with the textures of knitted patterns to achieve the tactile quality to her finished pieces.

Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints Faith Humphrey Knit Prints

Hill explains her unique creative process in a video:

Faith Humphrey Hill: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Faith Humphrey Hill.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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