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.