Team Cherry created something extraordinary when they developed Hollow Knight. Since its release in 2017, it’s become an indie sensation, and rightfully so. This action-packed Metroidvania poses a serious challenge to even seasoned gamers. The game introduces a vast world with intriguing lore, and there are so many fascinating characters.
These settings and characters have inspired countless fans to create their own art based on the world of Hollow Knight. Whilst art is subjective, so you could never definitively say what is ‘best’, I wanted to pay tribute to some of the best Hollow Knight Fan art pieces. I hope you enjoy discovering these talented artists!
Bottom Line Up Front
- What is the name of the protagonist? The Knight
- How many copies did Hollow Knight sell? Over 3 million
- Best fan art depicting The Knight? Hollow Knight Wally
- Best fan art depicting Hornet? Hornet 3D Fan Art
- Best fan art depicting one of the other bosses? A Dance of Shadow and Fire
- Best overall fan art? Silk song Fan Film
- Most dedicated Hollow Knight artist? WeeblesJeebles
Why Should I Play Hollow Knight?
If you haven’t yet had the chance to play this incredible Metroidvania, you’re missing out! You take on the role of The Knight, a warrior investigating the strange happenings in the underground world of Hallownest. Venture through various regions, discovering new charms and skills, and battling increasingly fearsome enemies.
Don’t be fooled by the cute 2D artwork; this is not a game for children. I remember watching the trailer and thinking it would be sweet and easy… I couldn’t have been more wrong. Hollow Knight will test the limits of your gaming skills, but if you persevere, you’ll come out the other side as a much better gamer.
I definitely credit this game with helping me improve my reflexes, as you need to be fast to survive. You can match your loadout to your playstyle, as there are plenty of charms you can find throughout the map that offer you boons. You’ll also learn new abilities such as dash and double jump. This is a game that rewards you for endurance, and the longer you play, the more fascinating secrets you’ll discover.
I cannot recommend Hollow Knight enough, and if you like platformers or action-adventure genres, then you’ll love this. For Xbox Game Pass members, you can download this game for free, and play it via Xbox or PC. Otherwise, it’s available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch for just $14.99, which is an absolute bargain for all the content it gives you.
The Grimm Troupe
This stunning piece has a unique style that evokes a mystical vibe. Most fan art uses a similar art style to the original game, with clean lines and a primarily monochromatic color scheme. However, this one includes a range of bright colors, some of which have less saturation.
This means that the art isn’t too intense to look at, and allows you to focus on the piece as a whole, rather than being drawn to just one or two details. I love the use of pinks and reds, and the color blending is top-notch. Overall, this is an exquisite artwork that honors the beauty of Hollow Knight.
Hollow Knight Duelling
Ah, this takes me back. QuailSoup’s gorgeous fan art is based on the very first boss fight you undertake against Hornet. Before Hollow Knight, I’d never really played many games that required a high level of skill, and this battle was a shock to the system. It’s much easier than those that come after it, but at the time, it felt like a really intense challenge.
The piece uses the familiar teal colors of Greenpath, where the battle takes place. I really like how the artist brought their own style to the artwork whilst still capturing the essence of what that fight was all about.
You can sense Hornet’s urgency, The Knight’s confusion, and the angles are chosen work really well. I also think it’s clever how there’s foliage in the foreground to give the piece an almost 3D effect, even though the characters and background are in 2D.
A Dance of Shadow and Fire
Shared by DARKDOG, this inspiring artwork depicts The Knight facing Nightmare King Grimm. It’s a flurry of action and emotion, creating a truly epic atmosphere. The piece relies heavily on the color red, which is of course associated with Grimm. However, aside from staying true to the character, the red helps to evoke feelings of excitement.
In color theory, red represents passion, anger, and violence. For those who have fought Nightmare King Grimm in Hollow Knight, you’ll be aware of just what a formidable foe he is. Thus this piece really captures the intensity of the battle and does so in a powerful way.
The cracks across The Knight’s helmet show just how much he’s had to face to arrive in this fight and portray his desperation. The angle of the fan art also shows the sheer size difference between the two and frames The Knight as the underdog, making the viewer feel a connection with him. It’s a fantastic piece, and definitely one of the best examples of Hollow Knight fan art out there.
Hollow Knight Wally
When I played Hollow Knight, it took me a draining 8 total hours to finally beat Sentinel Hornet. It’s without a doubt the most brutal boss fight I’ve played in my life, so I was immediately drawn to this fan art depicting The Knight and Hornet. The artist is clearly very talented, and her use of light and shadow is beautiful to behold.
I love the elegant way that she’s drawn Hornet’s whip, and it reminds me of one of Hornet’s attacks in the game. The Knight is standing atop a pile of geo (the in-game currency) while Hornet looms ominously behind him. Everything about this piece is so carefully crafted, every single speck of color in the perfect place.
There are orbs of light floating around them, with some in sharp focus and others blurred. It reminds me of those foggy areas of the Hollow Knight map and shows that not only is the artist great at drawing, but she clearly also has experience of playing the game. The use of purple light in this artwork is really effective, and overall this is one of my favorite artworks on this entire list.
Hornet and Knight
This fan art warms my heart. Throughout the game, Hornet and The Knight have a complicated relationship, and seeing them in a much more cozy setting is really wholesome. I love how Hornet is depicted as a caring mother because deep down, I think she definitely has that maternal side to her. She’s a protector, and in an alternate reality, I could see her taking care of The Knight (not that he needs it).
There’s such a cozy ambiance to the piece, and it’s relaxing to just look at the leaves and imagine the peaceful setting. I adore how the characters are gazing into each other’s eyes, and it looks so sweet and tender. It’s endearing to see a more vulnerable side to The Knight as well, as he’s usually the heroic protagonist with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Most fan art pieces focus on more action-packed or realistic (to the game) images, so this is a nice break from tradition.
Hollow Knight Fashion
This artwork by DeviantArt user NightMargin demonstrates that sometimes simplicity can be just as effective as complexity. This cute piece shows off what The Knight would look like wearing different styles of clothing.
There’s a chibi effect to the faces, and even though I can’t put my finger on why the eyes appear to be displaying such an innocent expression.
All six poses are so different from one another, and the clothes convey an entirely different personalities each time. I think it’s such a fun idea to take a fantasy character like The Knight and put him in clothing from our world.
I also love that there’re examples of more feminine clothing because I think he looks utterly adorable in a dress. I think my favorite is the one where he’s dressed as an old-timey paperboy, but they’re all excellent and so imaginative.
The Knight Fan Art
This digital fan art depicting The Knight is very cleverly done. Instead of having a busy background, all the focus is on the character design, and there’s plenty of detail to enjoy. Created in Photoshop, this artwork uses light and shadow to convey the hopeless nature of the protagonist’s journey, and you can really sense The Knight’s desperation.
The artist has depicted a spiderweb between The Knight’s horns, which shows the character’s loneliness and isolation. We associate spiderwebs with abandoned buildings, and it shows how lost the protagonist has become.
I love how the artist has used the color red to represent light, and the viewer knows that it’s not actually the cloak itself that’s red. This way, the piece mirrors the original character’s black and white color palette whilst still bringing a splash of vibrancy. Niall Skinner, who made this fan art, says simply, ‘Incredible game. This is my homage.’
This adorable artwork is just perfect. It includes so many characters from the game, and I really love when fan art brings everything together like that. The title is very apt, and the picture is calming and heart-warming to look at. Each character is drawn with a lot of care and consideration, and the details are spot on.
I especially love the little grub in the background, as his face is an expression of wonder and innocence. It has a festive feel to it, probably because there are fairy lights strung up along the ceiling.
Although there’s nothing explicitly Christmassy about it, I certainly get the sense that it’s set around that time of year, especially with the steaming hot mug of something that’s no doubt delicious.
It’s colorful without being so vibrant that it loses the peaceful atmosphere. Overall, I think it’s a great tribute to the game we know and love.
Hornet 3D Fan Art
My brain is having a really difficult time comprehending that this stunning sculpture isn’t actually a real physical object. Until I read the description, I fully believed that this artwork had been sculpted out of clay, but amazingly that’s not the case.
I’m Zec, the artist, created this piece using the Zbrush software, and the effect is incredible. Every detail looks so realistic, even down to the metallic sheen on Hornet’s needle. Even the stand evokes the shadowy atmosphere of Hallownest, the dangerous underground system where the game is set.
The colors are muted and true to the game, and this is a great depiction of what Hornet would have looked like as a 3D character. The artist has created an absolute masterpiece, and it’s beyond impressive what they’ve been able to achieve here.
Traitor Lord Wood Carving
It’s so refreshing to see fan art in such an original medium. This wood carving of Traitor Lord by Reddit user Dittograin is a sleek depiction of the Mantis Tribe deserter. The artwork also contains two charms representing the Mark of Pride, one with the original colorings and one in a pretty green variation. Honestly, my charms are my favorite part of this because I love how minimalist and neat they are.
However, the Traitor Lord piece is also very impressive. He’s posed threateningly as if he’s about to deliver a deadly blow. I’m fascinated by the way the artist has drawn his blue cloak swishing around him; it really creates the effect of movement. The painting on all three pieces is very tidy and demonstrates the wonderful talent that this artist possesses.
Cornifer is probably my favorite NPC in Hollow Knight, so I was thrilled to see this 3d figurine of him that RahulParihar has created. Rendered using Blender, this detailed fan art is a touching tribute to the amicable cartographer. For those of you unfamiliar, Cornifer can be found in all the main regions of the game and will sell you his maps to help you navigate around.
For someone like me with no sense of direction, his aid was invaluable in helping me beat the game. Whenever I heard his cheerful humming, I would feel a rush of relief, so I’m glad to see that this artist appreciates him. The figurine is very realistic, and if the artist hadn’t stated that it was digital, I might well have believed that he’d sculpted it out of clay.
The shapes are detailed, and the coloring is soft and neutral whilst still using warm tones. It’s an enjoyable piece of fan art, and I love seeing people’s skills with the Blender software.
Hyper-Realistic Silksong Fan Film
There’s fan art, and then there’s… This. There have been some incredible artworks featured in this list, but honestly, I think this fan video is far and away from the winner here. Youtuber 3D Print Guy created a 1 minute 20 seconds cinematic animation, which frankly blew me away.
He’s entirely reimagined the 2D setting of the Hollow Knight game in a 3D plane whilst keeping the essence of the world the same. The animations are smooth and deliberate, and the character models are wonderfully detailed. The video evokes heartfelt emotion at the start before seamlessly transitioning to exciting action. It was an absolute delight to watch, and in my opinion, it’s the ultimate fan tribute to such an iconic game.
Question: When was Hollow Knight first released?
Answer: Team Cherry launched Hollow Knight in February 2017, and since then it has become a cultural phenomenon. It has sold over 3 million copies, although the actual number could well be higher as this statistic is from 2020. Capitalizing on the original’s success, Team Cherry has announced that they will be releasing Hollow Knight: Silksong shortly, although as of yet there’s no official release date other than ‘2022’.
Question: Is it true that one fan-made over 600 Hollow Knight drawings?
Answer: Yes! Believe it or not, 16-year-old Reddit user WeeblesJeebles made the impressive commitment to drawing one ‘poorly drawn Hollow Knight’ picture every single day until the Silk song comes out. She had to miss some days due to taking care of her mental health (which is so important, and I’m glad more people are prioritizing self-care these days), but she’s still drawn so many pictures. As of 9th January 2022, she has created an incredible 693 poorly drawn Hollow Knight images and has become somewhat of a celebrity in the Hollow Knight subreddit.
Question: What’s the fastest time that someone has completed the game?
Answer: I honestly couldn’t believe this when I saw it, but as of January 2022, the current record for any% speedrun (not including loading times) is a phenomenal 32 minutes and 16 seconds! I can’t even fathom how skilled someone would need to be to defeat the game that quickly. I would probably not even be able to even navigate the map that quickly, let alone fight all the bosses. To put this into context, my first run of the game took me just under 50 hours to beat the Hollow Knight (although admittedly, most of that was due to me getting rather lost). The 112% full completion speed run record is somewhat slower, but it’s still an incredible 3 hours, 11 minutes, and 10 seconds. It goes to show just how dedicated some fans are.
I thoroughly enjoyed going down the rabbit hole of Hollow Knight fan art, and have found some true beauties. So many talented fans have lent their skills to produce stunning pieces of fan art that really capture how it feels to play this wonderful Metroidvania.
It was so hard trying to pick my favorites, and there are hundreds of equally good artworks that, unfortunately, I didn’t have the space to share. If you’re interested in viewing more, there are some excellent examples on this website. I really hope Team Cherry gets to see just how inspiring their game has been to other artists.
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