Celtic Knotwork

A few weeks ago I taught a workshop on drawing Celtic knotwork, and a number of the attendees asked if I could make my presentation available for future reference. Rather than just send out a PowerPoint, I figured it would be better to convert it into a full tutorial.

I’ve been drawing Celtic knotwork for quite a long time, although I think that I got quite a bit better while preparing for the class and creating this tutorial! One of the things that I’ve always appreciated about knotwork is that it is a blending of some simple math along with some true artistic expression. That, and, as a non-artist, it is nice to be able to create arty things!

I also find it very relaxing. I think that the reason is that it is fairly straightforward, but it requires just enough concentration that you can’t let your mind wander. It is very Zen.

The tutorial covers the basics, although these foundational techniques are the same that you would use for probably 80% of other knotwork designs. If you follow the tutorial, you will end up creating the design from the top of this post, first on graph paper, and then on plain paper.

It is my intention to create two more tutorials, although I will probably take a break before starting on the next parts. The final set of tutorials will look like this (he said hopefully):

  1. Basic tools and techniques (completed) – Getting started with knotwork
  2. Designs and finishing styles (some day) – Using the same basic techniques, this will explore some of the various different patterns you can create, and different types of cords (thicknesses, double-interlacing, etc.)
  3. Different shapes (some day) – Creating knotwork in circles, tori, borders and arbitrary shapes.

You can find the tutorial here, as a PDF. This is a first draft, so if you find any mistakes or find any parts confusing, please add comments to this post to let me know!


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