How to draw Celtic Knots: Part One

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series How to draw Celtic knots

How to draw Celtic Knots: Part One

This is the first in a three part series on drawing Celtic knots. They look phenomenally complicated, but broken down into stages, they are surprisingly easy to draw. In the first part I show how to create the simplest types of knots. You will need a pen, pencil, paper and a ruler.

Step One

Our complicated Celtic knots start with a simple rectangle. I am going to draw two knots starting with a 4cm x 6cm rectangle and a 8cm x 6cm rectangle. As long as you use even numbers, you can choose any size rectangle and see what kind of knot you get. Once you draw a rectangle make marks along the edges at odd distances. I have marked 1cm, 3cm, 5cm and 7cm along the edges.

If you want to make a knot smaller or larger, you can also resize the rectangle and markings as required. This is the only step that requires any measurements.

Step Two

Continue creating the grid by drawing diagonal lines between the points you marked in step one. Start in one corner and work across the rectangle. All of the lines will have a 45 degree slope.

Step Three

We need to start adding some curves to our knots. We need to replace the straight lines with curves. Draw ‘V’s in the corners and circle segments along the edges as shown.

We have now finished with our pencils. These lines show us the line that runs through the centre of each line. If you start on the curved line and follow it, you can trace the path of the knot. If you want, you can erase everything outside the curved line. This can make it easier to follow.

Step Four

It’s time to reach for your pen and start the knot itself. Start with the outside. Draw a line a short distance away from the curved outline. The further you draw the line from the pencil, the thicker your knot will be.

Also draw inside each box. Try to keep each line the same distance away from the pencil to keep your knot uniformly thick. Around the edges the boxes will have curved sides, but the same principle applies.

Step Five

This step is easy! Just grab a rubber and rub out everything in pencil.

Step Six

Finally we complete the Celtic knot by drawing the crossing points. Choose any starting point and follow the knot round, always alternating between going over and under.

Your Celtic knot is now complete. Join me in part two as I’ll show how to make more intricate and complicated knots.

Series NavigationHow to draw Celtic Knots: Part Two >>