Saturday, 1 June 2013

Simple Celtic Knots

File:Celtic-knot-basic-linear.svgCeltic knots are interlaced and intricate mosaic patterns which first appeared in the early Centuries and were used to inscribe elaborate illustrations and manuscripts in the Bookof Kells, Lindisfarne Gospels and many other Christian scripts.  The patterns were also extensively used in floor mosaics and monoliths.  The Celtic knot was first used around the 3rd or 4th Centuries.  The design is very popular in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.

What Are Celtic Knots Used For

Celtic knots are characterised by continuous interlacing woven patters or knots, not unlike plaits or woven ribbon effects.  This interlacing cord pattern is very effective and used in many ways.   Celtic Knots can be seen in many guises, for example, love knots, tattoos, wedding bands, Celtic Knot rings, Irish Jewellery, Celtic Crosses, Celtic Pendants, and many other purposes. 

Celtic Symbols and Calligraphy

Celtic knots are a great way to enhance your calligraphy project and you can introduce different colours and shades to really bring out your work. 

The video shown below, demonstrates how to draw a very simple Celtic knot, introducing some shading for effects.  A simple marker pen and pencils were used to draw the Celtic knot.  This is a great design to set you off before you look at drawing more intricate designs.


There are many simple and complex designs but the trick is to see the knot as interlaced ribbon, a pattern of ribbons that weave over and under the other ribbons that cross each other.  Many Celtic knots, however, are simple blocked print without the interweaving effects.  Remember to keep the widths of the ‘ribbons’ consistent when drawing your design.

Celtic Knots and Calligraphy

You can introduce Celtic knot designs in your calligraphy work by using small weaving patterns around letters or inside large calligraphy letters.  You can even draw weave patterns around the capital letters of your work, which is usually the biggest letters of your work.  Once you have designed the pattern, you can introduce some colour.

Introducing Colour To Celtic Knots

You can use coloured ink or colouring pencils to fill in the patterns, or if you prefer, you can use watercolour paint or even gold inks to really set off your work.  This is very effective, not unlike the Gothic scripts used many years ago.

You can see so many designs by researching the Internet and you can download some simple patterns to practice before moving onto more intricate designs.