Traditional methods of drawing these beautiful forms rely on a system developed by Iain Bain of connecting dots in grids. I have tried and failed to master this system many, many times. Furthermore, I am a “freeform” kind of gal, and have been trying to find a method of drawing these figures that could be used for more random, spontaneous figures.
A few years ago, I happened across a book by George Bain, and was struck by the simplicity of his methods. He basically sets out a string and draws auras on in all of the spaces, and around the outside. He then connects the auras with a system of bridges, that alternately go “over” and “under”. I have a little Minitutorial that demonstrates this technique.
But I was still unsatisfied. Getting the bridges to line up and the auras to be perfectly spaced to give the appearance of a smooth continuous cord was very frustrating. It was hard to develop a rhythm while drawing the aurae, as the spaces can be small and irregular.
I kept at it, and I have found some tricks and methods that are much more satisfying to use when drawing knots. The results are much better, and its easy to get into a “flow” once the techniques are practiced. I am teaching these in the “Taste of Celtic Knots” class, where we explore several methods of drawing knots, and practice making increasingly more complex knots, such as these:
And for the intrepid….
As in Zentangle, these designs look complex, and intimidating. Once you learn the system though, and have the “AHA” moment, a whole new world opens up!