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!
Here are some of my Celtic Knot templates ready for tangling, coloring, embellishing, or whatever you might want to do.
Some of these are common knot forms, (like the Trinity Knot) .
The more complex ones are of my own design and are representative of designs that would be created in the Freeform Celtic Knot Design class.
Please feel free to use them in your artwork! Double Click a Celtic Knot Template to bring up a full size image. You can then download or print the Celtic Knot Template for your own use.
I would love to see what you come up with! Please upload images in the comments section, or share them on the ArtoftheTangle facebook page.
Celtic Knot Templates
I have been busy busy creating Celtic Knots as examples for some upcoming classes. One of the new classes, Art of the Celtic Knot, focuses on adding Zentangle embellishments and shading, to knots to add to their beauty. I decided to use one of my samples, done on Renaissance Tiles for the little Youtube Tutorial, instead of the old one.
Here is the new one…
I have been working up a lot of freeform Celtic Knots, Zentangle Style, so in honor of Valentines Day, A Heart-Inspired Freeform Celtic Knot. Check out this little tutorial on Celtic Knots .
Celtic Knots have been a source of fascination for me for many years. As a weaver, I am drawn to pattern created by the interlacements.
What is a Celtic Knot?
The most common use of “Celtic Knot” applies to patterns that feature interlaced, continuous lines or “cords”.
There are studies that have attempted to define the strict definition of what is… and what isn’t a Celtic Knot. Scholars have contradictory definitions.(I will explore that in another post.) Furthermore, ancient Celtic Art includes spirals, keys, and other geometric patterns that do not interlace.
For now, we will consider that designs that incorporate interlaced cords will qualify as Celtic Knots. The cords are typically continuous, but not necessarily, and if broken, and “stretched” will create a knot.
Celtic Knots have been used in ornamentation for over 1500 years. Decorative elements that are distinguished by the familiar interlacement of cords are founds in Roman mosaics dating back to the 4th century and are found in Roman mosaics. These designs are thought to have spread to Ireland in the 7th century.
One of the most common and simplest of forms is the “Trinity Knot” or triquetra. It is seen in ancient Christian art where it his thought to represent the Holy Trinity. It is also found in Pagan art, possibly representing land, sea and sky (I can’t remember where I read that… I will add the citation if I can find it).
Because there is very little written history about these works, its hard to decipher their symbolism. Many researchers don’t believe that there is any particular secret meaning in the patterns; their primary role is as decoration to fill up empty spaces in manuscripts.
Nevertheless, many think that the interconnected, endless cords are a representation of the eternal circle of life, of birth and rebirth, and of the interconnectedness of all things in nature. In some cultures, knots used as emblems warding against things that would interfere with continuity.
Some have attributed meanings to the individual motif elements in Celtic Knots. This paper explores some of the interpretations. The Trinity Knot is thought to symbolize
Some other interesting online resources include:
Margaret Bremner CZT has some beautiful posts about triquetras. Please visit her blog and enjoy her posts:
Plates from the book of Kells Book of Kells can be found at http://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v
Books on Celtic Knot legend and lore:
George Bain. Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction
Iain Bain. Celtic Knotwork
My friend Patricia Carney posted a link to an interesting article on Huffpost, that speaks to the connection between meditation and perception of time.
As a person who is perpetually stressed, with NEVER ENOUGH TIME, who can’t slow down, this quote really spoke to me
One kind of person refuses to slow down, thinks they have too many things to do and not enough time to do it in while the other person is always ready and willing to take more on and to slow down enough to choose the way they feel and communicate. One person believes that life is stressful and hard so they are allowed to take that out on everyone else. The other knows life is stressful and embraces that as a catalyst for growth.
I have been talking about doing the Square One Facebook Challenge for months, but have never been able to find the time. Today, I am temporarily sidelined by a cold, and don’t want to venture into this frigid New England January day, and I don’t feel like taking down more Christmas decorations, and I don’t want to “spread my wealth” with the grocery store patrons. So here I sit, snuggled up with Dug, my little dog working on this week’s XYP challenge for Square One… and sure enough… the afternoon is practically gone, and I feel pretty relaxed, the world hasn’t ended because I took the afternoon off.
Here’s the Huffpost article. Its a good read.
Here is an excerpt from that article, Sakura’s response to Linda’s query as to why pens might clog or leak;
Micron Care and Quality
Sakura invented Microns as an inexpensive and disposable alternative to high-priced technical pens while maintaining technical-pen quality. Microns were originally designed for fine-line technical and art drawing but their use has spread to other applications.
Micron’s best use is on paper, so non-traditional uses such as tole painting, decoupage applications, using it on canvas, decorative quilts, etc., might contribute to an issue with a bent or clogged nib.
A Micron nib may clog from use with partially dried paint or primer, wood dust, fabric dust, starches & protections on fabric surfaces and very fibrous paper. The Micron nibs are essentially “micro size plastic tubes” which allow our pigment ink formula to easily flow from the barrel to the paper. When any foreign matter clogs these tubes, the Pigma ink flow is blocked.
Microns are designed to be used at a 90degree angle, like technical pens. The smaller point sizes (005 and 01) use very delicate nibs to create the extra fine line, so they need to be used with a very light touch, no more than the weight of the pen itself. Microns require very little pressure to provide a flow of ink. If you experience a bent nib, switching to a thicker nib size, and/or using lighter hand pressure when writing, should resolve the issue.
A leak near the nib holder or ink wick could be caused by dropping, inadvertently shaking, or accidentally applying centrifugal force to the pen by spinning it in your hand.
There is also lot of great information in the comments section
I’ve also found that the pens leak when I fly, even in the pressurized cabin. I take Sensei’s instead, and have not had any trouble with them.
Tangling over watercolor washes and over watercolor pencil can also lead to occassional clogging. I have a theory that it might be due to the composition of the pigments in the watercolor ground. I will do some testing in the next couple of weeks as I develop samples for some classes on watercolor wash techniques.
About a year ago, I signed up for a massive ATC swap amongst Zentangle teachers from all over the world. Each participant was to create 52 Artist Trading cards, send them in, and receive back 52 cards from other participants.
This huge undertaking was organized by Sharon Payne of Styx and Stones. There were over 130 participants and some did more than one deck! Sharon and her fellow North Carolina CZT’s met up in a mall, it looks like they took over an entire food court, and “dealt” the decks.
With permission, I share the cards! (I will post pictures of the ones I submitted after all of the ATC’s have been distributed)
This tangle looks like an origami star. …. Star-igami. Different values of shading give a folded appearance.
It is very easy to draw, once you get into the rhythm.
It makes a wonderful centerpiece or focal point. Or, draw a cluster of Star-igami.
This tangle is featured as a focal point in the Shading and Enhancements Advanced Zentangle class
Here are some detailed stepouts.
An original Zentangle(r) tangle pattern, designed by Jean Theurkauf, CZT
Here are some Holiday Card templates for tangling.
They are set up to be printed two per page on 8.5×11 paper, in landscape format. Click on the images below and then download the attached pdfs.