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celtic knots

charcoal or watercolor pencils

by JuliannaKunstler.com

Learning objectives

  • recognizing and identifying patterns and sequencing, predicting patterns
  • types of patterns: linear, grid, radial, mirror, free-form
  • balance: symmetrical harmony
  • values and space: using light and shadows for overlapped elements
  • charcoal shading technique / watercolor pencil shading
celtic design

Celtic knots are super cool because they represent a never-ending line.

Celtic knot designs are constructed using a grid method. The design consists of units, that are repeated throughout the layout.


celtic design


1. Use a 20' x 13" board. Define the work area: 17.5" x 10.5" (by drawing 1.25" border). Divide it into a 1.75" grid units.


2. Mark every other one line crossing in checkerboard pattern (see below):

3. Mark the middle section as shown.

4. The band will curve around the marks that you created.

Draw (very lightly) 1" circles around your marks.

(For the worksheet - 0.5" circles)

5. Start drawing the first band with 2 parallel lines:

6. Create a corner

7. Draw more circles in the next row

8. Draw the overlapping band

9. More circles

10. Draw the curve for the second band to start the turn

11. Extend the band with 2 parallel lines

12. Start the next band

13. Create a turn

14. Complete the corner

15.More circles

16. Continue extending the bands

17. Trace the design with a marker.


18. Add the borders to the bands (see below).

19. Use watercolor pencils for coloring. Shade lightly over a section. Make sure you complete one section (closed shape) at a time. Shade darker by the edges.

20. Shade darker next to the overlapped areas to create a shadow effect.

21. Use water and paintbrush to complete the coloring. Make sure you use a dry paper towel to remove access water from the brush. Do not dip pencils into the water. Try to complete the section before it dries.

22. Use different color for the border

Challenge yourself!