How to Create a Celtic Knot in Illustrator

How to Create a Celtic Knot in Illustrator

Celtic knots are stylized graphical representations used extensively for decoration in the Insular art. In this week tutorial, you will learn how to create a basic endless Celtic Knot in Illustrator starting only with one single shape, applying multiple shape strokes, and doing some “magic” with the Live Paint tool.

Step 1

Go to File > New and create a new document in Illustrator. Set the name to “Celtic Knot”, the Width to 200mm the Height to 200mm, set the color mode to CMYK and click OK.

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Step 2

Select the Rounded Rectangle tool and click anywhere on the canvas. In the window that will pop up, set the Width to 18mm, the Height to 105mm, the Corner Radius to 20mm and click OK.


Step 3

Go to Window > Appearance. Click on the bottom arrow window of the stroke color and choose the white color from the color palette and set the stroke size to 10pt.


Step 4

In the Appearance window, click on “Add New Stroke”. Set the stroke color to Black, and the size to 20pt.


Step 5

Click on the down arrow of the Fill color, and in the color palette choose “none”


Step 6

With the rounded rectangle we just create still selected, click on the Horizontal Align Center on the top bar align tools and then on the Verical Align Center.


Step 7

Press Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+F on your keyboard in order to copy and paste the shape in place. In the top bar transform tools panel, set the X position to 140mm.


Step 8

Select both shapes and group them by pressing Ctrl+G on your keyboard.  Click on the align center on the top row tools.


Step 9

Press Ctrl+C and then Ctrl+F on your keyboard in order to copy and paste both shapes in place. Go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Set the angle to 90º and click OK.


Step 10

Select all the objects (Ctrl+A) and go to Object > Expand. Again, go to Object > Expand Appearance. Be sure to check both “Fill” and “Stroke” in the Expand window dialog and click OK.


Step 11

Go to Window > Color to display the Color dialog and set the Fill color to white.


Step 12

Select the Live Paint Bucket tool (K) and click on the areas shown here:


Step 13

Go to Window > Color to display the Color dialog again, but this time set the Fill color to black.


Step 14

With the Live Paint Bucket tool (K) still selected, click on the areas shown here:


Step 15

Click on the “Expand” button in the top bar Live Paint tool options.


Step 16

Be sure to have all the object selected and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Set the angle to 45º and click OK.


Step 17

Select the Live Paint Bucket tool (K) if you do not have it selected and, as we still have the fill color set to black, click on the areas shown here:


Step 18

Finally, click on the “Expand” button in the top bar Live Paint tool options to convert the Live Paint groups into individual paths.



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