Fun and Easy St. Patrick’s Day Art Project Idea: Celtic Knot Drawing

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Welcome back to another art-filled journey! Today, I’m excited to introduce a fantastic art project just in time for St. Patrick’s Day – Celtic Knot Drawing. This step-by-step lesson not only promises an immersive journey into the intricate world of Celtic knotwork but also serves as a cool and engaging venture for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. 

Tailored with middle school and high school art students in mind, this tutorial takes you through the captivating process of drawing Celtic knots. It’s a blend of artistic finesse and cultural exploration, making it a perfect fit for our students gearing up for a St. Paddy’s Day-inspired artistic adventure.

Throughout this blog post, I’ll be your guide, sharing tips and tricks honed through years of teaching this project to my own students. So, whether you’re an art teacher in search of the ideal St. Patrick’s Day project or a student eager to craft a piece infused with Irish tradition, this lesson is your golden opportunity. Get ready to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of Celtic knot drawing, bringing a touch of tradition and creativity to your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Step 1: Practice drawing Celtic knots

Start practicing with the worksheets provided for your celtic knot art project

In Step 1, we’re starting with the basics of drawing Celtic knots. I always kick off the lesson with a simple practice worksheet. I ask students to use a pencil and draw short lines and loops without letting them overlap. This helps them get the hang of the simple moves they’ll need later. It’s like practicing the easy stuff before moving on to the harder parts. So, by getting these short lines and loops right from the start, students will feel more confident when we get into the more complicated parts of drawing Celtic knots. Just keep it simple – short lines, loops, and no overlap!

Step 2: Add depth by changing your art medium

Change your art medium to add depth to your practice drawing

Now, we introduce the concept of adding depth to our Celtic knot drawing by exploring different materials. This step is crucial for achieving clarity in the final artwork. Following the initial practice with a pencil, I guide students through the use of charcoal to outline the knots. The intent here is to create bold, distinctive lines that define the intricate patterns of the Celtic knot. Charcoal allows for a striking visual impact.

However, as with any artistic journey, we sometimes encounter unexpected challenges. In this case, the messiness and potential issues associated with charcoal became apparent. Recognizing the need for a cleaner and more manageable result, I made the decision to switch to a light-colored pencil for the actual project. This adjustment ensures that the lines remain distinct and the overall appearance of the Celtic knot drawing is polished.

Step 3: Transfer your design by rubbing

Trace your initial celtic knot sketch with a charcoal or graphite pencil and make sure to press hard

In Step 3, we move on to the process of transferring our intricate Celtic knot design onto the final piece of paper. To achieve this, we use a rubbing technique with a thick marker. The key here is for students to press down firmly and consistently, ensuring a successful transfer of their detailed design. This step is pivotal in transforming their initial sketches into a tangible and polished artwork.

Rub the back end of your marker to transfer the design and achieve that perfect symmety
Draw over the freshly transferred drawing to ensure cleaner lines

It’s worth noting that when working with charcoal, the transfer process can get a bit messy. To address this, especially in larger classes, I recommend considering colored pencils as an alternative in the initial stages. Colored pencils offer a cleaner transfer, minimizing potential cleanup hassles. This adjustment ensures that the focus remains on the art itself, providing a smooth and efficient transition from sketching to the subsequent coloring phases. Making informed material choices in this step enhances the overall experience, allowing students to concentrate on the creative aspects of the Celtic knot drawing without unnecessary distractions.

Step 4: Use the “over-under” technique to create your Celtic knots

Make sure you have practiced the "over-under"technique with the practice worksheets provided

In Step 4, we delve into the intriguing world of navigating the Celtic knot maze. Central to this step is grasping the “over-under” concept, a key element in creating the interconnected patterns characteristic of Celtic knots. I guide students through this process by encouraging them to visualize themselves as tiny ants maneuvering through a complex maze. Emphasizing continuity becomes paramount, as it aids in avoiding confusion and ensures a smooth flow in the design. This analogy helps students conceptualize the intricate dance of lines within the Celtic knot, making the process more approachable and engaging.

Use a marker for the design

Through consistent practice, students develop a keen sense of where lines should overlap and where they should diverge, transforming the initially complex pattern into a navigable artistic journey. Much like mastering the twists and turns of a maze, this step nurtures a skill set that is crucial for successfully bringing the Celtic knot to life on paper. By approaching it with patience and dedication, students not only enhance their technical abilities but also gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship involved in creating these timeless and mesmerizing designs.

Step 5: Color your knot

Shading with colored pencils

The final step is bringing the Celtic knot to life with colors. Students get to unleash their creativity by choosing from a spectrum of materials – be it watercolors, markers, or colored pencils. This step is a celebration of artistic freedom, allowing each student to express their unique vision and style in bringing the intricacies of the Celtic knot to life.

Using analogous colors are recommended for beginners

For those taking their first steps into the world of color, I recommend starting with analogous colors. This palette choice, where colors sit next to each other on the color wheel, provides a harmonious and visually pleasing result. It serves as a gentle introduction, easing beginners into the layering process that adds depth to their artwork. The emphasis here is on short strokes and light layers, guiding students to create a sense of depth and dimension within their Celtic knots. Particularly, when dealing with overlapping knots, this technique ensures that shading is applied appropriately, allowing each element to stand out in a harmonious dance of colors.

Lesson inclusions for the Celtic knot art project for Saint Patrick's Day

You can find this complete “Celtic Knot Drawing Lesson” lesson with reference images, slideshow, video demonstrations, practice worksheets, handouts, rubrics and more in my resource shop!

What’s included in this St. Patrick’s Day art project?  In this complete resource you get:

✅ 30 Slides – Google Slideshow:

✅ 3 Instructional Handouts

✅ 6 Practice Worksheets:

✅ 2 Video Demonstrations:

Celtic Knot Drawing Art Lesson: Saint Patricks Day
Mixed Media High School Art Lesson Plan for St. Patrick’s Day

Ready to continue your creative adventure? 🎨


Investing in your artistic journey is an investment in yourself. This lesson is designed to empower you with knowledge, boost your confidence, and enhance your creative expression.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to refine your skills and create captivating artworks that stand out. Hop on this artistic adventure today!

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