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Celtic Knot Brushes with Artlandia SymmetryWorks



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Artlandia SymmetryWorks 3 has been released...loads of new features! Get a demo and see what's new at ArTlandia! New! Use brushes, gradient meshes and symbols in your symmetries!


Celtic Knot Brushes

Using Artlandia SymmetryWorks and simple text you can make brushes reminiscent of Celtic Knots. These brushes work great for borders!

If you don't have the Artlandia SymmetryWorks plugin for Illustrator, you can download a demo from Artlandia. It will only apply one symmetry of the plugin's choice per Illustrator session, but it will give you an idea of how the brushes are done.

This tutorial was done using Adobe Illustrator 10. Artlandia SymmetryWorks is a new filter that also works with Illustrator 9, and this tutorial will work with version 9 also.

Open a new document in Illustrator.


Constructing the Tiles

The first thing we need to do is to construct a couple tiles with Artandia SymmetryWorks to use for the brushes.

Click on the text tool in the tools palette or type T to activate it.

Choose a simple non-serif font. A serif font is one that has the decorative lines on the character. Times New Roman and Garamond are serif fonts.

Fonts like Myriad, Helvetica and Arial are non-serif fonts.



Type an uppercase R. I'm using Myriad at 72 points, black.

Click on the letter with the selection tool (V) to get the bounding box and turn it into outlines by going to Type > Create Outlines.


Change the fill to red (or color of your choice) and the stroke to black.

Make two duplicates of the R and set them aside.


Select the R with the select arrow (V) and go to Object > SymmetryWorks > Make. It will use the same pattern you used last time. You can change it by clicking on the patterns in the Artlandia SymmetryWorks palette. I chose pattern 17, Kaleidoscope.

This design will be used for corner tiles when we construct the brush.



We need side tiles now, so select one of the copies of the R you made, and go to Object > SymmetryWorks > Make.

For this one I used pattern 9 Double Mirror.



We need to rotate this 90°. Go to Object > Transform > Rotate and type 90 in the input box.


Double click on the Scale tool in the tools palette to open the scale options and set them to Uniform, Scale: 75%, and tick the Scale Strokes and Effects radio button.

Click OK.



Constructing the brush

Use the selection, or black arrow to select the side tile pattern we just made and drag it to the brushes palette and drop it in.

It may not look like you're dragging the whole thing, but you are so if it appears as on the right, just keep dragging and drop it anywhere in the brushes palette.


When the dialog box appears choose New Pattern Brush.

Click OK.


Name the brush a descriptive name.

Change the colorization method to Hue Shift.

For now leave the scale alone. That can always be adjusted later.

Click OK.


The screenshot is from Illustrator 10. If you have Illustrator 9, you'll see the side tile in three spaces instead of two. These two slots make up the side tiles of the brush.



If we were to use the brush now, it would look like this on a square. We have to add the corner pieces.



Select the first pattern we made and hold the alt key as you drag to drop a copy into the first brush slot.


When asked, choose Apply to Strokes.



Now Alt+Drag copies of the same tile to the remaining brush slots. For each one, choose Apply to Strokes when asked.



Double click on the brush in the brushes palette to open the options and set the size to 50% or less. Experiment.

When drawing a shape like the one below there will be a medallion on each corner.



Select the last copy of the R, and go to Object > SymmetryWorks > Make. Change to pattern 11, Quarter-turns and mirrors.

Now follow the instructions above to make a new brush as we did before using the same side tile and this new tile for the corner tiles.

Experiment! Try different fonts and letters. Have fun!


Change the color by changing the stroke color in the tools palette.


Use the brush options to alter the size by typing in a new percentage.



For more complete information on pattern brushes in both Illustrator 9 and 10, do the Pattern Brush 101 tutorial.

Try the Scatter Brush tutorial or the Photoshop Styles tutorial using Artlandia SymmetryWorks.

Combine Photoshop and SymmetryWorks patterns!


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Download this tutorial in PDF format.

To use it you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.


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Disclaimer: Site Design and all graphics on this site are the property of and copyrighted to Sara Froehlich and Northlite Designs.


July 18, 2002