How to Draw a Celtic Cross

Easy, step by step Celtic Cross drawing tutorial
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What is a Celtic cross? It is a form of the cross used in some Christian religions that features a nimbus or halo around the middle. The Celtic cross became widespread in Ireland and Britain beginning in the ninth century.

Stone Celtic crosses on pyramidal bases from the Middle Ages can still be seen in town squares, as funerary monuments, and in war memorials.

Why does the cross feature a halo? Some researchers feel it harkens to the wooden struts that were used to support the arms of large wooden crosses. Others trace it to the longstanding religious iconography in which circles of light were used to denote holiness.

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For example, statues of gods and goddesses from ancient Egypt often featured a circle behind the head. This was later adopted into Christian art to denote the holiness of saints and others. It is also the source of the metal ring, or halo, seen floating above the heads of angels depicted in modern popular culture.

Another theory lies in Irish legend. It is said that Saint Patrick introduced the Christian cross to the area, combining it with the sun cross or solar wheel "to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross." It is thought that linking the Christian symbol with the "life-giving properties of the sun" would make Christian worship more appealing.

Alternatively, it is also suggested that "placing the cross on top of the circle represents Christ's supremacy over the pagan sun" worship.

Would you like to draw a Celtic cross? You can take a look at the Celtic Knot for some inspiration. This easy, step-by-step drawing guide is here to show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Necklace, Diamond Ring, and Chain.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross drawing - step 1
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 01

1. Begin by drawing the circle that will surround the center of the cross.

Celtic Cross drawing - step 2
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 02

2. Draw a slightly smaller circle, within and parallel to the first.

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Celtic Cross drawing - step 3
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 03

3. Draw a much smaller circle in the center of the existing circles.

Celtic Cross drawing - step 4
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 04

4. Draw the arms of the Celtic cross. On each side of the small interior circle, draw a set of horizontal curved lines that diverge from one another. Connect these lines on each end, forming a scalloped pattern by connecting several small curved lines. Draw a small "L" shaped line on top of the base of each arm. Then, draw a pair of lines vertically. Again, allow the lines to curve and diverge from one another. Connect them at the end with a scalloped line.

Celtic Cross drawing - step 5
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 05

5. Draw an "L" shaped line at the base of each of the horizontal arms. Then, draw a pair of divergent curved lines downward. Notice that these lines are longer than those of the arms. Connect them at the bottom using a scalloped line.

Celtic Cross drawing - step 6
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 06

6. Erase any guidelines from within the outline of the Celtic cross.

Celtic Cross drawing - step 7
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 07

7. Draw the Celtic knot pattern within each of the horizontal arms. For each portion of the knot, use curved lines to draw a teardrop shape, rounded on one end and pointed on the other. Draw a smaller teardrop within each, and erase guide lines as necessary where the shapes overlap.

Celtic Cross drawing - step 8
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 08

8. Draw the knot pattern in the upper arm. For each portion of the knot, draw a teardrop within a teardrop. Erase guide lines as necessary where the shapes overlap.

Celtic Cross drawing - step 9
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 09

9. Draw the knot pattern in the base of the Celtic cross. Use four teardrop shapes, erasing guide lines as needed where the shapes overlap.

Complete Celtic Cross drawing
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step 10

Color your Celtic cross.

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The Complete Celtic Cross Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Celtic Cross - all drawing steps
How to Draw a Celtic Cross Step by Step Tutorial Image

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