How to Draw a Triquetra with 10 Steps and a Compass

Updated on October 11, 2016
Quick and easy to draw a triquetra using the compass method which is the most precise!
Quick and easy to draw a triquetra using the compass method which is the most precise! | Source

What Is a Triquetra?

The triquetra symbol is an ancient surface pattern, most commonly found in Celtic Knotwork Art.

It's a symmetrical symbol based on three interlaced arcs and is also known as a trinity knot.

Despite it historically having no actual meaning, many people give it significance and believe it represents (among other beliefs):

  • the triple goddess
  • a version of the Valknut, representing Odin
  • interconnectedness
  • the holy trinity
  • the three promises in a relationship (love, honour and protect)
  • protection

There are several techniques for drawing a triquetra and this happens to be my favourite one.

This technique does take the longest out of all that I've personally tried, as it takes quite a bit of drafting, but it is also the most precise and the most fun for a geometry nerd such as yours truly!

Follow my channel to see the dots and freehand methods coming soon!

Materials You Need

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Compass
  • Pen
  • Eraser

Triquetra tutorial step one
Triquetra tutorial step one | Source

Step One

  • Draw a line near the bottom of your paper, using the pencil and ruler and pressing lightly as you will be erasing the pencil later.
  • This will be the width of the finished triquetra.
  • Mark the exact center of the line as shown.

Triquetra tutorial step two
Triquetra tutorial step two | Source

Step Two

  • Set your compass to the same width as the full line in Step one.
  • Using either end of your line and the 'center' of your circle, make two marks above the middle of your line as shown.
  • This is the quickest and easiest way to make an equilateral triangle!

Triquetra tutorial step three
Triquetra tutorial step three | Source

Step Three

  • Using the point where your lines from step two intersect as the third point of your triangle, join all the ends together, marking the middle of each line.

Triquetra tutorial step four
Triquetra tutorial step four | Source

Step Four

  • Line up each point with the midpoint mark on the opposite line and draw a line through the triangle.
  • Do this on each side.
  • This marks the exact center of the triangle.

Triquetra tutorial step five
Triquetra tutorial step five | Source

Step Five

  • Now mark if it's easier, the quarter point of one side and set your compass to the width from this point, going to the midway point of the next side. See image for details.
  • Now using the midpoint of one side as the center of your circle, mark a curve inside the triangle, between the other two sides as shown.

Triquetra tutorial step six
Triquetra tutorial step six | Source

Step Six

  • Repeat Step Five for the other two sides.
  • You now have the outer edge of your triquetra and can see the shape forming!

Triquetra tutorial step seven
Triquetra tutorial step seven | Source

Step Seven

  • Decide how thick you would like the band of the triquetra to be and shorten your compass by that much.
  • Again, using the midway point of a side, draw a curve inside the triangle, but making sure to stop when you reach the middle lines from the other sides (see photo for details)

Triquetra tutorial step eight
Triquetra tutorial step eight | Source

Step Eight

  • Repeat Step Seven for the other two sides!

Triquetra tutorial step nine
Triquetra tutorial step nine | Source

Step Nine

  • Now switch to your pen and mark out each corner of the triquetra moving from the curve to the point.
  • On each corner, make one side go 'over' a band from the next corner, and the other side stop dead when it reaches the next corner, as shown in the picture.

A Finished Triquetra
A Finished Triquetra | Source

Final Step!

  • Repeat Step Nine for the other two corners, making sure to keep the long side and short side consistent.
  • You may find it easier to turn the paper for each corner to help with this and remembering which side is which. For example, in my triquetra the long side is always on the left and the short on the right.
  • Erase all your pencil lines and shade the edges where one band goes under another.

That's it!

Celtic knots are so much fun to draw and the patterns are endless, but this still remains one of the timeless favourites (including mine).

As mentioned above, there are other techniques for drawing triquetras and I'll be doing some tutorials for those very soon.

But for now I hope you enjoyed this. If you have any trouble or just fancy saying hello, please comment below!

Questions & Answers

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      • poetryman6969 profile image

        poetryman6969 3 years ago

        Very interesting and detailed information. Voted up.

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