Knots

Someone on Reddit asked how to do a wireframe Möbius strip sort of thing. In the process of talking about how I might do it I looked up Escher’s “Knots”:

“Knots”, by Maritus Cornelius Escher, 1965. Three-block woodcut.

And then I decided it would be an interesting exercise to try and do this myself. I looked up some knots on Wikipedia for reference, and ended up spending about an hour and a half getting to the point of doing the image featured at the top of this post.


Here are all the brushes I made while doing this. Top to bottom: a brush with three colors twisting across it, only used for reference purposes; a black rectangle of the same size that I thought I might use for some masking, but did not; three brushes, each with two colors twisting across them, used in sequence on the upper left knot; a copy of the middle brush of those three that was used for construction purposes, and a brush that consists of grids masked into the shapes of that brush, with a few extra thick lines drawn on top of it to accent the edges.

And here’s an outline view of these brushes; I feel this should be sufficient for anyone with a decent understanding of blends and clipping mask to construct these brushes themselves.

The knot was originally drawn as one path, but ended up cut into three to create the overlap, and thus the three different brushes happened. I also made a duplicate of one of those three paths and masked off most of it to fix a couple places where the bottommost of those three paths needed to overlap the uppermost.

No 3D programs or effects were used in this.

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