Draw Islamic Geometric Patterns With A Compass And Ruler

Learn to Construct, Outline, Tile And Interlace Four Different Patterns.
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  • Lectures 10
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 6/2016 English

Course Description

In this course I demonstrate how to construct four Islamic Geometric Patterns step by step using the traditional method of a compass and straight edge.I will also provide you with a step by step handout pdf file for each pattern to supplement the video demonstrations.

In each unit you will learn to construct an underlying grid and outline an Islamic geometric pattern. This course consists of four units:

- A Sixfold Pattern: The Star and Hexagon

- An Eightfold Pattern: The Khatam

- A Sixfold Pattern: The Ferozkoh Jaali

- An Eighfold Pattern: The Geometric Rosette

You will also learn additional techniques:

- Tiling the pattern, for both fourfold and and sixfold patterns;

- Creating a ribbon effect to interlace the pattern;

- Transferring the pattern using tracing paper and a spoon;

- Adding colour using watercolour pencils and an aquabrush.

Depending on your pace, each pattern may take 10 to 20 minutes to construct. The interlacing and tiling will take longer. As you work through the course, you will develop your compass and ruler and construction skills. Each pattern is a level up from the previous.

You will need a compass, ruler, pencil, plain paper, tracing paper,
eraser and masking tape.  I also use watercolour pencils and an aquabrush. However, you will gain enough skills to be able to transfer a pattern to the surface of your choice - how you add the colour is up to you, colouring pens or pencils, paints and beyond!

This course is aimed at beginners with an interest in the geometric patterns they have seen in and around the Islamic world and beyond. Many people haven't used a compass since their school days, if that's you, you can rediscover all the potential it holds.

All the videos on this course feature a remixed version of the song "Montmartre" by Jahzzar, from the Free Music Archive used under CC BY-SA 3.0

What are the requirements?

  • You will need a pencil, paper, straight edge (i.e. ruler) and compass to construct the patterns. Specifically 2H pencil for construction, 2B pencil for outlining and tracing. To transfer the pattern you will need tracing paper, masking tape and a spoon. Colouring pencils & pens and paints are optional.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Construct four different islamic geometric patterns
  • Outline the pattern having constructed an underlying grid
  • Tile eightfold and sixfold patterns.
  • Create an interlaced effect.
  • Add colour using multiple layered watercolour pencils and aquabrush

Who is the target audience?

  • Suitable for beginners particularly those who have an interest in pattern, symmetry and geometry.
  • If you have previous experience of constructing patterns, do have a look at the four patterns on this course as they may be familar to you already and therefore this course isnt for you.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

In this video,I describe and show you what you will be leasrning in this course.

All the videos on this course feature a remixed version of the song "Montmartre" by Jahzzar, from the Free Music Archive used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Section 2: UNIT 1: A Sixfold Pattern - The Star And Hexagon

In this video you are taken step by step through a demonstration of the compass and straight egde construction of a Sixfold Islamic Geometric Pattern - The Star and Hexagon. It's a fairly simple pattern, so perfect for you to get started. Use the step by step pdf file that accompanies this pattern to help you through its stages.


Interlacing or weaving an Islamic Geometric Pattern can be quite tricky, so here is a simple rectangle, up-close, for you to see how it works with either a standard ruler or a gridded ruler.


In this video, i demonstrate how to interlace the sixfold Islamic geometric pattern you have just learnt to construct. It can be quiet complicated to do. But if you're systematic and use the symmetry of the pattern you can achieve a working weave with great ease!

Section 3: UNIT 2: An Eightfold Pattern - The Khatam

In this video you are taken step by step through a demonstration of the compass and straight egde construction of an eightfold pattern - The Khatam. It's again a fairly simple Islamic Geometric pattern, but now in the family of eightfold. A step by step pdf file accompanies this pattern to help you through its stages.


Tiling an Islamic Geometric pattern is very much dependent on what shape the original pattern is. This Khatam is a square tile, so tiles quite straightforwardly. It's still worth knowing how to do it, step by step with a demonstration as there are many more lines involved. A step by step pdf file accompanies this 2 by 2 tiling of the Khatam.

Section 4: UNIT 3: A Sixfold Pattern - The Ferozkoh Jaali

In this video you are taken step by step through a demonstration of the compass and straight egde construction of a second sixfold pattern - The Ferozkoh Jaali. It's again a fairly simple Islamic Geometric pattern. A step by step pdf file accompanies this pattern to help you through its stages.


In this video you learn to tile a second sixfold Islamic Geometric pattern, the Ferozkoh Jaali. This pattern is particularly beauiful when tiled. A step by step pdf file accompanies this pattern to help you through its stages.

Section 5: UNIT 4: An Eightfold Pattern - The Geometric Rosette

The classic geometric rosette is iconic in Islamic Art and Architecture. It is seen in many different guises and in many different families of symmetry. Getting the proportion just right is so very important. In this video you see a demonstration of the construction of an eightfold geometric rosette, step by step. A step by step pdf file accompanies this Islamic Geometric pattern to help you through its stages.


In this video, I show how you can transfer the Islamic Geometric Pattern from the construction paper to watercolour paper using tracing paper, masking tape and a spoon! Yes, a spoon. I then show a simple technique for adding colour with watercolour pencils by layering several similar colours together. Finally, I add water, using an aqua brush to really bring out the colour.

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Instructor Biography

Samira Mian, Experienced Educator & Budding Artist

A budding artist and experienced educator interested in  tapping in to my 12 years teaching experience to lead Islamic Geometry workshops in the UK or abroad and now online.

I am a former Secondary School Mathematics teacher with a passion for understanding and teaching Islamic Geometric pattern. My interest in geometry was something I was able to share with my students throughout my 12 years of teaching. In 2013, I began learning to construct Islamic Geometric patterns more formerly when I attended Saturday courses with Adam Williamson and Richard Henry at Art of Islamic Pattern. Following several courses with them, I began painting too. Having a creative outlet had always been a part of my life since GCSE and A level Art.

In January 2015, I moved to Morocco, to learn Arabic at the American & Arabic Language Centre in Fes (ALC & ALIF). I specifically chose this wonderful city because of its inspirational surroundings. My geometry and painting continued and evolved throughout my year there. In September 2015, I taught fellow students, both Moroccan and foreign, how to construct the patterns they were surrounded by. The weekly workshops in the ALC & ALIF Riad in the heart of the Medina were a great success. A seed had been planted for something I could pursue back home in London.

In January 2016, I returned home and set about making Islamic Geometry Workshops a reality in the west of London. To date, I have lead workshops for adults as well as for children at Harrow Arts Centre, OPEN Ealing, The Art Space at Cass Art Kingston, Leeds University and now Udemy.

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