Recommended Reading.

A list of useful, interesting and often beautiful books on Islamic geometric design, and also on Islamic art and architecture generally. Some of the books are no longer in print and might be hard to obtain.

Eric’s Books:

Islamic Geometric Design is the first comprehensive full-colour art book on the subject. It has over 800 colour illustrations and photographs and presents the subject in a practical and historical content. It has an appendix with step-by-step instruction for over a dozen patterns. It is also available in a French edition.

book coverDraw Islamic Geometric Star Patterns gives step-by-step instructions for several star patterns. It is available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and various other ebook platforms.

escher-389x470In 2013, I wrote an essay called Escher and Islamic Geometric Design in the exhibition catalogue for ‘Escher Meets  Islamic Art’, held in Holland. Famous Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher visited the Alhambra in Spain as a young man and made many drawings. These drawings are still around and it is fascinating to see the direct connection between the Alhambra patterns that caught his eye and how these visibly influenced the work he did in the decades after. .

Islamic Geometric Patterns is a practical book that shows how to draw many different patterns just by drawing lines and circles. It is available in English, French, Farsi and Turkish editions. The English edition is distributed across the world and is also available in online bookshops.

It comes with a CD-Rom with templates, illustrations, animations and much more.


Islamic Design Workbook is like an adult colouring book but more challenging, more educational and more fun. It contains 48 geometric patterns compositions, categorised by region. The book has 48 different loose-leaf pages that correspond to the patterns in the book. These pages have the constructions lines needed to make each pattern in the book. The challenge is to figure out which bits of construction line to trace and which bits to ignore. And then you can colour it.

Arabesques by  Jean-Marc Castera.

Islam Sanatinda Geometrik Susleme by Yildiz Demiriz

The Topkapi Scroll by Gulru Necipoglu.

Cairo of the Mamluks by Doris Behrens-Abouseif

Qur’ans of the Mamluks by David James

Minbar of Saladin by Lynette Singer

And Diverse are their Hues by Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair

Colour and Symbolism in Islamic Architecture by Michael Barry