How to Draw a Nautical Star
The nautical star originated as a seafaring symbol referencing celestial navigation and safe returns home. It is a popular tattoo design and is now often considered to have general connotations about finding your way in life. While it is similar to a compass rose in design and meaning, nautical stars have five points and are more linked to the military, especially in the US.
Stay with us at OneHowTo and learn how to draw a nautical star; you will need a compass, a protractor and a ruler. And the knowledge of how to use these mathematical tools, of course. It's actually pretty easy - you just need some practice!
First of all, you'll use the compass - you might want to practice on scrap paper beforehand. With the compass, draw two concentric circles. The inner circle should be drawn right in the centre of the outer circle.
The radius of the smaller circle should be about 1/3 of the radius of the larger one. If you do not understand this geometrical vocabulary, don't worry: Here you will find an article where you can learn more about circles. In any case, it's enough to know that the radius is the distance from the center to any point in the circle in a straight line.
Draw a straight line from the center upwards. With the protractor, measure 72 degrees from that line and make a line from the centre to the outer edge again. Since 360 degrees (the total degrees in a circle) divided by 5 points of the star is 72, you'll be dividing the two circles in five sections of the same size.
Now with a pencil you can draw the guide lines you will follow to draw a nautical star. These guides are drawn from the center but do not reach the outer edge. You must place these guide lines right in between each guide line marked in the previous step.
In other words, you ought to calculate 36 degrees from each line. These secondary, shorter guide lines will therefore also be 72 degrees from one another.
Is it a coincidence that your drawing so far resembles a ship's wheel?
Now it's time to draw the five points of the nautical star. Take a look at where the main five lines meet the inner circle and the secondary guide lines. Those are the intersections that will help you draw a nautical star. Looking at the example below you will immediately see how to do this.
Now you have to erase the guide lines and circles. This way you already have the nautical star, but the details are missing. The main lines must join in the centre, and so do the secondary guide lines.
Fill half of each point of the nautical star with black shading to make the drawing more realistic. You can also add color to the other half, if you like.
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