Technicals – Intermediate : Finding the Eight-pointed Star Using Circles and Lines

We have discussed about how to build Eight-Pointed stars using lines as guides. Now we will look on how to create these ubiquitous motif in the Islamic Art and Architecture using simple circle shapes and lines. Don’t worry about the ‘intermediate’ word in the title – it may be a little bit different than the basic star shape building technique I had posted before, but this method offers more flexibility, as well as accuracy.

For this technique, if you want to make this on paper (or other materials you prefer) you need a straight ruler and a drafting compass.

  1. Start with drawing a straight horizontal line, and a vertical line through the center of the horizontal line, so it creates a cross.
  2. Put your sharp point of your compass in the middle of the cross – as marked in red in the diagram, and create a circle around it , as so –
  3. Create four more circles with the first circle as your main guide. Use the points where the circle meets with the lines to put your compass and draw the circles. Here in this diagram, I had drawn four different coloured (cyan, purple, yellow and green) circles with their respective points .
  4. Draw two diagonal lines crossing the circles and the original cross lines. Here it is marked with two black lines going over the original diagram. This is the base of many other shapes that you can create, however I will only concentrate on Eight-Pointed Stars.
  5. You can now create the Eight-pointed Star by drawing lines from the points where the four outer circle are made, as well as where the diagonal lines meet the connected circles, as shown in this diagram in dark blue – 
  6. Now you may clean the guiding circles and lines, and you will have an accurate and geometrically correct Eight-Pointed Star.
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