Learning how to draw a star accurately is one of those tasks that looks simple but can be difficult to achieve. In reality, with a little math, symbolic star drawings with any number of points can be easily drawn out with any modern drawing software.
As a symbol, a star can mean many things to different people. From religious to the academic, it is often used to indicate a higher plane of existence or achievement. In terms of rating, the number of five point stars beside a product or assessment may be used to indicate quality.
There are many more examples as these are just some of the things that we see around us. As an artist learning how to draw a star, especially one that is used for technical purposes, accuracy must be accounted for.
Ideally, we want to eliminate any guesswork needed so the star looks even from all angles regardless of rotation. The trick to doing this is two folds: build a skeleton based on the amount of points, and then use it to connect the dots to form the actual star. Here's how it's done.
Learning how to draw a star will require the construction of a backbone. For accuracy, the lines drawn must fall evenly in a circle. Hence, a little bit of math will be required. For demonstration purposes, I will create a five pointed star.
With simple math, 360 degrees divided by five points will yield exactly 72 degrees. This is the magic number that all lines contained in the skeleton must be rotated around. To draw a the straight line, I hold on to the shift key to it.
The initial line is on a different layer. I then duplicate this layer to a new layer and then rotate it exactly 72 degrees. Do not eyeball this. Instead, find the box that allows typing of the exact degree. When that is done, I merged both lines to simplify the layer.
Then, I duplicate the layer again and then mirrored it by flipping it horizontally and/or vertically. Over the course of many flips and accurate rotations the skeleton will slowly take form. To be as accurate as possible, I will duplicate and flip the completed skeleton layer a few more times.
A good skeleton will result in a even round shape with the correct number of lines coming out of the center. On a different layer, start connecting the dots from one point to another. To save time, use the same duplication and flipping method in the previous step.
For a five pointed star, I only needed to draw two lines to form a 'V' shape. Using this initial connection, I duplicated it and flipped it over horizontally and gently moved it into place. In just one option, two thirds of the star is already completed.
Using the same method, I duplicated the lines one more time. However, this time, I flipped the entire layer vertically. Unfortunately, this almost created a ten point star. Due to the points not lining up properly, I had to rotate it, to finish connecting the dots.
Some cleanup is necessary as all that duplication and will create many layers. Merge all the layers together to keep things simple. Then, to double check the accuracy, I duplicated the finished star and rotated it around (holding shift rotates it evenly at 45 degrees) to make sure all the points match.
Five, six, eight, ten, etc. number of points play nicely with math. These points will be divisible with 360 to give a nice round even number. Again, the benefit is it allows the star to be drawn from point to point. But what if it is required to draw a star that does not play nicely with math?
Anytime the amount of points divided doesn't yield a nice round number, then it's not possible to use the end point to end point connection method. An example of this would a seven or eleven point star. Respectively, the math comes to 51.43 degrees and 32.73 degrees of rotation.
To address this problem, I just need to create another anchor point. Process wise, it is no different from doing the five star point. Once more, do not eyeball the rotation and continue to enter the degree of rotation in the settings.
Once done, duplicate the completed skeleton and adjust the size of this secondary skeleton by around 50% or so. The value is up to the artist as long as it's smaller than the original skeleton. After that, connect the dots from the primary skeleton to this secondary skeleton to finish the oddball numbered star.
Complicated star patterns are not much different process wise than a standard star drawing. The only difference is that there are unique abstract shapes aligned to form the star. The secret to these types of drawing is manipulating just one point of the star and duplicating it over and over.
It's always possible to use existing shapes to form new ones. In the filters menu, a modern drawing software will will have a filter to distort the shape. Through a combination of distorting options available, it is possible to form an unlimited amount of variations without drawing a single line.
Then, it is up to the artist at that point to arrange the initial point that he or she may like. Beyond that, there is no other process change to complete the star pattern. Once more, duplicate and rotate this one pattern into the right degrees that is divisible with the amount of points on the requested star pattern.
Normally, patterns like these will have a use outside of just looking pretty. Depending on the artwork, artists will keep an copy of the original version and a merged version. The merged version is to be manipulated though perspective to fit a specific art composition.
I can't stress this enough: always keep a backup of each individual step leading up to the unique abstract shape in a different file. This is because it will be nearly impossible to reproduce and recover once everything is merged together.
Moreover, if there is a need to rearrange it, the original shapes are still safe somewhere else. The take away is to plan ahead of time before finalizing the composition. This concludes this demonstration on how to draw a star. I hope this was useful.
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