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How to Draw a Compass Rose

Easy, step by step Compass Rose drawing tutorial
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"My compass... it tells you how to find your way when you get lost." - John Smith, Pocahontas

The compass rose, also called a wind rose or rose of the winds, is the diagram drawn on the front of a magnetic compass.

It has arrows that outline the four cardinal directions - north, south, east, and west. The compass rose is also pictured on maps and similar charts.

What do you think? Does the compass rose pattern remind you of a flower?

The compass rose is used as a symbol and a logo for many organizations. It is also used to symbolize the different paths a person's life can take or the compass-like guidance of the conscience, that little voice inside your head that tells you right from wrong.

The compass also appears in film, literature, and other elements of popular culture.

For example, in the Disney film Pocahantas, Meeko the raccoon steals a compass from John Smith.

What direction will your life take? Draw a compass to find out!

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Pirate Ship, Viking Ship, and Treasure Chest.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Compass Rose

Compass Rose drawing - step 1
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 01

1. Begin by drawing a small circle. This forms the center of the compass.

Compass Rose drawing - step 2
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 02

2. Extend four sets of lines from the compass center. Each set should meet at a sharp point. These are called rays and indicate the four cardinal directions.

Compass Rose drawing - step 3
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 03

3. Draw a straight line down the center of each ray.

Compass Rose drawing - step 4
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 04

4. Draw two circles around the center of the compass. Notice how they are partially hidden by the rays.

Compass Rose drawing - step 5
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 05

5. Draw four more rays extending from the center of the compass. First, draw straight lines between the existing rays and the middle circle. Then, extend the lines beyond the outer circle. Allow the lines to meet at a sharp point.

Notice that these rays are shorter than the original rays. They indicate the intercardinal directions.

Compass Rose drawing - step 6
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 06

6. Draw a straight line down the center of each of the remaining rays.

Compass Rose drawing - step 7
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 07

7. Draw a circle that meets the tips of the intercardinal rays. Then, draw another, slightly larger circle just outside it.

Compass Rose drawing - step 8
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 08

8. Draw lines across the circle - one at the tip of each intercardinal ray, and halfway between the intra cardinal and cardinal rays.

Compass Rose drawing - step 9
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 09

9. Write the abbreviation for each of the cardinal directions at the appropriate ray. Write an "N" for "north" at the top, an "S" for "south" at the bottom, a "W" for "west" to the left, and an "E" for "east" to the right. Notice that the fancy script employs serifs, or short lines, at the ends of each stroke.

Complete Compass Rose drawing
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step 10

Color your compass rose. Traditional colors include blue, red, and gold.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

The Complete Compass Rose Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Compass Rose - all drawing steps
How to Draw a Compass Rose Step by Step Tutorial Image

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