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How to Draw a Compass Rose

Updated on August 2, 2015

A compass Rose is a star that includes several points, which are usually used to display the four cardinal points; North, South, East, West; however, it may also display more intermediate points. A compass Rose is more often related to a magnetic compass.

The figure of a compass rose was widely used in ancient navigation and the same use has continued in modern days. The modern compass rose has eight main cardinal points, and this is the one I´m going to show you how to draw on MS Paint.

Things Needed to Draw a Compass Rose

  • MS Paint
  • Sketch of a compass rose

How to Draw a star in MS Paint?

To start this project, open MS Paint. Click on view, and then put a check mark on rulers and gridlines. These two options are going to allow you to draw more accurately this piece of graphic using pixels.

Select the ellipse tool and draw a circle (400 by 400 pixels) in the middle of the work area in MS Paint; click and drag the circle so that its uppermost left corner is aligned at the vertical and horizontal 200 pixels of the rulers option.

Circle | Source

Select the line tool and draw a vertical line down at the 400 pixels mark in the rulers and a horizontal line at the 400 mark, too; these lines should serve as the guidelines for the rest of the compass rose´s lines.

Vertical and Horizontal Lines

Lines | Source

Draw two 45º lines across the center of the circle; zoom in or zoom out as needed to match the 45º line with the little squares of the grid. The angles of these four lines should give you 45º, 135º, 225º and 315º degrees. Now mark the four cardinal points; North, South, East and West at 360º, 180º, 90º and 270º, respectively.

Cardinal Points
Cardinal Points | Source

You can mark the intercardinal points using abbreviations of the main cardinal and intercardinal like this; NE for Northeast; SE for Southeast; SW for Southwest and NW for Northwest.

Intercardinal Points
Intercardinal Points | Source

Now, draw lines across the circle. draw a line from 360º to 225º, another line from 360º to 135º, then another from 45º to 180º, and the next one from 335º to 180º.

Continue adding lines from 45º to 270º, and from 270º to 135º, now from 90º to 335, and from 90º to 225º.

Compass Rose
Compass Rose | Source

Now, it´s time to add some color. Select the fill color tool and choose any color of your choice. Pour the color of your choice into the star, starting from the vertical leftmost point of the star; skip the next point and pour more color on the horizontal point of the star; skip the next point and continue adding color to the lowermost vertical point; skip the next point and pour color to the leftmost horizontal point of the Compass Rose.

Now choose another color and add color to the what´s left in the star; start from the point next to the right of the Rose´s vertical point; continue filling with paint until you get to the last point, following the same previous pattern.

How to Add Color to a Compass Rose?

Adding Color
Adding Color | Source

If you feel like it, you can add more features to the rose, for example, select the ellipse tool and draw two concentric circles inside the main circle; select the fill color tool and choose a color; pour that color inside the two concentric circles. Select the erase tool and erase unnecessary lines and colors that might have been left.

Compass Rose
Compass Rose | Source


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  • unvrso profile image

    Jose Juan Gutierrez 4 years ago from Mexico City

    Thanks for reading and voting!

  • jabelufiroz profile image

    Firoz 4 years ago from India

    Wow. Well explained. Voted up.