Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tips for Compass Drawing

Drawing with a compass is not always as easy as it looks. Small mistakes could cause major headaches if the compass slips or the line skews off course. It will help to use the right technique and to take precautions. A few tips for compass drawing will improve the results and prevent mistakes.

Have Something to Catch the Point Underneath

The first tip is have something underneath the paper to catch the point of the compass. Trying to draw with a compass on a hard surface like an unprotected drafting table will allow the end to slip and slide. Pressing too hard into one of these surfaces will quickly dull or bend the point. Place something like a vinyl cover, self-healing cutting mat or a piece of art board underneath the paper before using the compass.

Stay Centered While Drawing

The position of the hand is important in getting accurate and consistent results when using a compass. The hand holding the compass has to stay centered over the compass. This means over the center point where the grip is located. This will ensure that there is no slipping or distortions while spinning the compass around in a circle.

Use a Light Touch

Some people have a tendency to press down very hard when using drafting tools. This will actually damage the compass over time and produce poor results. It is important to use a light touch while drawing with a compass. Use only enough pressure to hold the point in place and keep the lead, cutter or pen in contact with the paper. Allow the weight of the compass to do some of the work. A light touch will produce a clean and consistent line.

Tack the Paper or Board Down

A final tip for compass drawing is to make certain that the paper or board is tacked down in some way. The lead, blade or pen attached to the compass is going to be putting pressure on the paper. This can potentially cause the paper to start spinning or moving along with the compass. The result will be a splotchy mark or a skewed line. This is why it is important to tack the paper or board down. This can be done with pins, spray tack or simple tape.


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