Design

Work In Progress: Starfire Vigil

This Winter term I’m taking a class about indigenous, non-Western art and how to incorporate it into the K-12 art curriculum. Before the university’s spring break, we talked about Islamic geometry and were given the task of creating a design with at least four levels of geometric patterns, then repeating the resulting design in a 3 x 3 grid. It’s taken me a while to come up with a design that I really like. I started with a radial design based on ovals, then switched to circles and 5-point stars.

At this point, I liked the linework, for the most part.

At this point, I liked the line work, for the most part, but some elements weren’t lining up properly.

Once I went to add color to the above designs, the web-like pattern in the middle was more prominent than I wanted it to be, and I knew that just changing the colors wasn’t going to help. So I did all the line work in pencil again, but this time, outlined different parts of the outermost circles, and got rid of one of the 5-point stars. Also, I realized that when drawing the lines that create the 5-point star within the first circle, those lines have to be parallel to the lines used to divide the circle into 36° segments. Or rather, each line has to be parallel to the initial line that matches its slant. Doing so really helped ensure that the outermost circles lined up the way they were supposed to. I’d been thinking of the little pointed ellipses as flames, but it wasn’t until I added a little semicircle denoting the cooler part of the flame that the whole design popped out at me.

The original sketch that I did in class is visible at left, and what I think will be the final linework is in the lower right-hand corner.

The original sketch that I did in class is visible at left, and what I think will be the final line work is in the lower right-hand corner.

At this point, I’m going to play around with different color schemes in Photoshop. My first coloring attempts turned the design into something rather garish, so I definitely don’t want to waste more time and materials on that!

Yup, pretty sure this is the final line work.

Yup, pretty sure this is the final line work.

As for the title…I’m pretty sure I’d heard of the DC Comics character Starfire before, but I had forgotten about that while the word itself stayed in my mind. Given the little flames and the stars, that part is understandable enough. “Vigil” probably came up because of the combination of candle-like flames and the fact that one of my family’s cats, who has been in failing health since December of last year, has taken to sleeping under an old office chair in the corner of my room. I’m not exactly keeping a vigil, but…sort of. He probably won’t live for much longer, but I find myself surprisingly calm. Sad, but calm. Maybe I’m just so busy right now it can’t hit me.

Well, hopefully I’ll have this finished in time for the next class. When it’s done, I’ll add the final version to the Original Artwork gallery.

2 thoughts on “Work In Progress: Starfire Vigil

  1. That looks really nice! From what I remember from geometry class, the pentagon / 5 point star was a pain in the ass. (maybe because my compass wasn’t that good) I could never get it *exactly* right.

    I didn’t know DC had a Starfire… I just know Marvel’s Firestar! Couldn’t they come up with different names? lol

    Sorry to hear about your cat, it’s never nice to lose a pet, even when we’ve accepted the inevitability of it. *hug*

    • *Hugs back* Thank you. He died last week. It’s weird him not being here, but I’ve come to terms with it. My mother’s taking it pretty hard though.

      Wow, I didn’t know Marvel had a Firestar! That’s funny.

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