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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and educator who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to get started with Islamic geometry.

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Beside writing super useful blog posts I also teach how to create Islamic geometric patterns



3 Essential Tools for Geometry Drawing


If you come to my studio you will find out that I don’t own that many geometry tools.

Ok, maybe I do have a lot of stuff but they are less than the make up a make-up artist owns so in my head that means I’m not wasting my money HA!

In any case, I do my research before buying something: forums, reviews, quality-price rate, and so on.


During all these years I’ve learnt the hard way that it’s better to spend more money on a few high-quality tools instead of spending small amounts of money into an infinite number of low-quality stuff.

If you are just starting out and you wonder what the three essential tools you should buy to start practising Islamic geometry are, then this blog post is for you.

I’m not saying that you don’t need anything else besides these. But you can’t draw Islamic geometry without these things for sure.



The very first tool you should buy is a GOOD compass.

You can read more about the different types of compass here, but just so you know a high-quality compass makes a whole difference.

Fact is that many of the professional-quality compass manufacturers don’t produce compasses anymore or they don’t exist anymore. Digital drawing has replaced hand drawing, and architects are not using compasses anymore. The companies that are still working manufacture mid-low quality tools which are not always the best solution.

But thank God eBay exists and so do vintage stuff. Search for the following manufacturers: Haff, Dietzgen, Kern, Ecobra, Riefler and Keuffel & Esser.

Staedtler and Ecobra still make good quality compasses but search for the ones with no plastic parts, as they wear out quickly.



This one is not that hard to find nor even expensive.

Please don’t use rulers that can be folded, twisted or anything… just a long solid ruler. The best one, in my opinion, is made of transparent plastic with a metal edge. In ordinary plastic rulers, the side wears out very easily. The metal in the edge prevents that.

I prefer transparent plastic because it allows me to see the design underneath and it’s lighter to use (which is great when you draw for several hours straight)



You may think that any pencil is good enough for drawing, but it’s not. .

You can use a mechanical pencil or an ordinary pencil, read more about these two types of pencils here. But I want you to be aware of the lead you are using.

Soft leads are great for tracing and transferring the design but not as good for drawing, although it’s easier to erase the graphite if you make a mistake.

A hard lead is preferable when drawing as the tip remains sharp longer and the line is thinner. Errors are harder to erase in this case, though.


That said, I know that these are very basic information for most of you but quality comes in the details and we never stop learning.


***Affiliate disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links which means that I may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you. This helps to support my work so that I can continue to make valuable free content for you.***


3 Essential Tools for Geometry Drawing

March 18, 2020

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  1. Vivien Adler says:

    Sandy – would this be a good compass to buy?
    I’m a bit nervous about buying a second hand one – many of them don’t have an attachment for pens, and it’s very hard to tell from photos whether the tips are sharp.

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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and educator who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to get started with Islamic geometry.
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