Psalm 100 in a spiral

Psalm 100 written in a spiral

Of the eight sentences in Psalm 100, only two end with a period. The other six sentences have wonderful exclamation points. These two periods serve a definite purpose. If you take Psalm 100 and split it into two halves; each of these periods concludes their respective half.

With this interesting structure, I wanted to focus on the periods. Make them the center of the composition. Right smack in the middle are the two periods. The rest of the verses flow around the two periods.

Spirals

I took the first half of Psalm 100 and put it onto one spiral. Then I took the second half and put that on its own spiral. Playing around with the spirals in Adobe Illustrator, I found that they can happily exist next to each other using a double spiral.

Graphic of text on double-spiral no edits

Why aren’t the periods overlapping?

If I really wanted the focus to be on the periods, why not have them be in the dead center of the spiral? Well, then the text totally gets all overlapped. Here’s how that looks with the periods overlapping

Graphic of spirals using the same center point

I suppose it’s kinda cool-looking. But totally illegible.

Double-spirals have a cool meaning and shape

Here’s what a double-spiral looks like without the words. It kinda looks like a fingerprint! Which is rather cool, because this Psalm speaks of our identity. That God made us. We are his.

Graphic of one black double-spiral

To really see the double-spiral: here is one spiral in black, another spiral in red. And then both spirals combined into one double-spiral.

Graphic of two spirals combining

Flowing words onto the spiral

When I put the words on the spiral, the words toward the center get all messy. The text is just too big for such a tight curve in the center.

Graphic of text too big in center of spiral

I needed the words in the center to be smaller than the words on the outside.

To fix this, I took first word the first line and set that to 100 point. Then the second word was set to 99 point. The third word is set to 98 point, and so on. By the time you get to the end, the last word is 53 point. Nice! So the words in the middle are half the size of the words at the very start.

The smaller words in the middle sit a little better on that tight curve. The words on the outside are bigger, which is great, because I want the reader’s eyes to start reading the text on the outside, and follow the spiral inward.

Coloring the words

Since all my Psalms I’ve handwritten thus far have been done solely with a pencil, I really wanted to continue using just a pencil. But when both spirals are the same color, it becomes tremendously hard to read the text.

Graphic of both spiral texts in black

This really needs one of the spirals to be a different color. So I went ahead and pulled out my daughter’s colored pencils and borrowed a red. I was so happy that her colored pencils are Crayola colored pencils, so I know they will give a good quality mark when I’m writing on the page.

Since those words in the middle get really small, I need a quality colored pencil to enable me to write really small. The Crayolas held up great. I was little leery of using my special Blackwing pencil sharpener on this colored pencil. My Blackwing sharpener makes the tip of the pencil really really long. Even with these being Crayolas, I wasn’t sure if the lead would not break.

Playing it safe, I used my daughter’s pink pencil sharpener that makes the tips a bit shorter.

Using my daughter's pencil sharpener
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The Blackwing pencil and red Crayola colored pencil sitting side-by-side. What a team!

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And again, here’s the finished drawing:

Psalm 100 written in a spiral

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