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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw BALLACE

Zentangle pattern: BallaceThis lovely simple tangle pattern, Ballace, is another contribution by Taiwan quilter and tangler Damy Teng. This is an easy and versatile ribbon-like tangle to use in your Zentangle® art.

Damy writes that she was randomly drawing patterns and the result reminded her of “a pretty lace”.

Ballace starts with back-to-back “Eke-like” looping lines and then the loop is filled in. However after playing around with it for a while I discovered I could also start by drawing pairs of large solid dots (or tear-drop shapes if preferred) and then connect them with the curved lines. This method helps cure wonky-loopy-line syndrome 😉

Zentangle pattern: BallaceBallace also lends itself to many variations and here’s one very simple example with an aura and a bit of fill.

Damy illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Ballace here and features it below with auras, orbs and Beadlines in a beautiful completed Zentangle.

How to draw BALLACE by Damy Teng

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. Republishing or redistributing pattern deconstructions in any form is prohibited under law without express permission of the copyright owner.

Check out the tag damyt for more of Damy’s patterns on

Tangle or Zentangle?

Do you know the difference between a tangle and a Zentangle?

I’ve noticed some Zentangle newbies describing their drawings containing several patterns as “a tangle”. Not so.

A tangle is a pattern — one (1) single pattern.

As described on, “In its verb form ‘tangle’ means to draw a tangle. You tangle a tangle, and in that process create Zentangle art.

A Zentangle is the finished art on a tile containing one or more tangles. A Zentangle containing just one tangle is called a monotangle.

And while we’re on the subject of using this wonderful art form’s terminology correctly, as for “Zentangling” or “Zentangled” the proper terms to use are tangling or tangled. 🙂

Learn more by visiting the ZENTANGLES > ZENTANGLE TERMINOLOGY page on the top menu bar of any page.


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4 comments to How to draw BALLACE

  • Peggie Schurch

    Hi Damy, For one who does not go for the line patterns must admit I really like Ballace, ‘cos it can be stretched outwards as in your beautiful completed example. Already my mind is in a buzz to use it in my next Zentangle artwork. Many thanks for sharing and hope to see more of your work. Peggie Schurch Aust.

  • Cathy

    Wow this is so pretty, can’t wait to try it

  • Martha

    Ballace is beautiful.

    This comment does NOT apply to Ballace. It’s more about what I’ve seen on the Internet at large and Linda’s comment about terminology. People seem to be forgetting that Zentangles are not representational. Which is not say people shouldn’t make their lovely drawings — they just should call them drawings instead of Zentangles.

  • Anne Ugartechea

    Terminology is everything. One does not call a “tendon”/one of those stringy things. To say “drawing” is to deny the artist. Every artist has their own unique technique, everything they draw catches a person’s eye and they know it was drawn by that particular artist.

    Zentangle may be drawing, but it is more. Zentangle is a door through which one may enter and, artist or not, a beginner learns techniques, composition of (oneself through the Zen) as well as self-discovery. It is an element of empowerment to those who feel they “cannot draw”. This is a gracious gift from two remarkable people. With Zentangle I learn what high-brow teachers cannot teach: the urge to try again. It shuts the interior critic up and brings out the child who leans over my shoulder and watches without comment. This is not stasis, but action without movement; ZEN.

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