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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw AKOYA

Zentangle pattern: AkoyaAkoya is such a pretty tangle pattern, it resembles twisted strings of pearls and it’s deceptively simple. I love it!

It’s from Texas CZT Sandy Hunter (Allen, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, N. Dallas), who has shared the very popular Cruffle and Puffle and more.

Her new Akoya is “Ay-oka(y)” with me.

It came about, as tangles often do, through something else Sandy was drawing: a Zendala she named a ‘holidala‘. And the process of drawing it turned “into something kind of unexpected and wonderful.”

Akoya is simply composed of orbs where you must pay close attention to executing precise orbs in descending sizes. Kind of hard to see at this scale in my example. But no worries because Sandy gives very detailed instructions for each step.

For me the key was Sandy’s Step 4 where she writes, “To get a good smooth curve, keep in mind that the biggest pearl in the middle is the halfway point of each section, not the end.” Each section is an elongated S with the largest pearl at the center, and if you bear that in mind you’ll be good.

Sandy illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Akoya here on her blog and shows us several wonderful ways to use it. She features Akoya in two lovely Zentangles (“a simple border no fluff” and “a fancypants little star for the holidays“) and a Zendala featuring Akoya in a circular border. Very beautiful, all three. Enjoy!

Check out the tag sandyh for more of Sandy’s tangles on


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13 comments to How to draw AKOYA

  • Susan

    What perfect timing! I am tangling some glass Christmas ornaments, and Akoya is just the thing!

    Thank you!! and Happy Holidays!

  • Audrey Moore

    I love this ‘string of pearls’ pattern, and the way it flows

  • Patricia Cosiano

    I love this pattern–thanks for sharing!


    Simply super………

  • Emily Shelton

    Who would have thought this would be so easy? It will take a little practice to nail it down but even my second attempt looked passable.

  • Audrey Moore

    This is so much easier to do, than it looks ! I love the way it flows, and curves…great for borders

  • Julie

    Oh I love this tangle, easy and fun, will be trying this tonight. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sayantika

    I loved this pattern!! Its realllly beautiful and cute too. I am most definitely going to use this one.

    Thank you Sandy!

  • Beth S

    I just love this pattern! So simple and easy. It goes anywhere. Thank you so much for sharing! I love your other tangles too!

  • Blandine

    Thank you for sharing this pattern, I love it!

  • Trish Paquette

    Linda — I’ve meant to write in with this comment — doesn’t really pertain to the tangle here, but when others do tiles with the featured tangle, and others, they don’t have the names of all the tangles used in their work. Someone I’ve noticed who does include all the names of the tangles used is Margaret Bremner. for example, and it’s very, very helpful. When I’ve looked at completed tiles, I often see a tangle that’s not featured, and would like to learn how to do it, but the artist has not called out all the tangles by name. Hard to find the step-outs when you don’t know what the name of the tangle is. Hopefully, some others will pick up on this and take Margaret’s cue, by naming them all for us. Thanks so much, Margaret!!

  • I use this beautiful tangle often as a border. Thank you for this nice pattern!

  • Johanna Parkinson

    I am having a good day today. I have really liked this pattern for a long time, but just couldn’t get it. It always looked off! Well today I finally successfully drew it, and have drawn it lots now. I am one happy tangler. Thank you for this lovely pattern.

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