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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw FLAMETA

Zentangle pattern: Flameta. Image © Linda Farmer and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may use this image for your personal non-commercial reference only. The unauthorized pinning, reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal.Hi everyone! Welcome back.

Recently I was going through my tangle archives looking for a specific submission and in the process Taiwan CZT Hsin-Ya Hsu’s Flameta tangle caught my attention.

Flameta was submitted by Hsin-Ya’s Mom, CZT Damy Teng. Both mother and daughter have many excellent tangles on the site you’ll want to check out.

Damy writes that Flameta was inspired by “the flame pattern of Turkish Floating EBRU“. The tangle name comes from a combination of Flame+tattoo=Flameta.

Ebru is the ancient Turkish art of paper marbling by floating pigments and dyes on a liquid surface then creating designs with various techniques. The masters who study this “aqueous art” learn many different techniques to create a variety of beautiful marbled patterns, including the flame pattern Damy refers to.

Damy explains,

According to the principle of floating dyeing: a pattern is produced when the paint is scraped back and forth, so the color will be symmetrical.

A little about marbled paper:

Marbled paper is the art of floating pigments and dyes on water, and transferring those patterns onto paper. The marbling artist uses the mobility of the water and suspended pigments to create free form shapes or combed patterns. The marbling artist can transfer patterns onto the same paper more than once, thus layering and deepening the marbled pattern.

Not only is marbling an old art, but it is also widespread. While the Suminagashi method of marbling was developing in Japan, a similar but separate form of marbling, called Ebru, was developing in Turkey. …

In the Middle Ages in Turkey, a form of marbled paper called Ebru was developing. Ebru means “Cloud art.” Ebru frequently uses brighter pigments than the inks involved in Suminagashi. Ebru artists also used sticks or combs to drag the pigments in the water. This allows the artist to make a wide variety of patterns, including swirls and criss-crosses.

This site demonstrates some of the beautiful classical Ebru designs and explains generally how they are made. Warning, Ebru is a fascinating rabbit hole!

Damy describes how to tangle Flameta,

The lines are drawn back and forth with slightly curved S-curves, and the spacing can be large or small.

To draw this picture well, the focus is on the slope, it is recommended to draw about 60 degrees.

The S-curve sections are then filled with black and grayscale (this is not a shading~) The grayscale can also have different shades. The black and gray scales should be symmetrical to look good.

After drawing, it looks a bit like feather pattern.

Some people can draw this kind of very streamlined artwork handily,

Some people are not very fluent, but it does not matter, more practice will make you beautiful!

At this point I fall into the “not very fluent” department but I’m aiming for getting more beautiful 🙂

Hsin-Ya illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Flameta below and she includes a simple, striking monotangle featuring her tangle.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Flameta, tangle and deconstruction by Hsin-Ya Hsu. Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. These images are for your personal offline reference only. Please feel free to refer to the images to recreate this tangle in your personal Zentangles and ZIAs. However the artist and reserve all rights to the images and they must not be publicly pinned, altered, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights. For more information, click on the image for a discussion entitled “Artists for Respect” by several prominent artists. “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” ~ C.S. Lewis

As you enjoy any of the tangles on the site, please leave a comment of thanks and encouragement to show the artists you appreciate them for sharing their creativity to inspire yours. Your thanks helps motivate them to continue to share! And please share a link to your favorite tangles on social media. Thanks!

Check out the tag hsinyah for more of Hsin-Ya’s tangles on

Related Links

  1. Looking for tangles by Artist or Type? For details visit the ABOUT > HOW TO FIND TANGLES BY ARTIST OR TYPE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site.
  2. What is a Zentangle? — if you are new to the Zentangle Method, start here for the fundamentals.
  3. Zentangle terminology — a glossary of terms used in this art form.
  4. How to use the site — an excellent free video tutorial showing how to use the site as well as pointing out lots of useful features you might have missed.
  5. Linda's List of Zentangle-Original Patterns — here is the complete list of original tangles (aka "official tangles") created and introduced by founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, including those not published online. If you are new to the Zentangle Method I highly recommend learning a few of the published Zentangle classics first.
  6. "A Zentangle has no up or down and is not a picture of something, so you have no worries about whether you can draw a hand, or a duck. You always succeed in creating a Zentangle." Thus patterns that are drawings of a recognizable naturalistic or actual object, figure, or scene, are not tangles. A pattern is not always a tangle — here's what makes a tangle. TIP: tangles never start with pencil planning.
  7. How to submit your pattern deconstruction to TanglePatterns
  8. For lots of great FREE tutorials on TanglePatterns, click on the TUTORIALS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page.
  9. Strings! Have we got STRINGS! Click on the STRINGS link in the pink alphabetic menu bar below the tangle images at the top of any page for 250 different (free) Zentangle-starters. More than enough for any lifetime!
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