Drawing S/D Zones: Mastering Proximal & Distal Lines

In the world of supply and demand trading, proximal and distal lines are two terms you’re likley to come across when drawing and trading the zones.

Heard these before?

These two terms originated from a popular thread in forexfactory back in 2013, but have become popular supply and demand lingo for traders worldwide. The problem is, many newbie traders either don’t know what these terms mean or find their explanation confusing.

So, let’s change that…

In this post, I’ll give you a detailed breakdown proximal and distal lines and show you how to draw supply and demand zones according the lines.

Sound interesting?

Let’s jump in…

What Are Proximal And Distal Lines?

Wondering what these terms mean and where they originated?

Let’s first dissect their meaning:

In supply and demand trading, ‘proximal’ and ‘distal’ lines outline the upper and lower limits of the base that earmarks the zone’s location. Zones are typically drawn between these two lines, with ‘proximal’ denoting the upper boundary and ‘distal’ representing the lower boundary.

Let’s illustrate with an example…

See how the proximal and distal lines mark the upper and lower boundries of the small consolidation at the source of each zone?

That’s your base – the zone always encompasses this area.

The base signifies where the banks entered significant buy trades to form the zone. The proximal and distal lines highlight the high and low points of where the banks entered, marking the region we need to capture with the zone.

Got the hang of it?

There’s more:

Proximal and distal lines also double up as the entry and stop positions for our supply and demand zone trades.

For supply zones…

  • Distal line marks entry point.
  • Proximal line marks stop position.

For demand zones…

  • Distal line marks entry point.
  • Proximal line marks stop position.

Key Point: The proximal line isn’t just about marking the entry point for pending orders. When it comes to the price action entry (my go-to method), the proximal line is used to pinpoint where a candle pattern must land to signal a valid entry into the trade.

Now, let’s press on…

How To Draw Zones Using Proximal And Distal Lines

Drawing supply and demand zones according to proximal and distal lines simply means making sure the zone lines on the correct points in the base.

Here’s a quick walkthrough:

Step 1: Identify The Supply Or Demand Zone

The first order of business is to pinpoint the supply or demand zone you’re aiming to draw.

The quickest, no-frills way to spot a zone? Look for a dramatic price shift from a small consolidation (or base) or a few candlesticks.

  • For demand zones, watch for a steep price rise.
  • For supply zones, watch for a steep price decline.

Let’s look at an example…

We’ll use this neat-as-a-pin demand zone on the Eur/Usd chart.

Step 2: Locate The Zone Base

Our next mission is to find the base of the zone.

The base marks the spot where the banks will orchestrate a reversal if price returns to the zone in the future.

So, what exactly is the zone base?

In a nutshell: The source of the steep move that formed the zone.

Typically, the base will be a compact consolidation of a few small candlesticks (see below), but don’t be surprised if you find zones forming from a two-three candle base. The proximal and distal lines for these zones are drawn in the same way:

From the breakout candle to the most recent low/high.

Key Point: The breakout candle is the last small bullish or bearish candlestick that formed before the steep rise or decline took place.

See the little consolidation before the price shot up?

That’s our zone base – where the banks entered buy positions.

The banks entered buy positions all over this area, sparking a price reversal and forming our demand zone. To validate this zone, our proximal and distal lines need to stretch across the entire area. For two-three candle zones, the lines should encapsulate the lone candle that initiated the move away.

Let’s take a look at an example:

See the reversal culminating in a two-candlestick swing high?

That’s our supply zone.

Rather than twiddling their thumbs, waiting for orders to pile up (as we see in zones with a standard base), the banks decided to sell into the buying. This triggered a reversal, resulting in a two-candle swing high that marks our supply zone.

Step 3: Draw The Zone Using Proximal And Distal Lines

Now, it’s time to bring our zone to life.

Drawing the zone involves framing the base with a rectangle, ensuring that the proximal and distal lines sit on their rightful places.

And what might those places be?

Here’s the breakdown:

Standard base zones…

Supply zones

  • Distal line sits on the most recent nearby major swing high.
  • Proximal line sits on the last small candle before the steep decline.

  • For bullish candles, place the line on the open.
  • For bearish candle, place the line on the close.

Demand Zones

  • Distal line rests on the most recent nearby major swing low.
  • Proximal line sits on the last small candle before the steep rise.

  • For bullish candles, place the line on the open.
  • For bearish candle, place the line on the close.

Confused yet?

Relax, it’s easy!

Here’s how the zone looks in our example…

Notice how the distal line sits onto the most recent swing low, while the proximal line lies on the open of the last small candle (bullish in this case) that formed before the price took off?

Simple as pie, right?

Follow the same process for supply zones: Position the proximal line on the open of the last small candle before the sharp decline and the distal line on the most recent major swing high.

And what about zones with a single candle base?

Just follow the same guidelines above.

Here’s a quick illustration:

Notice the pattern?

The zone adheres to the same rules.

The distal line sits on the most recent swing high, and the proximal line rests on the last small candle before price plummeted and large bear candles began to form.

Simple!

The Bottom Line

Alright folks, let’s wrap this up!

In supply and demand trading, proximal and distal lines mark the beginning and end points of zones. The proximal line marks the beginning of the zone, while the distal line defines the zone’s end – the point where the banks bought/sold to create the zone.

Remember: Always marks your lines from the correct points.

Misdrawn zones are one of the key reasons people struggle to make money from supply and demand. Keep your lines on point, and get my course guide if nesscary.

Till we meet again, fellow traders…

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3 thoughts on “Drawing S/D Zones: Mastering Proximal & Distal Lines”

  1. For supply zones…
    Distal line marks entry point.
    Proximal line marks stop position.

    For demand zones…
    Distal line marks entry point.
    Proximal line marks stop position.

    Im a bit confused, shouldn’t be vice versa? on demand zone you enter when breaking the proximal line and the stop lose would be pips below the distal line?

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