Phicops EZ Tangle Pattern Tutorial

Phicops Step-Out

How to Draw Phicops EZ Tangle Pattern

This is a simplified version of the original Phicops design created by B-Rad and Laura Harms, CZT (IamtheDivaCZT Weekly Challenge #101). I found it a bit complex to teach at Intro classes and simplified it down to two elemental strokes, the line, |, and the curve, ).

So, if you’re ready, here we go… Take a deep breath and relax, release it slowly, and practice gratitude for a second.

Then, starting at the top point, draw a line straight down as long as you want the shape to be. Rotate your tile 90 degrees and drawn another line crossing at the center of the first and approximately the same length. Rotate your tile 45 degrees and draw another line between the first two still crossing in the center, then rotate your tile 90 degrees and do it again on the other side. You should end up with something that looks kind of like the framework for a snowflake or starburst of sorts.

Return to the top of the first line. Starting at the tip, pull a line back and down about halfway on the line beside it. Rotate to the next tip and do the same thing. Continue to rotate your tile and pull lines back and down all of the way around the pattern.

Starting again at the tip of the first point, this time curve your line forward and down about halfway until it meets the line in front of it. Again, repeat this stroke all of the way around the pattern. That’s it! Now all you need is to add a few embellishments and  a bit of shading.

Coloring the small triangleish shape at the tips solid black adds some drama and contrast. You can also add other patterns into the front shapes. I do the shading last smoothing a bit of graphite from the center out usually along the outside edge of the longest line. See the step-out above for some ideas. Make sure some of the areas stay light to create a more dimensional effect that almost looks like folded paper.

Yay! You did it! Now hold it out at arm’s length. Rotate the tile one way and then the other to find the direction that looks most like the top. Smile… notice all of the things you like best about it… and pat yourself on the back for finishing. Congratulations! I like it already and would love to see all of your artwork.

To share, join TangleArt Studios’ new Facebook Group at and post a photo there. I can’t wait to see it!

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Industrial Designer & Certified Zentangle© Teacher

Tonya is an adventurous problem solver, knowledge seeker, data analyst, change maker, and designer. Passionate about positivity, creativity, and innovation, she also teaches Zentangle© wherever she goes.

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