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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw PICKPOCKET

Zentangle pattern: Pickpocket. 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.Hello friends!

As usual, our Friday tangle might require a little closer focus than those from earlier in the week but it is actually quite easy to tangle with a very satisfying result. I think you’ll have fun with this one!

Pickpocket is one from the archives and it’s from Spanish CZT Tomàs Padros who now has two dozen inspiring tangles on the site! Be sure to check all of them out.

Tomàs describes how he came up with Pickpocket and why he chose its name,

Pickpocket is originally a Meshmerize tangleation. In Meshmerize a series of dots are diagonally linked with curves. Those links always have the same direction, but immediately, I realized the possibility of generating links in opposite directions.

In this image, you can see the entire creative process from Meshmerize to Pickpocket in its rectilinear version.

Although I show it with straight lines, it also admits a more curved treatment: The vertical lines shown in the fourth step are optional. In its curved version the pattern works very well without them.

Perhaps, the greatest difficulty is in the determination of the triangles. Its inclined sides must be aligned with the extensions of the diagonal links. Horizontally, they are always arranged symmetrically and vertically, the alternating positions are repeated. It has its difficulty at the beginning, but once the trick is found, it is mechanized without difficulty.

The name of Pickpocket arose from a figurative and humorous interpretation of the design. The diagonal “branches” look like arms that are extended looking for other people’s pocket. Well, it is a bit forced but funny. On the other hand the similarity is very distant, it does not interfere in the perception of the design as something abstract.

For this Zentangle® tile Tomàs explains “you can see a morphing from Pickpocket to Meshmerize going through the transition that is curved Pickpocket, here without the 5th step.”

Linked to Meshmerize page

In the second tile he combines “a Pickpocket without the last step with the tangle All Stars. As you can see, this Pickpocket presents a looser and freer layout. This is so because the grid of dots was not regular. It is very interesting to draw Pickpocket by gently misaligning the grid dots.

Linked to All Stars page

For my example of Pickpocket I followed Tomàs’s curved example shown in his Creative Process diagram above. I also altered the grid dots to triangles as in Step 5 below. Tomàs doesn’t include the aura embellishment in his Steps but it does add a nice detail if you choose to go that way too.

Tomàs illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Pickpocket below and he demonstrates it in a monotangle with precise auras and just a touch of graphite.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Pickpocket, tangle and deconstruction by Tomàs Padrós. 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. (Small side note: if you look at the legalese in Pinterest, you are legally responsible for obtaining permission to post every photo that gets ‘Pinned’. Giving credit or sharing the source link doesn’t count.) Thank you for respecting these rights. Click the image for an article explaining what copyright means in plain English. “Always let your conscience be your guide.” ~ Jiminy Cricket

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 tomasp for more of Tomàs’s tangles on

Have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you again on Monday 🙂

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!
  10. Never miss a tangle! FREE eMAIL NEWSLETTER - visit the SUBSCRIBE page on the top menu bar of any page on the site and sign up to get notices delivered free to your inbox.


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5 comments to How to draw PICKPOCKET

  • Deborah

    This tangle looks very interesting and a bit daunting. I really am anxious to try it. Thank you

  • Jody Genovese

    Every pattern you create is all of the variations and your beautiful examples. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  • Tomas Padros Cruz

    Thank you very much. Deborah. Pickpocket is has some difficulty at first but it can be tamed. Thank you Jody for your long and encouraging support. You already know that I am always attentive to your always fantastic proposals. And thanks Linda for adding Pickpocket to this page. I love your version with the slightly curved links.

  • Jenn Brayton CZT36

    I have this in progress on a Renaissance tan tile and it’s so delightful to work with! I love pattens that weave in and out, and though a bit of a brain challenge for me, it keeps me working slow and mindfully – and that’s wonderful <3

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