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Twenty-Two Tremendously Terrific Techniques to Tipple Tiles

Twenty-Two Tremendously Terrific Techniques to Tipple Tiles

Maria writes:

I was boiling water the other night to blanch some green beans and in walks my beloved, to check out what I was doing (re: what's for dinner?). He spotted the energetically bubbling water and whips out his phone, quick as a bunny!   He proceeded to take this fantastic animated version of the tangle "tipple.”

How could I not show you all this, "what it's like to live with Rick on a daily basis" phenomenon?   So, then a few minutes later, Julie sashays into my studio asking for a blog for Tuesday.  HA!

Life is good. (Because, finding things for a blog gets just a tiiiiiny bit more challenging as each day passes).

Tipple is one of my fallback tangles, when absolutely nothing comes to mind. I love to spiral them out, (example #4 in above Zendala)  taking my time beginning with tiny orbs and each one gradually getting bigger and bigger as I follow the direction it so elegantly takes me.  Or, I begin with a large orb and taking the size down ever so slightly with each subsequent circle.  To me, this is a great way to intensify your meditation, when you must pay careful attention to an ever-changing element.  I do enjoy adding an intense tippling session to my tile, making something appear really complicated when it is merely time-consuming.

I enjoy carefully stacking the tipple, as they so gracefully fit together like a stand of bowling balls, (example #2)  if one was to be able to get the bowling balls to not roll all over the place, as they want to do.  I think of bowling balls, because I want the weight to be apparent, heavy, solid and powerful, as opposed to thinking of Styrofoam balls, that would fly away in a slight breeze.  So, I make the lines bold, going around the orb a few times with my pen. It's more forgiving as well, allowing you to correct or sculpt the" bowling balls" a bit.  I'll have to try going every so lightly and see what that gives me. 

In studying the video that Rick did for me,  I found that drawing the orb first then going in and drawing a smaller one inside, then filling it in with my pen, gave a similar look.(example #3)  It was a bit more unexpected and took longer,  but I liked the effect it gave me.  

I taught a beginners class the other day and instead of doing basic tipple in one of the four sections,  I drew a few larger orbs scattered about the section  (example #1) then drew a bit smaller orbs around each one, continuing until the background was filled with really tiny orbs.  All the students were able to get the concept and their tiles looked great.

At tea today, I noticed Stephanie's bracelet, the tipple in a traditional, square reticulum. (example #5).  A whole different look. The shading on that one surprised even me.  The bracelet itself, had a diagonal design of white and grey crystals.

And this other bracelet/cuff, that a CZT graciously gifted me, she said it reminded her of me. The double pearl pattern appealed to me, the bracelet a bit steam-punkish, in its boldness. (example #6).  Loved the tiny prongs keeping these pearls from wandering too far.  I am a bit hard on things and feel comfortable wearing this piece of jewelry.  And, also feel like it would fit comfortably in any of my Zentangle tiles.

I am anxious to see you artists using alternate versions of tipple in your tiles.  Seek the road less travelled. . .  and all that.  Go confidently in the direction of your dreams..

Not sure Robert Frost or Henry Thoreau had Zentangle in mind, but I guarantee they would have loved tangling. Hmmm…I wonder if they would have liked a tipple or two. . . 

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Bijou is going to be giving away a special surprise to one lucky commenter! The randomly selected commenter will be announce in next week's blog.

Maria Thomas


  • Am I missing something? I read about 6 examples, where are the remaining 16 techniques to equal the 22?

    Sonja T Van Laar on

  • Amazing to see this post. Since some weeks i’m filling Phi- tiles wit Tipple and Divadance.Tipple stands for Gens and Atoms, Divadance for Frequencies😊

    Tina Hunziker Akua-Art on

  • I’m just learning about Zentangle and thank you for this tutorial on tipple and how to expand the imagination. Thank you for this wonderful “craft”, “art.” I am so enjoying tangling when I didn’t think I had an artist bone in my being. Thank you for bringing that out.

    Gwen on

  • Just getting started in Zentangle. There is so much to learn. Getting excited.

    joan murphy-walker on

  • What an awesome interpretation of tippling that video is! Rick is definitely quick on his feet. I’m in love with quick and easy tangles, and Tipple is at the top of my list! Not only is it a beautifully graceful and simple tangle on its own (shaded or not), or as a filler, I use it when I can’t find another pattern for an area that needs that something.

    DeDeeM on

  • I’m a huge tipple fan. For me, the saying “when in doubt, aura” is changed to “when in doubt, tipple”. And I do mean drawing the tangle.

    Zebedee on

  • It is amazing how you find inspiration with every day ordinary things and turn them into thing of beauty.

    Edith Johnson on

  • I have always enjoyed using Tipple to fill spaces but this blog has given me a whole new perspective of Tipple. I am teaching Zentangle in my church and can’t wait to show them some new ways to use Tipple and even to do a whole tile using it in different ways. Thanks for these wonderful posts. They have been most helpful!

    Barb Burgess CZT#12 on

  • I once used tipple as a meditation tile. I’ll have to do it again…with new eyes and a variety of orbs!

    BArbara PAlanio on

  • Tipple looks, kooking in pot, like tousand eyes.

    Ward Van Honsté on

  • Maria, Where does Quipple fit in with Tipple? I always say Quipple is a bit more organized, whereas Tipple has, well, perhaps been tippling a bit and is more all over the place. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with all your examples. And does it even really matter??? LOL MaryAnn S-D, CZT#1

    MaryAnn S-D CZT #1 on

  • The joy of tipple and its infinite uses, as simple or complex as one wishes. Joyful or ominous, in isolation or a giant congregation of them, instantly switches on a meditative state, for me. And so cool that any tangler recognizes that tipple by any other name, would be just as sweet

    PamS on

  • I’ve been studying a book on Klimt, looking for patterns, and found the exact border pattern Maria drew, where tipple I’d aura’ed with two auras, drawn between straight lines. Beautiful!

    Connie, CZT23 on

  • Thanks a lot Maria. It’s an amazing for tipple lovers. I am fond of using tipple on my tiles and end up doing the same way. This blog has provided me with so many ways.


    Neeti on

  • Thanks a lot Maria. It’s an amazing for tipple lovers. I am fond of using tipple on my tiles and end up doing the same way. This blog has provided me with so many ways.


    Neeti on

  • Thanks a lot Maria. It’s an amazing for tipple lovers. I am fond of using tipple on my tiles and end up doing the same way. This blog has provided me with so many ways.


    Neeti on

  • Thanks a lot Maria. It’s an amazing for tipple lovers. I am fond of using tipple on my tiles and end up doing the same way. This blog has provided me with so many ways.


    Neeti on

  • Such creative Tipple ideas! Tipple is, too, one of my go-to tangles. Both as a filler and central focal point of a drawing. Thank you, Maria (and Rick!) for the additional inspiration to enhance Tipple!

    Jen Gibson on

  • Tipple unplugged! I loved the video and blog. Thank you sharing your stories with us.

    Donna Butler on

  • Love that this was inspired by an everyday situation. On a walk with my dog one day I noticed a patch of road that was quite cracked. It made me think of zentangle immediately. I wish I had taken a pic and used the pattern on a tile. Thank you for encouraging awareness of our environment.

    Kathy on

  • You have a way of helping me look at everyday things and see them through Zentangle eyes!

    Linda JF on

  • You’ve done it now! I’m going to be dreaming about bubbles. Guess I’ll have to use them in my tangles until I can get it out of my mind! Thank you for the post!🥰

    LaJuania Dorman on

  • It never fails to inspire me when I see how a simple shape gains interest simply by being repeated. Beautiful.

    Gloria Hulsether on

  • After the seeing the boiling water and looking at the tipples in a new light, I feel more inspired to be creative with what I can do with it🤔.

    Joanne Erhartic on

  • Tipple is never an unwelcome guest to a tile! And your Tipple variations are lovely – #1 particularly appeals and reminds me of something you tangled in PP06 with dots instead of orbs.

    My mother used to doodle orbs during phone calls when I was a child. Perhaps she’d been mesmerized watching one too many pans come to the boil!

    Jem Miller on

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