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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


  • Yes! Tipple is a great way to get a class to”Zen Flow”. Thanks for the variations.

    Lisa Hoesing on

  • Loved the video! I have often been mesmerized by the boiling bubbles…reminds me of the fish eggs we used as bait when I was a small child fishing with my grandmother…tipple is everywhere!

    Susan on

  • What a great start a day. I whatch and read this blog when Iwas my brekfast. I was so exsiting. Maybe because is agreat thing to take ideas In ordinary life . I do it also very often. To me Zentangle is important part of creativity and meditaation. Thank you all again!

    Riepu from Finland 22.1.2020

    Riepu Ru Kaarna on

  • LOVE tipple 💕
    So easy to get lost in the rhythm of all those orbs!

    Carol G on

  • It’s raining today in California and after reading this blog I’m looking at the raindrops differently. You remind me—once again!—how learning Zentangle is learning to see the world anew. Thank you for filming/writing today’s post!

    Lynnette Jerome on

  • Rick`s video was terrific – they looked like ripples of Tipples; I love Tipples, but I do wish there was a way of putting motion into them! My favorite thing is to start with large ones inside a tangle and gradually draw them in descending order like you did in your #1 drawing.

    Rosemary Turpin on

  • As with all tangles, I get better with time. Believe it or not, I struggled with Tipple. They were not round enough, not varied enough, not well placed. I know…no mistakes!! They would suffiice where and as they were, but I had to keep trying. I have, and now I love my little round orbs of varying sizes. I love Zentangling!

    Clara Brunk on

  • Another wonder filled post bubbling with possibilities! Thank you! ❤️

    Holly Atwater on

  • When buying things for my house, I always look for the round or pearl shape and it makes things go together.

    Jessica M on

  • I love tipple!! It is a lovely textural tangle and works great alongside any tangle as a filler…. Rick’s video of tipple is awesome!

    Vandana Krishna on

  • There’s just something so satisfying about drawing circles/orbs!!

    Peggy Marks on

  • Loved Rick’s video. Tipple is one of my gotos as a filler but I love this other versions of it. Thanks.

    Gail Minichiello, CSZ31 on

  • Loved Rick’s video. Tipple is one of my gotos as a filler but I love this other versions of it. Thanks.

    Gail Minichiello, CSZ31 on

  • I may have been tippling as I tippled! ;)

    Letty WHeelock on

  • Tipple helped me to make uniform orbs. A circular circle. Then I learned to embrace the various sizes and shapes that had alluded me in the past.

    Sandi Buchspics on

  • Tipple is just like Life’s little reminder. All we need to do is respond to what Life throws at you, Different colours eventually appear, adding new dimensions to Life. Happy Tangling.

    Tipple Ripple on

  • This morning when I got up, it was raining. My comment to our cat? “Look, Tessie, Mother Nature is tippling the windows and driveway!” Tipples taking off and landing down the windowpane. Pretty danged cool when we see these patterns everywhere!

    Ginger White CZT34 on

  • I use tipple quite often. It is so versatile. I can change the size/density of the orbs depending on whether I need a light , medium or darker area on my tile.

    Cheryl V on

  • Hi!
    Tipple is one of my go-to tangles. I like to change up the sizes, also. There is something very satisfying to me about drawing circles and seeing if I can get that “perfect orb”. Sometimes I get close, sometimes not, but it’s ok, I keep trying. "What comes around, goes around…and around, and around. 🤗⭕

    Terri Brown on

  • I love it that Rick found a tangle in a pot of boiling water. Whoever would have thought? Tipple appears in so many of my tiles. Maria surely has found many ways to bring Tipple to life (like a pot of boiling water.)

    Joyce Block on

  • Every morning when I get my shower I delight in the Tipple the water droplets create on the shower wall. So excited I’m not the only one who gets excited about patterns in unexpected places.

    Margo on

  • I remember Maria‘s picture „In doubt AURA“ at seminar. I would say „In by doubt AURA and TIPPLE“

    Inge Frasch, CZT 21 on

  • Aloha…I’m in the planning stages for my next class at the Volcano Art Center and will be combining brush painting ensō (circle) with Zentangle. I have found that the focus on ZIA can sometimes lead students to an interest in the product instead of the process. I want to influence my students use of the Zentangle method to create the relaxed focus found in meditation. Tangles need to be simple and repetitive and this post on tipple is perfect timing. Mahalo

    Lois Stokes on

  • I enjoy the complex tangles that are so popular today, but I truely love the simple tangles we all learned first. Tipple is a true fave no matter what size I make it. Love the video Rick!!

    Victoria Fletcher Smith on

  • Sorry—didn’t mean to post my ode twice!

    Tami on

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