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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


  • Tipple has saved the day with many of my tiles! You kind of tangle your way into a corner and tipple is like many little lifesavers to complete a tile! ❤️

    Carol Markel on

  • I just love me some tipple no matter how it is served! The video reminded me of little eyes wiggling all over. Good thing Rick could ‘see’ it and record it for all to see.

    Terri Young, CZT 16 on

  • Boiling water has never looked like so much fun! Fantastic sharing of your thoughts on this very simple, yet so versatile tangle! Thanks to you both, Rick and Maria!

    Shawna Oertley on

  • What fun to take a tipple or two, Coffee, tea or a brew, Then with paper and ink, As quick as a wink, Make something familiar All new!

    Jane Rhea on

  • Plus… just last week, a ZT friend was introduced me to Enzos:

    Danielle DeRome on

  • Tremendous tipple tutorial!! I love all the variations.

    Jodi Ballenger on

  • One of the most important things that Zentangle has given me is the push to really look at the world and see the colors, patterns and the Tipple in the boiling pot.

    Meg on

  • Serendipity is so fun! I just finished a whole series of Zendalas dedicated to Yayoi Kusama… and TIPPLE, of course! Thank you for this lovely post, among all the other wonderful ones.

    Danielle DeRome on

  • I absolutely love when you include the varied examples with your blogs! I can SEE the differences and appreciate each one…and maybe start incorporating my favorites!

    Barbara W-F on

  • There seems to be something universal about circles, and having multitudes of them seems to magnify my connection to them. I need to practice drawing them more, though, because sometimes I don’t manage to perfectly close the lines and that takes away from the power of their effect.

    Sheree Green on

  • I love the video of the water simmering in tipple-fashion. I credit Zentangle for opening my eyes to the many patterns in every day life. Thank you!

    Deb Murray CZT on

  • I too, like random larger orbs surrounded by smaller ones. But mine are very random & varying in sizes, they don’t look like a flower. I’m inspired by the bracelet with diagonal rows of shades . . . think that oils work well on the gray tiles with white & blue hues! Can’t stop watching Rick’s video of the boiling water!

    Randall on

  • Loved the pictures & drawings & the origin of the inspiration! Tried & True Tipple!

    Rimona Gale on

  • I forgot to post my whole name to my comment:

    I love drawing circles and orbs…

    Pam Hartz Miller on

  • I love drawing circles and orbs – they seem to find their way into most of my tiles. I love the video ( and the purplish hue of the water in the pot) ! This is a perfect example of seeing Zentangle patterns everywhere – even in a pot of water.

    Thanks for the reminder of finding beauty in the everyday!

    Pam on

  • A favorite of mine. It always fits in little spaces and makes many tangles come alive. Love to draw them!

    Eveline Bendeler on

  • Tipple is in my Mac-N-Cheese Tangle Hall of Fame; along with Printemps, which to me are Tipples with a twist!

    Anonymous on

  • I like to use tipple when I want to fill in a space and do not know what else to do. In teaching several beginner classes I use tipple as an extra to demonstrate. It is also easy when I am working with older seniors. Many can still draw a circle.

    Marilyn W. Iezzi on

  • I really love putting Tipple into simple tangles. For example Bales: turn it, so one corner is pointing down and then pile many tiny Tipples in it like piles of pebbles. Add some rounding to really bring it together and you have yourself some beautiful Tipple. 😊

    Mia on

  • I don’t remember but I am told that as a little girl, before I could write; I would fill pages with tiny little circles. That was my first experience with tipple and why I believe I was destined for Zentangle!

    AndreaR on

  • What a good learning experience! Tipple has never been one of my favorite tangles, but now I’m eager to play with it. Thanks!

    Ruth on

  • I have been a ‘Tipple’ girl since I was little and drawing on my binders and book covers. I love the boiling water imagery and would love to see a “Day in the Life with Rick” video! ❤️

    Kim Kohler CZT on

  • What a fun post! Always good to be reminded of the power of a single tangle. Love the video, too. Thanks.

    Georgi Klein on

  • Tipple is one of my favorites! Early on in my CZT teaching I was presenting at a local art center. I was amazed as I walked around the room! Out of my mouth came,

    “Oh, you have very nice tipple.”
    As you can imagine, the entire room filled with laughter! Nearly ten years later, we still share my “tipple story!” xo

    Karen Izzi on

  • I had a go at tippling the background to Mooka, but graduating from bold to faint. It was startling! So effective!

    Catherine Gisby on

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