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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


  • Thanks for the numbers and pictures. To see those transposed into tangles and be able to identify them is great. I can hear your voice explaining them as I read this.

    Chris Clark on

  • My fave is #1. Can’t wait to try it and all the others. Thanks!

    MYra ARnold on

  • Tipple is a tremendously tantalizing tangle to team with toodles!

    Marsha Kirwan on

  • I am “brand new” to Zentangle, and in my life I have never drawn anything. This particular post shows me how easy, beautiful, and varied even the most basic shape can be. Plus it helps lessen any trepidation I might feel about plunging into paper and pen. Thank you!

    Shirley Thompson on

  • I’m always amazed at all the things that I find surprising about the Zentangle Method, even after all these years. However, I think the biggest surprise I have had is how much I enjoy drawing orbs, and how relaxing they are for me. I never imagined that no matter whether they are teeny tiny, big, fat, oval, coloured in, left open, filled in, drawn with an aura or without etc etc … just how much they can help me refocus in such a satisfying way. Thank you Maria for giving me even more ways to draw Tipple. Love the video of the boiling water and your blog post! Thank you!

    Brenda Shaver on

  • Thanks for the tipple inspiration!

    Dennie York on

  • I love the new tipple ideas and suggestions for making something “new” out of something “old.”

    Kim on

  • I am kind of addicted to tipples!

    Shelley Bell on

  • This came at the perfect moment. There are waiting rooms awaiting me and plenty of time for tipple exploration. Thanks bunches.

    Kathy Y on

  • Thanks to Rick for the picture. I obviously need to study boiling water and/or a bubble bath or bubbles at the top of a Root Beer float – sip & be inspired all at the same time!

    Daryle Coleman on

  • Tipple must be “in the air”…this morning I started planning a lesson for “in a bubble”. Love the synchronicity!

    Anne Harauz on

  • I love using tipple and your tipple “bracelets” are quite lovely!

    Kate Ahrens on

  • Tipple was my first favorite and will always be a favorite! I love using it to fill spaces and I love the relaxed curvy movements.

    Donna Woods on

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