Langston Art Teacher Presents Black Glue and You

Langston Art Teacher Presents Black Glue and You
Posted on 11/02/2018
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Langston Art Teacher Mrs. Debbie Shelman was invited to present “Black Glue and You” at the Arkansas Art Educators Fall Conference. Black Glue is a glossy art material that creates a unique effect when mixed with bright colors because it separates shapes and images to add dimension. Mrs. Shelman delivered a crafty presentation with step by step instructions and a live demonstration for making classroom sets of black glue. Art educators were provided with examples of black glue artwork completed by HSSD Langston students and received handouts, resources, website links, and more for choosing age appropriate projects for working with the material.


Black glue projects can be completed alongside color from crayons, watercolor paints, chalk pastels, and even acrylic paint. See photos below of black glue projects from Langston students, whose work was chosen by the Arkansas Art Educators Regional Competition Exhibition - Left to right, back row: Bricen Weaver(4th grade), Kamia Baugh (4th grade), LaJenya Thompson(4th grade), Christina Cooper (3rd grade), Alivia Hewing (2nd grade); Front row: Yariel Hernandez (3rd grade), Crystal Martinez(2nd grade)

Mrs. Shelman’s Black Glue Recipe and Mixing Instructions


Ingredients: 1) White glue (I suggest a half used gallon jug); 2) Powdered black tempera paint (OR) Black India Ink (OR) acrylic paint; 3) Cornstarch (if using ink or liquid acrylic craft paint);  4) Long dowel or other stirring device; 5) Empty glue bottles with caps off ready to fill; 6) A medium sized funnel; 7) A spoon for dipping powdered tempera; 8) A bamboo skewer or other long pointy device/stick for pushing powder through funnel; 9) Rags/paper towels and water for clean up.


Step-by-Step Mixing Process:  1) Assemble all your materials in or near a sink if possible or on a covered, protected surface. 2) Place funnel in top of opened glue jug. 3) Using a spoon begin dipping spoonful's of tempera into the funnel till about half full-or about ¼ cup of powder total. Beware of dust! 4) With your skewer poke the powder through the funnel into the jug. 5) Repeat this process until you’ve added about a cup of tempera to the glue. 6) Remove the funnel. 7) Get your stirring dowel and stir the tempera powder well into the glue. 8) Mix carefully down the sides and in the corners of the jug. 9) Once completely mixed, check the intensity of the color. 10) Repeat the process as needed until you reach the desired color.

Tips: 1) I like to make enough black glue at one time to last my classes through the year. This for me means one 8 ounce bottle per student-depending on how many projects I plan to use it for. Generally this is enough glue for two or three projects on 9x12 paper and one smaller creation on a transparency or other clear plastic. 2) This requires some strong stirring if using powdered tempera so use a strong stick or dowel that won't break. 3) You may want to mix in a separate container- I prefer using the glue jug-but that’s just me. 3) Every brand of glue and every type (school vs. “glue-All”) will take a different amount of black so you will need to eyeball what makes the level of black you want your glue to have.


Learn more about our #HSSD Langston Magnet School, here.