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Glorious glue.



There's something irresistible about squeezing out lines and shapes with a bottle of glue.

It's fun, yes. But, even better: it's tactile. The glue dries slightly raised on the surface, lending itself to several exciting treatments.

RAISED DESIGNS and RUBBINGS Ask the students to create line designs--continuous or not--in glue on white tag board. These might be angular or curvy nonobjective compositions, or they could be representational, such as the simplified portrait on the opposite page. Set them aside to dry overnight.

To take things a step further the next day, place white or fight-colored paper atop the dry design, and use the side of a peeled crayon to create a rubbing. Switch colors, move the paper a bit and rub again. Repeat with a third color.


While the colorful rubbings are interesting in themselves, the original glue-line designs--the ones on tag board--can be embellished with markers and more. Two for the price of one! Kids can apply marker color on top of the glue and run lines along the edges. They can also fill in negative space with either solid color or patterns.



BLACK PAPER AND PASTELS White glue dries somewhat translucently on black construction paper and can be appealing. But I recommend the "see-through" or transparent school glue for this next project, because it makes the black pop.

As before, create a glue-line design and allow it to dry. Then use colored chalk pastels on the black paper. Remind the kids that lighter and brighter pastel colors contrast best with the black lines. Spray lightly with fixative when done.

BLACK GLUE AND WATERCOLORS Our final sticky activity is best done on white watercolor paper.

Black and colored glues are available commercially, of course, but you can make your own by mixing India ink into regular (permanent) white glue. Use a mixture containing 2/3 glue and 1/3 India ink. Results may vary due to differences in glues and inks.

Squeeze out a cohesive dark-glue design--which can be free-form, geometric or pictorial--on white watercolor paper. Let it dry overnight.

Paint with vivid watercolors or colored inks, and revel in the brilliant stained-glass effect!

These assignments confirm that a simple art material like glue can be glorious and gorgeous.

Paula Guhin is now retired from teaching art at Central High School in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and serves as a Contributing Editor for Arts & Activities.


Elementary- and middle-school students will ...

* explore the properties of glue, watercolor paint, and other art media and tools.

* create a balanced work of art utilizing glue with paint media.

* select a harmonious color scheme.


* Tag board, white paper and black paper

* Crayons or oil pastels

* Transparent school glue or white glue

* Chalk pastels

* Fixative (optional)

* Black or colored glue

* Watercolor paper, paints and brushes

* Water containers and paper towels


Continuous line



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Title Annotation:creative artwork using glue
Author:Guhin, Paula
Publication:Arts & Activities
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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