Dorrit Black, Wings, 1927–28. linocut on paper. Purchased 1976


Look closely at the artwork Wings by Australian artist Dorrit Black.

How many people can you see?

What do you think they are doing?

How many different colours can you see?

What shapes have been used?

Inspired by

Dorrit Black

Wings 1927–28

linocut on paper

Purchased 1976

Activity: Printing

Use geometric shapes and contrasting colours to create your own print inspired by Dorrit Black’s linocut print Wings.

Art element: Shape and colour

Art principle: Contrast

What you’ll need

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Wooden spoon


  1. Paint a background onto your piece of paper and wait for it to dry. You might like to paint a landscape with different colours as Dorrit Black has or using just one colour. Your paper will be ready to print on once it is completely dry.
  2. While your paper is drying, cut a 25 cm x 18 cm rectangle out of cardboard. This will be the base for your design
  3. Cut out small geometric shapes from the cardboard. Try cutting out a few different sized triangles, squares and circles.
  4. Think about the design you might create using the shapes. You could use them to create an abstract design or a person, an animal or a landscape.
  5. Glue the shapes onto the cardboard base
  6. Paint each shape you have glued down. Choose a colour that will contrast with the background colour you have painted on the cardboard.
  7. Place a piece of paper over your design and rub with your hand or the back of a wooden spoon.
  8. Repeat the process to create another abstract design.

About the artist

Dorothea (Dorrit) Black (1891–1951) was an Australian painter and printmaker. She was inspired by the energy of the modern world and used abstract geometric shapes and harmonious colour to capture what she saw around her. This included the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

About the artwork

In the linocut print Wings, Dorrit Black has captured the motion of three figures walking along the beach. In the background you can see the ocean, birds flying in the sky and a sailing boat on the water. To create the print, the artist has used geometric shapes and a limited colour palette of blue, orange, yellow and white. Notice how the orange and yellow stand out against the blue. This is because the colours contrast with each other.



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