How to: Flatten Buckled Watercolour Paper


If you're anything like me, then you like to spontaneously paint on loose watercolour paper using a lot of water. I don't pre-stretch my paper before painting (I'm too impatient), and the watercolour block paper is expensive and limiting in size, texture and colour. The downside of painting on loose paper is the warping and buckling of it as it dries (the thinner the paper, the worse the warp). Buckled paper is a pain to work with. Especially if you're intending on scanning your work, or even if you want to take a photograph of it for social media. 

Here's a little trick I use for flattening paper after you have finished your masterpiece and let it dry. 


What you need:

- Two pieces of cardboard the same size or larger than your paper (I like to use thick box board).  

- Water sprayer bottle with the nozzle set to spray at a very fine mist. 

- A flat surface you won't need to use for at least a day.

- Some super heavy books about the same size or larger than your paper. 

What you do: 


- Place your first piece of cardboard on your flat surface.

- Place your paper with the artwork FACE DOWN on top of the cardboard.


- Get your water sprayer bottle and spritz over the paper from a height of about 20cm. Cover the back of the paper with a light mist of water, the idea is you want to LIGHTLY dampen the paper, NOT saturate it. 

- Place the second piece of cardboard on top of your lightly dampened paper. Place all the super heavy books you have on top and leave it for at least 24 hours.

- Since there is not much room for evaporation of the water from the paper while covered and under weight, sometimes (depending on the weather) after you lift all the books off, the paper will be flat but not 100% dry so may slightly warp again if left to air dry. If this is the case, let the paper air dry for an hour or so, and place it under the weight again for at least 24hrs again.

Tip: Get into the habit of storing all your paper under some sort of weight to ensure they stay flat and to keep them away from the light.

Voila! Now you have a relatively simple way to flatten your warped paper. 

I would love to see your before and after photos. Tag me on social media so I can see how you went. 

Negin Maddock

Printmaking Demo at the Creative Space


I really enjoyed giving a printmaking demo yesterday at the Creative Space (Curl Curl) during our annual Warringah Printmakers Studio exhibition. 

A great turn out and thank you to those who came along. 

Everyone had a chance to see the various relief printmaking techniques and also have a go at carving into different substrates, inking up and printing an image. 

Negin Maddock


Artist Book: Natural Selection

  Title:  That was I, you heard last night.  Media/Technique:  Direct-to-Plate Photopolymer Etching, hand coloured with water colour. Magnani Incisioni 220gsm paper.  Image Dimensions:  30 cm by 28 cm (H by W)

Title: That was I, you heard last night.
Media/Technique: Direct-to-Plate Photopolymer Etching, hand coloured with water colour. Magnani Incisioni 220gsm paper.
Image Dimensions: 30 cm by 28 cm (H by W)


I am so honoured to be a part of this project. Showing at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum until 3rd September 2017. 

29 artists from the Warringah Printmakers Studio were involved in this project. Each artist was assigned an endangered or vulnerable species of the Northern Beaches area. My assigned species was the Barking Owl (Ninox Connivens).

The Barking Owl is named after its distinctive call which sounds like the bark of a dog; a “woop-woop” call sounding more like a “woof-woof”. Growing to an average length of 40 cm and weighing 300-500 grams, the Barking Owl is referred to as a “Hawk-Owl” due to its facial features resembling that of a hawk rather than the distinctive heart-shaped face of the more commonly recognised “tyto-owls”, such as the barn-owl. This owl is also capable of making a much louder wailing sound, which was described by early settlers as the shrill screams of a woman being murdered; hence its other nick-name “Screaming Woman Bird”. It is native to Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea, choosing to occupy areas by lakes and rivers which provide the ideal breeding habitat such as large trees with hollows for nesting. The Barking Owl’s conservation status in NSW is “vulnerable”. Its population is distributed sparsely over NSW and its main threat in the Northern Beaches, as with other areas, are loss of habitat through clearing, fragmentation and degradation. Simply put; the species’ main threat is the presence of humans.

Negin Maddock

ISCD Surface Designer of the Year Award 2017


So excited to have been the recipient of the 2017 Surface Designer of the Year award at the International School of Colour and Design last night. 

As part of the award I will be collaborating with Emily Ziz Design Studio to release a collection of textiles and wallpapers in 2017. 

I was also honoured to receive two industry awards: Highly Commended from Sheridan for my children's bed linen design and from Porter's Paints, the Award of Excellence, for my wallpaper design.

A big thank you to ISCD, Sheridan, Porter's Paints and Emily Ziz!

Negin Maddock