Oil-painting Tips, Techniques, and Inspiration with Nina Weiss

Willow WolfeArtist Spotlight, Oil, Painting Techniques, Tips & Techniques

Princeton Artist Brush Co. interviews Nina Weiss, oil painter, landscape painter. Nina Weiss painting tips and techniques.

We recently introduced landscape painter, Nina Weiss, and gave you a glimpse inside her studio.  We’ve now had the pleasure of interviewing Nina and discovering the processes and techniques behind her stunning oil paintings.

Oil is Nina’s medium of choice:

“I am an oil painter. I was trained as an oil painter; beginning with lessons at age 11.  After an enriching 20 year detour into chalk pastel drawing; I returned to oil paint again; using the drawing experience to inform my painting:  creating layers of color; using line to create form; color contrasts; directional mark-making, and glazing.”

Her artistic influences are many:

“When I began studying in art college; I was heavily influenced by the works of the German Expressionists; the Blue Rider group; Fauves; and in more recent years; the Canadian Group of Seven landscape painters.  I admire the mark-making of artists like Vuillard; Van-Gogh and Lautrec; and many artists from the New York Ashcan school.”

Over the past 30 years as an artist, her work has evolved:

“I believe a good painting is heavily reliant on a strong drawing….working with pastel for so many years solidified my drawing skills. Working with color and line in a drawing process has also heavily influenced the way I use color in my paintings; resulting in richer; more complex visual experiences. I segued back into oils through gouache painting.  Gouache paint has a similar feel to the pastels: velvety and opaque; reflecting and absorbing light in the same manner.”

Her creative process involves her interpretation of landscapes:

“In the studio; I work my paintings in layers; starting with a colored ground; then painting from saturated colors to lighter colors. To gather inspiration for my paintings; I get out into the landscape as much as possible; whether by traveling; biking; or hiking through local forests preserves, parks, and overlooked bits of urban nature.  I can see my paintings waiting in the landscape as I react to elements of compositions and color.  I document the landscape with photographs; which I then crop and interpret in the studio for my paintings.”

Princeton Artist Brush Co. interviews Nina Weiss, oil painter, landscape painter. Nina Weiss painting tips and techniques.

OCEAN GARDEN by Nina Weiss
48“ x 48” Oil on Canvas Retail $4,800

Her favorite Princeton brushes:

“I love the Princeton series of both Catalyst™ and Dakota™ long handled brushes.  As a life-long vegetarian, I am thrilled to have well-constructed brushes that are not made from animal products.  I find natural bristle brushes to be too stiff and unresponsive.”

And why she loves them:

“The brushes are responsive and flexible.  My work is very gestural, so the feel of the brush is very important to me. Poorly made synthetic brushes quickly splay out and lose their shape with my vigorous painting technique….the Princeton brushes hold their edges and shape!”

She offers some insight and tips on how she uses our brushes:

“I like to choose the correct brush for the area and shape that I am painting….so I love to have a large variety of my favorite brushes on hand. It’s not just about getting the paint on the canvas; but HOW you apply the paint!  I change brushes according to the stroke needed, and also like to have a range of brushes going that may be used for warm or cool colors, dark and light…so I’m not constantly cleaning brushes.  I usually end up with at least five or six brushes in my hand and several more in my turp and at the ready!  I tend to like a variety of brights; but execute the initial “drawing” of the painting using a smaller round brush (one that keeps a point….like a #4) and thinned oil paint.”

And describes how she approaches her signature painting techniques:

“I approach local color and values by building up layers of color which the eye then mixes and interprets.  The layers throughout all areas of the painting have similar colors worked through them; so all parts of the painting are harmonious.  I only employ small areas (if any!) of local color; but instead am reacting to color cues that are more about value; intensity; contrast; saturation and mood.  I use gesture and mark making to build form; and use colors to create contrast; concentrating on edges, underpainting and adjacent hues.”

Princeton Artist Brush Co. interviews Nina Weiss, oil painter, landscape painter. Nina Weiss painting tips and techniques.