Easy-to-Learn: Loose Watercolor Peonies | Joly Poa | Skillshare

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Easy-to-Learn: Loose Watercolor Peonies

teacher avatar Joly Poa, Watercolor Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (52m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:11
    • 2. Supplies

      2:41
    • 3. Mixing a Dainty Pink Color

      3:32
    • 4. Wet on Wet Technique

      2:14
    • 5. Brush Strokes

      2:10
    • 6. Painting Leaves and a Filler

      3:40
    • 7. Peony Bud

      2:04
    • 8. X Mark Peony Technique

      5:04
    • 9. Freeform Peony

      4:43
    • 10. Class Project: Single Stem Peony Part 1

      4:16
    • 11. Class Project: Single Stem Part 2

      4:47
    • 12. Class Project: Peony Bouquet Part 1

      5:48
    • 13. Class Project: Peony Bouquet Part 2

      6:47
    • 14. Final Thoughts

      1:54
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Learn how to paint loose watercolor peonies with me as I break it down into easy-to-follow steps. This is my first video that uses animated arrows to guide your strokes. 

This class is for beginners and for other artists who are looking into trying a loose style of watercolor painting.

In this class, you will learn about the following:

  • Supplies/Materials
  • How to mix a dainty pink color
  • Wet on wet technique
  • Brush strokes for the petals of the peony
  • Leaves and fillers
  • Peony bud

For the main peony flower, you will learn how to paint it in two ways:

  1.  X-mark Peony 
  2. Freeform Peony

By the end of the class, you will have learned the necessary skills to create your own single stem peony and peony bouquet.

Let's start painting! :) 

Joly

Meet Your Teacher

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Joly Poa

Watercolor Artist

Teacher

 

Hi everyone! 

My name is Joly and I am a watercolorist based in the Philippines. I discovered painting with watercolor back in 2013. I started out as newbie and learned to paint better through making mistakes and learning from other amazing artists. I just love how we can express ourselves through painting, creating wonderful watercolor florals using our artistic interpretation. It makes each painting really unique! 

My instagram account (@jolypoa)  serves as my art journal where I post my progress in the form of timelapse videos, real-time videos and photos of my paintings. My goal was also to be able to share what I have learned in watercolor. I hope to be able to do the same here on Skillshare! :)


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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hey guys, my name is Joly. Welcome to my second sketch art class. I'm a water-colorist based in the Philippines and today we're going to learn how to paint loose watercolor peonies. When I first started painting loose watercolor peonies, they would look like bulbs of onion and they would look really funny. But over time with practice I developed a way on how to prevent that. In this class we are going to talk about the supplies that you need. The paper, the paint, the brush, and we're also going to talk about the colors that you need for this class project. I've also included a section in this class where I'm going to show you how to achieve this nice peachy pink color. We're also going to tackle the wet on wet technique, the brush strokes that you need to paint for the petals of the peonies, the leaves, fillers and the peony buds. So for today we're going to learn how to paint the peony first. Doing this will help you get more acquainted with the shape of the flower. Then we're going to move on with the free form peony where you can inject your own style, your own brush strokes to create that nice, loose watercolor peony. This class is suitable for beginners and also for other people who want to dabble with a different style of painting. At the end of the class, you'll be able to create two easy projects, a single stem peony, and also a peony bouquet. I'm sure that you're super excited to start the class, so now let's move on to the next video. 2. Supplies: Let's now talk about the supplies that we will use for this class. For the brush we are using a round brush. You can opt for a size six or a size eight. Then, you'll need a container filled with clean water. Let's prepare a paper towel that we will use to dab excess water in the brush. You see here a ceramic palette, but you can also use a plastic palette. Just like in my previous class, I'm also using the Fabriano Artistico extra white 100 percent cotton paper. This is a block style where in all sides are glued to prevent the paper from buckling or wrinkling while painting on it. To take over a sheet, there's a small portion here that isn't glued and you just need to insert a cutter around the side to take off one sheet. Another option is to buy a large sheet of watercolor paper and just cut it into smaller sheets to make it as your practice sheets. This is cheaper compared to buying a block of watercolor paper. The size of my paper is around seven by 10 inches. Lastly, it's glued to a pin. I am using the Shinhan PWC. It's a Korean brand of a discrete watercolor paint. I have them in tubes and I'm just going to transfer them into half pans, just like this. Let's watch the paints that you will use for this class. The first one is permanent rose. It's a lovely pink color that you will use for aepyornis. Next is permanent yellow light. This makes a nice peachy pink color when you add it to the permanent growth. Then we have burnt sienna. Next, we have sap green that you'll use for our leaves. Then indigo, which is one of my favorite colors. Lastly, we have permanent violet, which we will use for the fillers. Now, you swatch all the six colors and now let's move onto the next video. 3. Mixing a Dainty Pink Color: Have you ever wondered how you can create this nice painted pink and peachy pink colors of the loose watercolor peonies. Well, that's what we are going to discuss now. Let's create a light pink color, just like this. Now we need permanent rose plus water. A lot of water. Let's grab some paint using our brush. I'm going to transfer some paint on my ceramic palette and I'm just going to stroll it around. Then let's add some water to dilute this permanent rose. By adding a lot of water to our paint, we can create a light pink color. I think we are ready. Now let's try to swatch it on the paper. That looks perfect. Let's try to swatch again and this time I'm going to paint a petal. We can get an even lighter shade of pink just by adding more water to our paint. This shade of pink will look great on our loose peonies later. Let's start to paint our peachy pink color. For this color, we need permanent rose and permanent yellow light plus, of course, a lot of water. I'm just grabbing some permanent yellow light and I'm going to add it to our previous mix. Remember to add the yellow bit by bit because adding too much yellow will turn your mix into orange. Now, I'm going to grab a little bit more. I'm just going to mix it and I think we're good. Now, let's try to swatch our peachy pink color. Because we added some yellow to our mix, you will notice that it looks different compared to the color above. Painting petals during swatching helps me visualize how my loose peonies will look like. I dip my brush in the water jar and it got a little bit of the peachy pink paint. Then now I'm going to swatch it and you'll notice that the color is a lighter shade of peachy pink. Now we're done. It's easy. You just need to add water to lighten the shade of your paint. 4. Wet on Wet Technique: Now we move on to the wet on wet technique where in the surface of the paper is wet and then our brush is also wet. I am just going to quickly demonstrate this. I'm just grabbing some clean water and then I'm going to paint a square shape on the paper. I'm just going to spread it evenly. Then let's grab some paint and drop it on the wet surface. You will notice that when you drop the paint, it just spreads and blooms. When this one dries, it will create a soft edge. Now, I'm going to show you how we can apply this technique on loose florals in general. Let's paint a petal. Later on, I'm going to drop a darker shade of pink at the bottom. Now we have a wet base, and now I'm going to add a darker shade of pink. I'm doing the wet on wet technique so that the two colors will blend in with each other seamlessly. Let's do it again with a more close up video. I'm going to paint a petal again. Now that we have our base, let's add a more concentrated pink color. I'm just letting the two colors blend with each other. You may also go back in and blend the colors with your brush. As you can see, there are no hard edges because the two paints are wet. We're done. 5. Brush Strokes: Let's now practice some brushstrokes and right here I have a mixture of thick pink color. I'm using a size eight round brush and I'm just going to soak in all that juicy paint and we're going to start right here. I'm just going to slowly press my brush and as you can see, the bristles are expanding. Because the brush is really wet, it's very easy to move around and change the shape of the petal. So now I'm just going to use the tip of my brush and paint some thin strokes to complete the petal. As you can see, I'm also leaving some white spaces. So let's do one more round of practice. So I'm going to press my brush and move sideways in a curve manner. It looks like a letter c and then I'm just going to put some thin lines on the sides, make some wispy strokes, and leave some white spaces. When painting the petals for the loose peonies, you want a brush to be really wet and I'm going to show you what will happen if our brush is dry. As you can see, the bristles are not expanding and it's very difficult to spread the paint. Because the brush is quite dry, you get those white spots. So this one is good, this one is good and the last one is not. I hope this helps you in painting the loose peonies later. 6. Painting Leaves and a Filler: Let's paint some leaves. I am using my size eight round brush, and I've prepared a sap green paint. I started with a thin stem and then I'm going to slowly press my brush against the paper and then slowly lift it up until I get a pointy tip. Let's do it again. You will notice that when you apply heavy pressure, the bristles will spread. One of the things that I do to give the leaves some character is to add some thin strokes on the main stem. Just like so. So I'm going to add one more leaf on the lower left side. It doesn't have to be perfect looking and it doesn't have to be just one stroke. You can go back to fix the leaf. Now, let's add the last leaf. What you can do is you can also add different shades of green to make it look more interesting. Now, let's do a compound stroke leaf. Let's paint the center leaf first, and then let's add one on the left and one on the right. Then let's add the stem. So let's try to paint another compound stroke, but this time let's try to paint five strokes. So that's already one right there, and I'm going to add one more, and then let's add just a tiny leaf on the left and right. Then one more on the far-right. Then let's just add a stem. So just have fun and experiment. Change the direction of the leaves. Paint some leaves beside each other, or make some leaves bigger or smaller. Or add different shades of green. It's all up to your imagination. Last but not the least, we're going to learn how to paint a filler. This filler looks like a lavender. We are going to use this filler later for our loose watercolor peony bouquet. For this time, I used a sap green color, and then I just took some permanent violet and diluted it in water. Using the tip of my brush, I'm just lightly stamping it on the paper so that I can get that triangular shape of the tip of the brush. So now I'm painting with a more concentrated permanent violet. Let's add a few more strokes. We are almost done. I'm just going to add until the bottom. Now, let's grab some concentrated sap green color, and I'm just going to drop it in the center and just let it blend with the purple strokes that we made a while ago. So that's great, we are now done. 7. Peony Bud: Let's now paint a peony bud. I have prepared a dainty pink color by mixing permanent rose with a lot of water. I'm going to paint one petal first, and I'm just going to slide my brush towards the same direction as the arrow. I'm going to add one more petal on the right side. Let's move our brush sideways in the same direction as the arrow again. You'll notice that I'm painting with a juicy brush. Now we have two petals forming into a v-shape. Now let's close up this bud. I'm just going to paint some tiny strokes right there. It will look like the ruffles and falls of a peony. You can always go back to some parts of the peony buds that you can fix the shape. Now I'm already good with the shape and I'm just going to grab some permanent rose, a more concentrated paint and I'm just going to throw it in my ceramic pallet. I'm just going to mix it and we are going to drop it in the center of the peony. As you can see, the two colors are blending with each other creating soft edges. This is how we apply the wet on wet technique. Let's grab some sap green paint so that we can paint the stem. I'm adding the stem while the peony bud is still wet so that the two colors will also blend with each other and we are done. Now let's move onto the next video where we are going to paint an open peony. 8. X Mark Peony Technique: I'm pretty sure that you are very excited to start painting the loose florals. I've developed a special technique called the X-Mark Technique that makes it easier for you to paint loose peonies. Let's now grab our paint, paper, and brush so that we can start painting loose peonies. First up, let's prepare a mixture of [inaudible] paint color by combining, again, permanent gloss and a lot of water. I am using my size 8 round brush, and I'm just grabbing some paint. Let's start with one petal first. I'm just going to slide my brush toward the same direction as the arrow. Then I'm just going to add a few thin strokes just to complete that petal, and then let me add one more on the right, just follow the arrow again and just fix the shape of the petal. Now, I want to create an X pattern. I'm going to add a petal on the lower left. The movement of my strokes go towards the center. Let's add another one on the lower right. Now, we have an X pattern, it actually looks like a four-petaled flower. Let's add some petals on the left and the right side of the flower. I'm keeping one side of the petal quite pointy. Then let's create the top petal. I'm going to leave a white space right here. I'm going to add one more petal over here. We can lightly connect the sides of the petal with the ones beside it. Here's the last petal. If you'll notice, I'm also creating some wispy strokes, making sure that my strokes are quite pointy. You can go back to fix some areas. My tip is to add some small strokes so that you won't overdo painting this loose peony. Now, let's grab a more concentrated permanent rose, and just grabbing some paint, and I'm going to swirl it again on my palette. While the base of the flower is still wet, we are going to drop in a very pigmented paint. You'll see how it just spreads and blends with the base color. Now, with a clean and damp brush, I am just going to fade away some areas. Now, let's grab some yellow and I'm going to put it in the center. Now, let's paint some thin strokes. and it's okay if the yellow is blending in with the base of our loose peony. Later on you're going to add a more defined layer. Now, let's wait for this painting to dry. Now that our first layer is drying, we can now add more defined details in the center. I am just mixing some burnt sienna and I'm going to create some thin strokes. I'm lightly touching the tip of the brush on the paper to create some thin lines. Now, let's add some tiny dots. You can alternate and some dots can be really small, some can be a little bigger. We're done. That's easy, right? Congratulations on painting your first peony. 9. Freeform Peony: Free-form peony. That's one of my favorite ways to the paint a peony. You just go with the flow. You just follow your instinct, and you inject your own style into painting a loose floral. Let's start now. To start this video, I have prepared a diluted permanent gloss paint. Let's paint some petals forming a V-shape. Let's start with the first petal and, for this free-form peony and going to make more wispy strokes, I'm going to use the tip of my brush to create some thin strokes. Then let's start on the other side. It easier to paint this if you have a really juicy brush. Just move around the paint until you get the right shape that you want. Then you're going to form a petal in between the letter V. Now, I'm doing an up and down motion. Let's just leave some white spaces. I'm going to add a petal on the left and another one on the right. As you can see, it is touching some of the other petals lightly. I am making sure that there's still space in-between the feathers to define it or else it might look like a blob of paint. Let's add one more on the lower left, and another one on the lower right. Now, let's add a U-shaped stroke to create the bottom petal, and continuously adding some wispy strokes just to fill in those white gaps. You can try some quick strokes like this, like a check-mark. I feel like I need to extend this part, so I'm just going to go slowly. As you can see, I'm really just using the tip of my brush. I'm going to extend this part as well. The advantage of using a juicy brush is that, when you paint on the paper, your strokes won't dry up easily. It means that you can fix the petal, extend it, without putting in some hard edges. With a more concentrated permanent gloss, I'm going to add a little bit right here. It will look like a shadow where all the petals meet there. Our peony is now slowly coming into life. While the base is still wet, I'm going to grab some yellow and just beat some strokes in the center and just let it bleed. I feel like I need more contrast here, so let's just drop in some more of the pigmented permanent gloss. Now I'm just going to let this dry and then they're going to add more details. With a burnt sienna I'm just go paint some thin strokes right there. Make sure that the first layer is dry, or else the burnt sienna will just mix with a wet base and it will create a muddy look. Here, I'm just adding a few more dots. We are done with the free-form peony. You can definitely customize this. You can even add more petals and more wispy strokes. You can also change the color. Now, let's move on to the next video, which is a class project. 10. Class Project: Single Stem Peony Part 1: Now that we have learned how to paint peony in two ways, now we are going to move on to a class project and let's start with a single stem peony. I am just going to show you first a sample of the project that we are going to paint today. For the materials I have prepared my dainty pink color, and I also have my fabriano artistico paper and I am using my size eight round brush. Just a tip before you start painting, you can put a dot on the paper so that it will serve as a guide, one where your two petals will meet. For this project, I am using the x mark technique. Let's start with two petals forming a letter v first. I am just using the tip of my brush to paint some thin strokes. Now we are done with the letter v, so let's extend this to make it a letter x. I'm just going to add a petal on the lower left, and another one on the lower right. Now it looks like a four petal flower. Now that we have the x mark shape like this, I am just going to grab some more paint and let's create the side petals. The petals are pointing towards the center of the x mark that we could created. Adding the top petal. Now I'm leaving a white space right here. Let's add two more petals beside that top petal. A few drops of paint just fall onto paper with that's okay. I just wipe it with my finger. It probably won't be of use after it dries up. One way to check if the shape of the flower is already good for you is to hold your paper far from you just to change the perspective. If you want to extend some petals, you can just paint some thin strokes so that you won't overdo it. I'm just fixing some of the petals. As you can see our base is still wet. I'm going to grab a more pigmented permanent rose and I'm just going to mix it right here. You're going to drop it in the center of our x mark. As you can see, the two colors are blending with each other. With a clean and damp brush I am just going to spread that pink paint right there. Let's prepare our permanent yellow and I'm just going to drop it in the center and just let it bleed with the pink base. Let's paint some thin strokes. A few yellow spots made its way right there, and I'm just going to get a clean damp brush again and let's just move that yellow around so that it doesn't look too harsh. Good job so now lets move on to the next video. 11. Class Project: Single Stem Part 2: Welcome to the second part of this class project. I have prepared my mixture of sap green. Let's just paint the stem of this peony. The base of the peony still wet, so I just want to touch my brush around that area, so that the green color will just spread on the base of the flower. This will give it a more seamless look. Now we are going to add some leaves, and I'm going to do some compounds strokes. Let's slowly press our brush paint in one stroke, then I'm going to do two strokes for a leaf, and just add some cyan ones on the left and right. Let's add another leaf on the right side. To make it look more expressive, you can paint with quick stroke, so that you can get that really pointy tip, and of course you can go back to fix some leaves. Let's paint the last leaf and I want this leaf to face downwards. Let's just grab some indigo paint and I'm going to mix it with a little bit of sap green. While our stem and leaves are still wet and distinctive, grab in a few dots of indigo. I love adding these finishing touches on the leaves and stem because it gives you more depth. With a clean and dump brush, we can go back in to fix some areas that you want to spread some more. Let's wait for a few more minutes to let our painting dry. Make sure that your papers dry before we start painting in the yellow portion. Now I have my burnt sienna and we're just going to paint some thin strokes. Let's now add some dots. Paint the dots randomly, so that it look nicer. Let me just zoom out so that you can see the entire painting. Now this portion is optional, but I'm going to show you how you can define some of the petals. Let's make a pink paint that is two shades darker than the color of the base of our peony, just like this. I'm just going to define some petals by painting some lines. While those lines are wet and going to rinse my brush and then tap the excess water, and I'm just going to fit those lines. You will notice that some petals are now more defined. The purpose of this step is to separate some of the petals that might have combined together, when we were repainting it. If you feel like you need a blob of petals during the first layer of this peony, then this is your solution to fix that problem. Let me just drop in some more of the pigmented paint, and again, of course, this is just an optional step. You can opt not to add these details anymore if you were already happy with your painting before this step. Let me just zoom out again, so you can see the whole painting. So now you are good. Congratulations on creating your first class project. 12. Class Project: Peony Bouquet Part 1: For our second project, let's create a peony bouquet. We have our Fabriano artistico watercolor paper right here, and I've also prepared a peachy paint color, which I have achieved by mixing permanent rose and a bit of yellow and of course a lot of water. To start off, I'm going to put a small dot as a type. For this bouquet, I am going to do some free form paintings. Let's grab some paint and create two petals that will form into the V-shape. Then I'm going to paint the top petal. Let's paint some petals on the side of the top petal. There's a drop of paint right there. I'm just going to dab it with a paper towel. I feel like I need to extend some parts of the top petal. Let's just add a few more petals, and you'll notice that my brush has a lot of paint in it. When painting loose florals, I usually prefer my brush to be really juicy, so that it's easier to move around the petals if I want to change the shape. This point right here needs a second layer later because the petals have clumped together and you can no longer see the separation of the petals. If you made the same mistake, don't worry, we can fix it and just go back later when the first layer has dried. Right now, I'm just adding a more pigmented color, like where all the petals meet. I'm just slowly spreading the color. Right here, I am just going to add some permanent yellow, and I will just let it blend with the first layer. Now let's turn the paper around so we can add another peony and the bouquet. I usually turn the paper around because I want to paint from the best angle. But of course, it still depends on your preference. I personally just have a hard time painting flowers upside down. I started with a letter V-shape again and now I am adding the top petal. I'm just slowly building the petal, adding some wispy strokes. I am continuously changing and fixing the petals. Now, let's add some petals on the side making one side of the petal point b. Most of my strokes are quick to create that wispy stroke. Of course don't forget to add those whites paces that will separate the petals from one another. Like the previous peony, I'm also going to add some pigmented permanent rose. This enhances the overall look of a loose watercolor peony. I'm adding some permanent yellow again in the center. Just let it bleed with the first layer. While I'm letting these two peonies dry, I am going to add a peony bud right here. To create a peony bud, let's start by painting two petals forming a V-shape again. Then here we are just going to close it up by adding some thin strokes between the two petals. I'm painting the center with a more pigmented permanent rose. Now let's grab some sap green and paint a stem. So this is the end of part 1 of the peony bouquet. Are you excited to finish your project? Then click the next video. 13. Class Project: Peony Bouquet Part 2: Welcome to the second part of the Peony Bouquet project. Add a peony bud right here. I'm just going to turn my paper so that I can get the better angle. Let me just grab some paint and then let's start creating two petals that will form a v shape. I'm just painting really lose with a juicy brush. It's now time to close up the peony bud. I'm just painting some curved thin strokes. Then let's drop in some pigmented permanent rose. When painting loose florals, my tip is don't overthink. Because sometimes overthinking ruins your painting. Let's now add a sap green stem. Let's rotate the paper. Right now, I am just adding indigo to my sap green to create that really rich color. Just look at that. It looks so good and the green, looks so rich. I love the contrast that this gives. The loose peonies have a very soft and delicate color and then the leaves just gives that more structured and bold look. Let's add some new stems. Later on we will add some leaves to that and some other fillers. I'm doing this so that I have some sort of a guide on where I will put the leaves. Now, let's add some compound stroke leaves. Let's grab some more sap green. I'm just going to paint more leaves at the top. It's okay to paint leaves overlapping the petals. I have prepared a diluted permanent violet, and right now I am painting the filler. This filler looks like a lavender and I think it really complements the pink peonies. I'm going to rinse my brush and pick up a dainty pink color and you're going to paint some small buds. Then one more bud on the upper right. I feel like something is lacking over here, so I'm just going to go ahead and paint some leaves. I add some leaves and filers and also buds to fill in the gaps in between the flowers and to make the whole bouquet look fuller. Let's add some fillers right here. I am using a diluted permanent violet again, but feel free to change the color of this filler. The first layer looks a little light so we can go back in and drop a more pigmented permanent violet. Now that the two peonies are already dry, you can now grab some paint sienna and paint some thin strokes in the center. Just hold your brush lightly to create those thin strokes. You can also tilt your brush at an almost 90 degree angle so that only the tip of the bristles will touch the paper. Let's do this one more time for the other peony. Feel free to rotate the paper so that it's easier for you to paint this. The petals right here feels like it's not separate from each other. Let's go ahead and paint a second layer of petals. I am using about one shade darker than the previous shade that we used for the first base. Now, you will see the petals coming into life. For the other peony, we're also going to define the petals. I am going in with a more pigmented color. Let's just paint some lines that will define and separate the petals. We're not going to leave this as is, I'm going to go back in and just feed those lines that we made earlier. Let's go back to the first peony I'm just going to add a little bit more permanent growth right there. We are done. Good job. You now have a bouquet. We have just now finished painting a loose watercolor peony bouquet. Let's now move on to the next and last video. 14. Final Thoughts: Congratulations guys. You have now reached the end of the class. Thank you so much for watching. I hope that you've learned a lot today, and that you have enjoyed the class. I also hope that this class help you become more confident in painting loose watercolor peonies. I have given this advice in my previous class which you can check out. But I'm obedient now that practice is really key, it's very important to allow time with painting to hone your skills. If you fail don't worry I guess everybody goes through that even with me when I first started out, my peonies looked like onions. But I dedicated a lot of time in practicing and I did notice the improvement in my skills. I'm excited to see all your class projects, so what you can do now is you can look for reference photos, or you can buy some fresh flowers, or you can grab some artificial flowers that you can use as a reference when you're painting. Feel free to upload your work in progress photos or those are your final photos in the project gallery of this class. If you're on Instagram, don't forget to tag me in your paintings so that I can see your work. I'm going to put a screenshot of my Instagram account right here. You can also use the hashtag right here, so that I can check out your works. If you're not yet following me on Skillshare, please do click that Follow button so that you'll be notified every time I upload a new class. That's it. Thank you for watching. Bye. Happy painting.