Start Loose And Stay Loose, Create Expressive Artwork With Acrylics | Robert Joyner | Skillshare

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Start Loose And Stay Loose, Create Expressive Artwork With Acrylics

teacher avatar Robert Joyner, Making Art Fun

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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

5 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Part One

    • 3. Part Two

    • 4. Part Three

    • 5. Part Four

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About This Class

In this class I will demonstrate an easy technique - 'starting loose & staying loose' using only acrylics. I feel one of the issues with most artists that are branching out to paint loose and trying to learn to be more expressive is they will go for it in the beginning only to tighten up as the painting progresses. The end result is still tight despite the loose beginning.

I create two versions of a simple house and begin by adding the first layer. Note that both versions are good examples of starting loose. When I'm finished adding the first layer I'll take a break and allow the paint to dry.

Be sure to understand how having clean water & managing your reservoirs can easily improve your artwork. It's imperative that you become aware of this at all times since neglecting it will only ruin your beautiful colors & transparent qualities.

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Robert Joyner

Making Art Fun


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1. Introduction: Hi there. I'm Robert Joyner. I'm excited to share this new class review. Start loose and stay. Lose thistles, A short but fantastic and informative class on how you can create expressive artwork and ultimately avoid creating boring and predictable paintings. To better illustrate how this works, I would do a demonstration where you see side by side how one version will start loose but end up tight and how the other version will start, lose and stay loose as I add many layers to achieve the final painting. The purpose of this class is to help you avoid some of the common mistakes artists make when trying to paint loosely. It's easy to start lose, but not so easy to stay loose as you start to add many layers and get sucked into all the details are really unnecessary. So if you're ready to branch out, try something new or simply add your arsenal of tools for painting and roll. Today I hope to see you on the inside again. I'm Robert Joyner. I like to start lose and I like to stay loose. I'll see you on the inside 2. Part One: Hi there. Welcome to the lesson I want to. And this next series of lessons. Really? I want to give you a lot more information. Um, about, you know, a few of the things we've already covered. So starting loose, part of painting, looses just having that really kind of wild, chaotic, almost beginning. Um, see artists and I'm working live. We're in person with them. When they see me do it, they get inspired and they go for it Onley to paint over that as they move forwards, they start loose, but they end tight. I mean, it's easy to do. It's, um you know, part of preserving that looseness is understanding your medium. You have to when you're working with acrylics, crayon, charcoal inks, um, they all had their their strengths and weaknesses on bond. I think for this particular lesson, I'm just stick with acrylics because the critics were kind of the base medium for me and will be the base medium I used for this administration and acrylics are an interesting medium. They know they're quick medium in that they dry fast, and so you can work very fluidly and kind of get a rhythm going and and also you can working in layer so layers. What I mean is you're putting something down. So say you dio create a loose beginning and now let that layer dry. Okay, they're not. Come back after a dries and add another layer. And then I let that dry. Excuse me and so one. So you know, it's nice toe Have that advantage a supposed to like oils or something where you're dealing with a very slow medium, and you tend to have to be a lot more patient on things like that. Where were the acrylics? You can put something down, whether it's thick or thin or diluted or whatever. And 20 minutes later, if you're in the right environment, um is dry and you can, you know, go right over and keep on rolling. And that's the beauty of acrylics. And that's why I love the medium so much. So, um, but I would like to do here is kind of pound home, some some of of the qualities of acrylics and things you'll have to understand and really master, um, to paint loose. Okay, so So for this example, let's just see start loose, right and now I want that looseness in the beginning to become part of the finished piece to Okay, So to do that, you know, I need to understand transparency, the transparent qualities of certain pigments. So some colors aren't as transparent as others. Any time you mix white, titanium white with any color is going to become a Pake, so you're not going to get transparent qualities out of it, and that's okay. But there are times when it's not OK and and he may go. I want a light blue Here you go while just, you know, I'll mix a little white with a little blue and get my light blue. And maybe there are opportunities there to just make me thin. A blew out a little bit, was just some pure water and put that down and then let that layer beneath it show through . And really, that's the key right? Is starting loose. We want toe show that looseness as we progress the painting forward. And so that's that's really what I want a pound home here again, I'm working with only acrylics. I will give you other examples off, starting loose and staying loose, and by combining mediums as well. So what I have here Just good old £140 cold press. I divided in half because I want to give you two examples. So we'll do on example of starting loose and painting over it by just not understanding the qualities of acrylics. And then I hope to give you a much better example of starting loose and staying loose by understanding the properties of acrylics. Okay, so I'll grandma brush Grandma palette, and, um and we'll get started. All right. Welcome back on my palette. Here have titanium, white, cobalt, violent fellow blue, transparent red iron oxide cad, red liberal, lemon yellow here, or actually has cad yellow chromium green. Um, brushes. I just kind of a small selection here. I have my outline. Er so I have a number one in the number six, um, large square, um, medium round, small detail brush or small round. Have a fan brush. It's kind of lost that shape a little bit. And, um, some good old clean water. And while I'm on the subject of water, that is a big issue to um but water you. We're using water to clean our brushes a lot that's typically what it's four. And then we also use that water to dilute or thin out our pains. Now, over time and really a very short period of time of washing your brushes, that water will become very, very murky, right? And especially if you're using whites with colors and you're rinsing them out, then they will get really, really money. And, um, the problem with that is is, once you get that muddy started dipping into your fewer fresh colors, then you're gonna lose. That beautiful quality of the acrylic Sony transparency may have is going to get tainted by the murky water. So you have to, um, constantly change your water. I constantly have fresh water. If you're like me, you start to paint. You get into it. You don't like to stop thing and change your water or whatever, but just have 10 reservoirs. You know I have. I have probably a dozens of these, and I'll kind of just take a moment in the mornings before I start and rinse it all out there. Probably already clean, but really, at the end of my sessions, what I do is I take all of the dirties rinse him out, put fresh water in there and bring them in, and they're ready to go. So I've got a line of fresh reservoirs with water or reservoirs with fresh, hotter. And that helps me because most I get in a groove. I don't want to stop what I'm doing and have to go get it. I'd rather wait to the end of the session. Take care of that. Bring it back in that we were ready to paint. I'm going. So again, you got you got a be able to manage your water too. And little silly things like that can really ruin. Um, you're transparent qualities, okay? And ruin your pain. Now for this demonstration. Just going to use a couple of buildings. Uh, just give me give you a little bit different subject matter to think about toe work with. And it's nice. Simple shapes. Um and so anyway, I'll kind of start there with some buildings. And now, with both of these, I will start loose. Okay. With this one, I'm going to start lose. But as I move forward, it's going to become tight. Um, it will become tight because I'm not managing my medium. Okay, I'm letting my medium ruin that looseness because I'm not using those transparent qualities here. I want to start loose and I'm going to stay loose, okay? And that's the plan. So let's get started. And, you know, I can start however I want, Right? So let's say I want to start with some of this Ah, yellow green mixture. I'm going. Go into Mom white. And typically, if I'm working on a pallet, especially a small surface like this attended, mix my whites towards the edge, keep the middle for my transparent color. So if I start to mix whites all in here, here and here, then that whites going to eventually merge with some of these more transparent areas of color. So by keeping them on the edge that I had this kind of strip here in the middle, which I consider my main mixing area to use for my transparent stuff, and they don't tend to mix as much. But again, if you started staggering putting piles all over the place no white mixtures, transparent, white, white, right then it really becomes a mess. So you have to kind of be able to manage your palate, too. So I'm just gonna start here, and just any old color will do. And I'm just going to start putting kind of this nice, loose feeling of a building. What kind of diss? Merge into this kind of blue area, and we'll get a shadow side here and say it's running something like this and fine, that's work. We go kind of align the air going to my violets. Maybe a little transparent. I just call that brown a sebacean transparent red oxide Every every time I use it Almost same around. And you know what I'm talking about? We have, ah, say a roof here, and we have a dark side. That's fine. Oh, this is working and good way. So now I kind of have this kind of very loose looking building. I can go ahead and even add. I will go with the red. Why? Um, add this feeling even of a chimney stack rule loose again. I'm not trying to be perfect with this. A little bit of the blue violet. Just get that feeling of a shadow and, um and that's good. So now I'll let that rest clean my brush a la white mixture on there. I'll probably use a lot of white with this one to I'll do this one very, very similar. So we'll go find this mixture White. Nice. Loose beginning. So not trying to control the edges too much. Get something kind of shaded looking. So I have a shadow sign that works. Oh, Scuse me. It happens. All right? Now establish the dark side of the roof. Here. Will say, is moving up in this angle. That's fine. Go and dip into some white. I've got that color on my brush already so I can get right into the white sometimes. And you kind of get a little bit lighter value there and find me. Go and establish that chimney looks a little dark, so I just kind of kind of move that to the dark side. Um, I'll go into this touch a yellow maybe a little more white, and I'll establish kind of the light side of that chimney. Okay, so, um, the key now, if we're talking about working in layers, is to let that dry. Okay, so from here, um, I'll let this do exactly that. And what it does come back and will crack forward with this particular Siris of lessons. All right. See, shortly 3. Part Two: Welcome back. Dry to the touch. Very, very patient. Um, so hypothetically, miss, make a scenario here. Uh, so this particular scenario, we have this building, and maybe this artist says, Oh, you know, I like it, but it's not the perfect color. It's got to be this, um It needs to be more of a yellow two green or whatever. Okay. But we're here saying same scenario. So we have the yellow front. The artist says, Oh, it's not yellow, but, you know, maybe I can push it yellow and get it in the ballpark. Great. So now I'm going to start here. You have clean water. So changed out that water because I used quite a bit of white in that last session. It wasn't totally murky water. So I've got off to the side, and I was kind of knock no big chunks of color off with it, and then I have, you know, Chris water for for mixing. So I kind of go into this white or yellow. Mix this up and, you know, brushes, dank, some dip it in water. Now this artists as well. But I like all this brush stroke. I think all That's kind of interesting. I just wanted a little more of a pop to I want that yellow so we can go in here. Maybe I'm putting some built in the windows in there, too, and good. And now I can take that yellow go. Well, what about this? Over here. Kind of Get this a little more of a yellow 10 as well. So it matches over here, this artist cause Oh, well, you know, I got to get that just so So I go yellow and white, some really trying to make this a creamy yellow. So with the white and this mixture here, you can see that under layer Pretty much gone. So any strokes or anything I had there in this particular case, it's covered up. Now that may be okay, but over here, I just want to point out how you can see that transparent quality. Okay, so let's say now I'm gonna wash brush off really good since I've got white in it. And you can mix a little bit too, you know, you don't you don't have to be. So you know, no white. You know, you can like Aiken going here now that I can push a little bit of that transparent or opaque, uh, into this, But I want to leave some of that transparent quality too, right? So now say Okay, well, I like to use a little kind of windows and things that are coming on here. So this go white with both of Okay, So we know what's gonna happen. Someone put this white down and this say it's coming up something like this, but notice how I let some of that under that first layer of that color come through. So? So I didn't completely paint it like I did there, so that's very blocked. You're losing that layer under underneath. Okay, so I'm now say, Okay, well, that's all working. Good. Um, now I want to just say there's a bunch of windows and we want to make this a little bit darker on this side. So I'm gonna start with the transparent side. I'm going to my fellow, a little violent little touch of the transparent. Let's just call a brown. Right. So I kind of keep it loose from keeping it loose. I'm also working transparent, so those layers are coming. Coming through. You can kind of see that brown see that initial layer happened. So this artist goes, Oh, I want to do the same thing. But I'm gonna go much thicker. And I'm gonna go Maura the transparent or opaque Blair. And maybe they don't like the shape of that roof. So they're going to try to Really? No, get this thing. Absolutely perfect. So now I've got some darker on my brush here that say, um I want to go ahead and build up to the side of this, and now I'm gonna rinse that off. Okay, Well, I want to do a side of mind to over here, but I got a little bit of water on my brush here. I'm going to my violent maybe a touch of the red. A little more water. So it's thinned out, but not too thin. So I put that on, but you can see that there's a glow about it, and I didn't get it. Perfect. I got a little spot coming through. I didn't paint every every single piece of it, so I'm letting a little bit of that looseness happen. OK, great. I got some transparent. Um, on this brush going on. He rents it some more. I'm going to my fellow here, Thinned it out with water and that Say I want to do some windows now. Great. So you know that this particular building doesn't have a lot of windows, but that's okay, for for the sake of painting, I'm gonna do some I can start to doubt him in. And what I like to do sometimes is just kind of used my fingers to if it's not thin enough , So if it goes on and it's still kind of thick, I can kind of just smudged with my fingers and thin that out and kind of make that a little more transparent. Okay, maybe I want to put one thick one down there, um, one just to change it up. So I kind of do that sort of thing, OK, over here. This artist says, Oh, well, you know, we I started loose, but, you know, it's just tear me up. I've got to get these windows just so. And, you know, we're getting perspective. Everything kind of the way we want it in the way we see it. Um, So you're getting a very loose feeling of windows and then a very heavy dominant, you know, boom. There's my windows thes air. Very transparent, where I'm kind of playful, even with color as I smudged that red. And this is kind of mawr, you know, Not quite as playful. Right. Um, So now this is say, um, for fun. Here we have a looking at my image here. There's a building on the side, maybe over here. And we'll use a little bit of this for that here. And let's say that building has a kind of a reddish roof to it. Read it. British Brown. Okay, so now I got have, actually, I'm gonna grab my detail brush again. That floppy 1 may not do it. We're going to my cad, Red. Find a clean place on my palette. Nice and thin here and say I want to drop that and right in here somewhere Good, nice and loose. And again you can see that transparency. I left a little corner there. I didn't paint every single square inch. You can see that glow over here. We go a lot thicker. So I get more opaque and maybe go. That's too too dark. So I'm going to? I'm gonna have to lighten that up a little bit, because the image, you know, I've got to get it just like that color in the image. And then this artist, um, you're really kind of goes in here and defines that that corner perfectly. OK, So really, really got that where they want it. And fine. Now that say, for fun. Here we have, ah, blue awning. And this is pretty dry already because this went on so thin. I know I can is dry and that that's still a little wet. Um, but work over here. This a one? Um, some sort of awning there. Say the awning is black. Right? Um, but I want to be playful with colors. I can take my violet. Come over here. I've already have a wet brush. Aiken dab in the water a little bit more. Maybe even touch into the fail. Oh, there. We'll push that back a little more. Violet, I want to fit it out too much, but thin enough certainly to get this look on that there. So let's say this awning kind of comes out here. Good. That's my owning. Okay. Nice and loose. started loose. Stay loose to see I want to do a shadow side. Kind of come over here and do a little shadow. Silas, say over here, Same thing. But I'm going to really get this awning perfect and is black. And the image I've got to get that just right. I know where that thing is going. So I'm gonna get that haunting just so. And I be nice to leave those little pockets, right? Because that that isn't It's just a nice look, but artists couldn't do it. So they really hammer home that dark morning. And, um, over here, you just had the feeling of an awning, right? It's just a little something there that says, Hey, I think there's an awning there. I'm gonna go back into this, uh, cobalt violet, clean water and the shape that I want to leave some of those pockets. Right. And good to say, I want to put some little stripes in there. Those some stripes into that awning, right? No big deal over here. Uh, this go Well, they're white. So let me let me get white. We won't really want that color. And, you know, I'm gonna put those I'm just using my small liner here. I wanna put these right where they go. All right. Good 4. Part Three: All right. Good. Now let's say there's some shrubbery. So maybe behind the building there you have some greenery going on. I have my Excuse me. I'm back. Have my round here. Chromium. Um, Green. You know, it's not very transparent at the jar tube. It just doesn't have a lot of the transparent qualities that I like. So, um, that's that's the green. That's all my palate. So I'm going to do is just take a little bit of my fellow, come over here, dab into mild yellow and mix my green touch of water. And now the same will be here. This artist goes as well, You know that the green goes here, so say even they go. This artist decides to go into this chromium and they get this chin the just perfect. A lot of water on that brush. Um, they bring that down, touch all the edges, and they really get this thing tight. All right, All right. There you go. Um, so those artists hammer that green. Really? No hat, mate. Made it made. It. Made it look just very, very almost opaque looking over here. I'll go back to my fellow yellow a little more water. Kind of get it. Make sure I got it where I want it. And over here, that transparency is allowing it. You know, some of these edges and loose lines to show through. And even as I run over this white, you know you can You can still see a lot of that. The strokes underneath. Okay, so, uh, because I decided to use transparent let's say I wanted that a little bit darker, too. Pulled here. Touch a little bit of this blue red in the air. You get some dark tones there as well. But when you're when you're working more of a transparent, you can see those under layers. We go mawr thicken a Pake. You're not going to see it. Okay, You're really gonna cover all of that up if I g o like over here where this artist is? No. I want you some dark here and they go thick, thick, thick. Um, over here is give the dark, but because I'm going thinner, that's all showing through. You know, there's thin, transparent qualities. And, um, you start to see how this could easily become very tight. Where this You know, that this artist has, Ah, much more relaxed way about interpreting things. Okay? Just because the building is creamy yellow. Well, so what? I'm gonna go here. I'm gonna push push those colors right. We got some green back here. This very, very thick and opaque has a very heavy look. We're over here is more playful against that feeling of Yeah, there's some green shrubbery back there and all that stuff, but doesn't have to be perfect over here. You know, everything is very heavy in a Pake here were very suggestive, and it's very light. Yeah, you have some transparent or opaque qualities, but it's not so opaque that you're losing that feeling of layers. Okay, so let's say, for example, I wanted to Now, because this is all dry in the front. I'm gonna go with my small detail brush. I want to add the feeling of some windows here. So violent. Failla red. I'm just going to come over here and, ah, so say now I can have some windows. Maybe there's a shadow, but again, it's transparent. Um, so you're getting that nice glow from underneath. Um, And that then that's lovely. When you get that it really is. It makes such a difference. And painting loose. Azaz opposed to If you really start to cover all this stuff up, um, but look how just indicated the door maybe indicated a window, and then that's all you need me? Hey, that's a window. Fine. I'm gonna go right into this white. Now it's okay to use a little opaque, a little bit of sun hitting this Fine. That's all the information you need to say. Light's hitting that. Okay. And there's a window or something. They're perfect. You know, that doesn't need to be any more than that. And again, it's very transparent s over here, the c I gotta I'm a pound at home again. I get mawr thick, and you can get these more accurate, heavy lines of the shadow there And, um, skill with his yellow red or the shadow under the awning. So let me get that. There's a window door, and I'm gonna get that just you know, so right. So now you start to see how this has more breathing room. You know, it has a little more life to it where this starts to become. You see, every single edge. You see every single, um, intention, you know, And there's no, um, looseness and transparency to it. Right now. Let's say this artist has Well, I like that creamy look now. So maybe I want to cream this up a little bit, and maybe I want to go into those rights, but that's fine. I don't indicate or get the feeling of that creamy yellow. I only have to do a little bit. I don't have to do the whole building. It can come in here and just kind of no head mess and kind of get that feeling of that buttery, um, kind of yellow feeling to it. Right? But I'm preserving also some of that under layer and this artist cause, Well, you know, I still don't like it is not quite the right color. Let me kind of really get everything where it belongs, and they start to paint all of it so that they're they're covering up every square inch of it. Go with this brush here and clean that off. Going in these whites, you start to lose again. That layer underneath. And it's they started loose, right? And then they blew it because now it was getting that look. I mean, it's not bad. I mean, that's still loose behind. Ah, lot of standards there, Um, with the same. Now they got that in there. Go. But I don't like that either. So let me mix up. You know, something that looks like shade, and they dio opaque. 5. Part Four: they go opaque and they continue toe hack away at it and losing that freshness, right? And again, I mean, that's still loose for a lot of people. And you kind of almost see there, You know how you know this one starting to go from from here to poop here and this one we started here, and it's staying out here. We're letting things breathe a little bit. We're giving it some interesting layering Look to it, and this is gonna be a lot looser. We look at it then, of course, this that this is going to kind of not leave as much room for excitement and imagination. Now, let's say this artist goes all well, this is so much fun. I'm having a good time here. I just wanna have, you know, expressed myself, right. So I'm kind of take my small out liner here, mixing with some of these darks, and this really dragged this around at some line work and no, really, you add that feeling of shadow there another window and a door, and, uh and this all works good because, um, it's cohesive, right? It stays within it. And this artist goes all man. You know, I really lost that loose work, and now I'm trying to loosen it up. And it's hard to do now because it's just been put back here. And, you know, you started loose and then you tighten things up is you went and you work Maurin a no opaque layer. It's OK. I mean, I'm not saying that Hey, had to start losing. You have to use transparent layer. There's not that black and white. There was plenty of wiggle room to use transparent layers as you move forward. But understanding that, um, you know, you want also to use your, um, transparent and opaque layer, so use a combination, but use it wisely. You know, you look at what you have, so I can like and as I'm talking, I'm just gonna pain. I just can't resist myself. Look at what you have and say, Yeah, you know that I can do that here and preserve what I have. I can go opaque here and still be nice and clean. So let's say if I want to pop that chimney a little bit, that's all I need. Okay. Over here, You know, I'm gonna get things just so Okay, um, let's say I want to create that roof line. I lost it. Well, fun. I kind of use a little transparent. I use that outline almost to say, Hey, there was a roof there, you know, it was coming out that way. So I'm really getting the feeling of steps. Little brick steps there. And then that's all you need, um, to kind of indicate things and to get a feeling of stuff, right? Let's say there's a Akash shadow here that maybe the hits that way. Well, a little bit of pain on my finger, though. That way leaves someone that transparency. Um, over here, I'll give you the example, of course, off saying, Oh, there's a layer. You know, there's a shadow here, so I'm going to get it just perfect on that roof, you know? And this is more play force, more colorful, taking some liberty and some chances. And, um so it's just ah, two examples there. I've got some dark Oh, my brush. You know, you have have fun with that, you know, And let let this brushwork remain free versus trying to get everything. Oh, just right now, you kind of have toe start loose, stay loose. If you start loose and then working way back into a tight state than you know, you kind of lose some of that looseness. And and that's OK that we all have to find that balance of looseness. That's right for us. So for me, it's okay. These awnings are just fine. I mean, this indicates on awning this and this has a feeling of the stripes that could be coming down and awning. And it's not in the image. I just made that up over here. There's an awning and there's my white stripes. And maybe some artists go with that. That's just to lose. They would have to tighten even something like this up where for me, I've adjusted to this, you know, And I've used um, you know, this feeling and this technique and paintings before now seen it work and and that's just fine for me and that I know for me, that's all I need in these lines that kind of give that feeling of where the back of that building is and where the bottom is. That's all I need. You know, I don't have to define using the background every single edge. But yet I'll like to kind of let him flow a little bit. Let's let the edges mingle, define a few edges, and then let the others be free. Right. So anyway, hopefully you were able to kind of look at this example of using just acrylics, um, brushwork and then understanding those qualities off acrylics, understanding You know, the value of the properties of mixing white with colors. What happens when I mix white with any other color? Right. What does that do? It can work fine here. You know, it can work fine here too. I'm not saying you can't do it because I did it. But you want Teoh. I just know you had two TB exceptional in anything you do. You have to know the fundamentals of things. And to me, if you're using acrylics as your base, you want to master those acrylics and you never get. In my opinion, you're never a master at it. You just become better at it. You never want to be so egotistical. In my opinion that you go. I've got this. I'm a master. I'm the best or whatever. No, you don't want that attitude. You're constantly learning. You're constantly adding to your arsenal and becoming better at it. And that's the right attitude. That's that's the attitude that's gonna make the difference. Um, and then leave room for improvement, okay? And to become better at things. So, anyway, hopefully you got the point out of this. Um, and you know, certainly give you more examples on how we can, um, start loose, stay loose. I'll use a few different subjects. And, of course, I'm gonna move into mixed media to so working with starting loose with, you know, mixed media, working with lines and they working with crayon and inks and then how to use those loose lines and colors to our advantage so we don't end up back in a very, very tight place. Okay, so I hope you enjoy the lessons. Thanks for watching. Uh, Robert Joyner. I love the paint loose, and I appreciate you guys listening in. I appreciate your interest and the courses. It's an honor for me to teach and to share my passion for art with you. And I certainly hope that impacts you in a very positive way. I'll see you next time