Beginner struggles and frustrations... and requests for advice. OPEN THREAD

So, I'm going to start this thread, and someday I will contribute my story but for now I will leave it open to everyone. I will not moderate this thread nor monitor it, it's not going to be "my" thread, it is for ALL, for beginners who wish to share difficulties and ask for help, as well as for veterans who'd like to recount old tales of their main obstacles as beginners and how they solved them.

The main idea is not only to emotionally vent, but also to identify common beginner problems and challenges and hopefully some solutions to them.

The floor is everyone's...
AbstractionallforChristtassieguy

Comments

  • edited May 27
    What a great idea for a thread, @CBG! The struggles and frustrations that beginners (and old hands) experience.  Most here will relate to this. Afterall, that's why we are here. We want help to grow and maybe to help others to grow, too. That's what it's all about - growth and becoming.

    So, FWIW, here's my take on the topic:

    I started as a rank beginner on DMP. There was an enormous amount to learn and it seemed overwhelming when I started. And sometimes it still does.

    The challenges for the beginner are many. In the beginning, everything is difficult. Drawing, colour mixing, composition ...  The novice realist painter has to tackle all of these. And there is, alas, no book or method that can make him/her, or anyone, into a good realist painter. Only painting can do that, just as only running can make one into a marathon runner. It's just struggle and hard work, on and on... until occasionally, but more frequently as one goes on, the paintings start to work. No method, not Mark's or anyone else's, will get us there, although they can help us acquire technique. But that's only the first bit. We can become experts at colour theory and drawing and at reproducing what we see. However, that's just recording. It's not art. The longer I paint the more I realize that accurately reproducing what's in front of me is the least part of the business of art. Cameras do that better than us. The painter/artist can, and must, do something more. And that's why after painting for seven years (and exhibiting and selling for the last four) I still feel like I'm struggling.

    I doubt that artists can ever be satisfied with their work. There is always more to learn and more work to do so that the learning becomes our own skill and so that this skill can then be applied to the real business of making real art,  to saying something original and authentic.  

    That's where I'm at now. Struggling to say something original and authentic. I may not get there, but I'm happy to die trying.  I've always been interested in art. And, to be honest, there's not much else to do at my time of life, lol.  So I'm  very glad I found painting when I retired. :)

    I very much look forward to reading what others have to say on this topic.  :)
    GTOAbstractionallforChristdewald
  • I faced a lot of issues since 2012. I had three group exhibitions. But I was finding out that I was like a black sheep amateur amongst all the professionals who are into contemporary art. Some of them are just repeating their art everyday! By 2013 I distanced myself from the gallery and was heavily into modern art trying to find original style of mine. Eventually by 2016 I found my original style and did a lot of successful abstract expressionism art that made me very happy. But by that time I had already decided that I want my first love realism and lanscape 😊

    Now this goes to 2015. I was drawing a lot...a figure drawing everyday...thanks to New Masters Academy. But after seven months of figure drawing I was unhappy and broke into tears in front if my wife that how is it going to help us getting into the galleries if I'm not painting! But eventually I did a lot of figure drawing from Karl Gnass and NMA, Glenn Vilppu YouTube. It gave a solid footing.
    At the end of 2015 I was searching for composition method content and found DMP and whenever I searched for a topic Mark focused on those, that I already found as a big problem in my technique. What DMP and members became for me is like a mentor that I didn't have. Long live internet. Long live YouTube. :smile:

    tassieguyGTOAbstractionallforChrist
  • CBG said:
    -          Obsessing over conserving paint… use barely enough to mix each color, most ends up in a single brush-full rather than in a pile.

    -          Same for painting, tend to load too little paint in the brush, end up dabbing almost dry dabs, rather than laying it down in strokes… dabby dabby dabby

    -          Acrylic blacks never look as black I want in the light

    -          Glare, hard to see what colors I am dealing with

    -          I have no real dedicated set-up or studio … little easel I set up a reference above canvas, things are awkward and cramped and require time and effort to set up and tear down
    Identify with all of these STILL. I still never mix enough paint and have to keep remixing it. It's because I'm not sure when I'm mixing if it's going to be correct. Sometimes don't charge the brush enough because I'm trying to make the disappearing small pile last. I don't have a dedicated studio so struggle with changing light, references wherever I can squeeze them and packing up. Paint it perfectly then the darks fade and it all looks washed out - and I use oils.
    CBG
  • dencaldencal -
    edited June 1
    Folks

    Really worth the time and effort to spend a few hours mixing and colour checking value strings for ALL the colour groups. Easy to half tone, warm or cool a value on the palette. Painting can be done directly out of these  cheap, reusable snap cap containers.

    Using W&N Water Mixables And Slow Dry Medium here.

    Making mixed stock colours and mixed value strings last longer than needed.

    Stock color (bu,um,cy,pac,tw, black) mixed directly into 75 ml snap caps with SDM. Lasts two years.

    Value strings mixed on the palette and dropped off palette knife into 10 ml snap caps. Lasts four to six weeks. Dependent on temperature,  humidity and lid open time.


    Air (oxygen) can be displaced with a glass marble.

    Half tones and temperature adjustment mixed on the palette.

    Cheap, reusable, disposable, durable, paint economy. 

    No set up and pack up time needed. Brushes into suspended oil bath.

    Remainders avail for touch ups and redos. 

    Left overs great for toning next canvas or two.



    Denis
    CBGDryPaintBrush
  • @CBG Dabbing on the photo... totally agree. 

    As a newbie to DMP I have stopped dabbing on the photo.
    1 it wore the photo away,
    2 if I laminated / taped it then the paint built up throwing the colour off,
    3 the photo showed through the dab meaning the colour was different on the canvas

    May I suggest dabbing the colour onto a squared off ice-lolly stick and holding it against the photo.

    The lolly stick method is quicker and more reliable for me. I have the photo on a board clipped to my easel so the light is the same. I also use the stick to find out what colour I have on a brush... I find it hard to differentiate dark red / brown / green/ blue.

    @Dencal oooh little pots = zero dry palette anxiety 😍👏
    CBG
  • CBGCBG -
    edited June 3
    OK so I feel a little bit bad for my venting, and when I think about it, I just have to suck it up and address the challenges head on.

    Thank you @Abstraction for your words of empathy.
    Thank you @dencal for your advice and suggestions about color strings, palettes, and paint storage!  very helpful
    Thank you @heartofengland for your feedback and suggestions.  I have an idea for a lolly stick inspired photo reference color checker! 

    dencal
  • CBG, we all have our own individual ways of applying paint. Dabbing can work. You will gain skill with the brush as you continue to paint and your dabbing will become more fluid and confident.

    Your study is better than my first effort. It matches the reference closely. The basics are there in terms of form, value and colour. I think the fabric is very well done.

    Do you think you will continue with acrylics or try oils? You will find oils easier to work with because of their long open time. This allows you to wipe/scrape down errors which you can keep eliminating until you've got everything right.

    One difficulty you mentioned, not mixing enough paint, might also be helped by using oils. Unlike acrylics, oils take ages to dry so you will be less worried about wasting them. In a sealed palette with a little clove oil they stay workable for ages - especially if you store the closed palette in the fridge. 

    As for chemicals, you can paint without solvents. I do. I just use walnut oil if I need to make paint from the tube more fluid. And I never wash brushes. Just wipe, dip in walnut oil, wrap in plastic kitchen wrap and store in the fridge. They'll never dry out. 

    Finally,  don't expect every painting, especially early work,  to be a masterpiece. They are learning pieces. 

    And, most imortantly, keep painting. 
    CBG
  • CBG said:

    The following challenges are going to seem random because I just do not have the energy or possibly even the experience to properly categorize and/or group them.

     

    -          Time.. never have enough time to paint everything while GoldenOPEN acrylics are still wet… I come back to my paints in my sealed palette weeks later… dry

    -          Canvas- dry .. and now a different color… very confusing and difficult (acrylics meh)

    -          Started digitally, whole set of habits and assumptions, had to throw out with DMP method.  Plan of practicing the DMP method in software… did not work at all for various reasons.

    -          Obsessing over conserving paint… use barely enough to mix each color, most ends up in a single brush-full rather than in a pile.

    -          Same for painting, tend to load too little paint in the brush, end up dabbing almost dry dabs, rather than laying it down in strokes… dabby dabby dabby

    -          Impatience – at some point I end up skipping some color checking just to cover canvas, of course I can only go back later to fix after its dry and it doesn’t look right…

    -          Too large a brush for what I want to paint, or erroneously trying to paint details smaller than paintbrush

    -          Acrylic blacks never look as black I want in the light

    -          Glare, hard to see what colors I am dealing with

    -          Drawing I made gets covered before I have the right colors down... and then I have no drawing to guide me anymore

    -          I have no real dedicated set-up or studio … little easel I set up a reference above canvas, things are awkward and cramped and require time and effort to set up and tear down

    -          Very reluctant to dab reference photo to check colors.. even though protected by an acrylic sealant, I tend to wipe off the acrylic dab of paint too quickly to really judge colors right… very scared it will dry on my reference photo.. and I find if I do not wipe perfectly… it does.

    -          Not motivated by choosing a study as my first painting… in fact it remains unfinished. Too timid/afraid/not ready to try to paint something I actually would be motivated to paint… which is paradoxical

    -          Too scared of chemicals or dips or managing multiple brushes and intimidated by materials and chemistry, fat lean, mediums, and the like… to actually try oil painting… so I remain clutching to out of the tube Golden OPEN like a baby soother.

    I know where you are coming from. I don't have a dedicated studio space instead I have to use my computer desk. I have yellow walls around me and a white ceiling and computer desk, so it's not ideal but I can manage. I also use Golden OPEN.

    Some points:

    If you premix Golden OPEN and store them correctly they can be used indefinitely. I have some normal acrylic mixes that were still usable that have been stored since December. See my blog thread on the forum for information about how I store my paint.

    A gloss finish over a carbon or mars black makes it look much darker. Matte finishes (on any paint medium, gouache, oils, etc..) cause considerable lighting of blacks.

    You can help with colour matching changes with dry paint areas by first applying Golden OPEN gloss medium/gel to the dry area you are trying to match to. This darkens darker values, and lightens lighter ones. Now if you match to this wet area the paint when it dries will be much closer in value. You can wipe off the OPEN gloss medium, or let it dry on the painting.

    tassieguyCBG
  • BTW: If you post a picture you'd really like to paint I can show you a bit more about how I'd do it.
  • @CBG 

    I appreciated your post.  It felt as if I was reading about the pains of painting from my own heart and life.  :)  I can't believe someone is going through the exact same minute things I was and am going through.

    The biggest thing I suggest you gather all your energies to fix is the glare.  Having that issue going on is easily depressive and is quite a massive wrench in the works for any sort of productive mixing or painting.  It's not so much about what looks good as your studio or painting setup area, but what actually works.  So, wherever and however you need to set up things so that there's no glare on the paint you're mixing, the photo, or your canvas, it is entirely worth the effort.  Having fixed this issue the rest are smaller potatoes.

    Not mixing enough paint is something I still struggle with; oil paint is so expensive.  I never mix the perfect amount or anywhere close.  Either I have piles leftover or I run out with 2/3 of the area left. :)

    Anyway, I more than relate to you and want you to realize that despite all these things, 

    You can paint well. 

    As Van Gogh says, "it is the opposite of saying, 'I know all about it, I have already found it.  To me the word [artist] means, 'I am hunting for it, I am deeply involved.'

    Hunt for it, 

    @allforChrist
    CBG
  • @CBG
    Sometimes it's just better to grab a pencil and a piece of paper and just sketch. Any piece of paper, any pencil.
    Especially if "time" is a problem.
    Painting is about values, even if the colours are slightly off. 
    Acrylics don't suit you? Well, there's also watercolors!
    A wonderful medium that allows you to start and stop whenever you like.

    Your study of the still life looks really good, especially the colours.
    Don't be too hard on your self
    CBG
  • Thank you @tassieguy @Richard_P @allforChrist @Marinos_88 for your kind words, useful suggestions, and encouragement!  The feedback has been both heartwarming and inspirational.
  • edited June 9
    As a newbie I have found @Richard_P blog to be a help. 
    https://forum.drawmixpaint.com/discussion/4872/richards-blog/p1

    His development of the girl's face with all the pre-planned gradients is great.
  • edited June 10
    Adridri, I totally understand what you are saying. And, as Mark himself says, (if I may paraphrase), take what is useful to you and go off and do your own thing. After being here on DMP for nearly seven years, I can say with confidence that very few painters who start with Mark's method end with it. And that is as it should be. Otherwise, we'd all be painting exactly like Mark Carder. Forever.

    Mark's instruction is a wonderful learning tool. So many people who have become excellent painters, (many of whom have now left us to go off and successfully do their own thing) have benefitted greatly from his free instruction and from their early interaction here on the forum. Without doubt, Mark's is a brilliant method that works extremely well for beginners. But it is not an end in itself. Once we understand Mark's teaching, and put into practice whatever is useful to us, we have to find our own way. When all is said and done, I don't think it is possible to teach anyone how to paint. Only painting can do that. Just as only running will make a champion sprinter or marathon runner. A good trainer can help, but It's the long hours spent running and the painting that will win the medals and awards. 

    So, keep doing what you are doing. You obviously have an artist's eye. Your latest landscape with the sunlit house is beautiful.  Yes, we need to understand technique on an intellectual level and practice it, but fine art is as much about emotion as it is about intellect. It's emotion that moves us to paint in the first place. :)
    A_Time_To_Paint
  • My struggle is that I want to create something that impacts me the same way others art does. I keep reading that I need to focus on value study, learn to see values in color. Or another is to just paint, it doesn't matter what it is, just paint. But I have a hard time sinking my heart into a painting of an orange. I don't know what to try to paint, and when I see something and attempt painting, it sucks. I've gone through probably 8 tubes of 2oz Golden Acrylics and have only completed one painting. I have tons of canvas either half painted or marked with several brushstrokes. It causes me to feel worse than the things I hide in the paint from.
    CBG
  • @montanaDGAF

    I empathize with your struggle.  I too am on a journey to make paintings which have meaning and impact for me, and am also finding it difficult to do studies of what is essentially not meaningful to me.

    I think for me, and you might find this helpful for yourself as well, I will need to really stay disciplined and keep in mind that to make that painting I want, I need to learn to paint, and although I am not literally painting it now, by doing the practice I actually am moving towards making that result possible.  It also might be possible to do a meaningful study from time to time… as a practice and a glimpse of what I might be able to tackle one day.

    I totally understand the lack of inspiration an orange as a subject might hold, it’s the same struggle I am having.  We just have to work through it… :)
  • edited June 12
    @montanaDGAF I agree with CBG.  In order to paint that masterpiece one day, we have to develop our skills.  It really doesn't matter what we paint, just so long as we do the work.  I painted an orange from life recently and I found it fascinating and a challenge to capture the texture, values, colors, drawing, etc.  It didn't just feel like I was painting a study of a boring object once I got started.  The nuances of color change, edges (of which I still struggle with), shadows, light, and highlights.  Like CBG says, just work through it.  The good thing about doing studies is you can get one done in a day, which in turn gives you confidence.  Start with simple things, one-object sill life subjects painted from life.  More complex subjects, take a photo and paint from the photo.  You'll also find yourself thinking of other object(s) you'd like to paint as you immerse yourself into the process.  For little studies, I use acrylic primed watercolor paper, which is less expensive than a canvas.  If the painting comes out spectacular, you can always mount it on a board and hang it on your wall.  I would urge you to stay positive and tackle the small things and build from there.  Keep a sketchbook with you so that whenever you have an idea you can sketch it out.  Here is my orange painting if you have not seen it posted under another thread.  I really enjoyed doing it.  And...you have this forum to bounce ideas off of and ask for advice.  This group is amazing and always so ready to offer advice and encouragement, as you obviously  can see.  Your painting looks good BTW.  You are doing much better than you think and sometimes we can be our own worst enemy as artists.

    tassieguyAbstractionViolet
  • @adridri " but realism not really suited as a first introduction to paint because it is too demanding." Very true.

    This time round I started with Bob Ross and 4 hours later I had finished the best painting of my life by far up to that point. It gave me so much confidence to continue. Really, really good fun. 
  • @heartofengland Yes, I had watched his videos. They are quite pleasing, although I'm not a fan of his style, but that's personnal taste. I used to watch him while falling asleep, he is very relaxing.

    @tassieguy You are absolutely right. And eventhough I don't paint in this particular style, I do aknowledge that most of Mark teaching and insights have strongly influenced how I see things. I am very grateful. 

  • edited June 15
    My struggle is that I want to create something that impacts me the same way others art does. I keep reading that I need to focus on value study, learn to see values in color. Or another is to just paint, it doesn't matter what it is, just paint. But I have a hard time sinking my heart into a painting of an orange. I don't know what to try to paint, and when I see something and attempt painting, it sucks. I've gone through probably 8 tubes of 2oz Golden Acrylics and have only completed one painting. I have tons of canvas either half painted or marked with several brushstrokes. It causes me to feel worse than the things I hide in the paint from.
    Find a good teacher whose style you like and do some classes. I suggest this because I understand your discouragement but a class will a) help you finish things and b) give you someone else's eyes to help get past the blah stage. Painting is first seeing and a teacher can help you see. Do you know something? Every painting of mine reaches a blah stage. I have paintings I didn't finish years ago, I walked away from feeling like you - and I look at them now and know I just needed to trust the process. I still tell myself this: trust the process. Part of that process is seeing why it isn't working. Turn it and your source upside down. Look at it in a mirror. Half close your eyes until you can barely see and compare the big tonal shapes to your source. Go away for a few days and come back... Post it on this site and ask for insights.
    Here's another hint. Painting isn't a gift. It's a skill. No-one gives numbers and mathematical symbols to a child and says - here, discover maths. Maths is harder than painting and takes years of daily learning. Artists in history didn't just suddenly paint - they were taught. Like a trade. All of them. Sure, some have a stronger aptitude, but you can learn to paint well. It's easier than maths. I've probably done about 22 oil paintings in grand total including classes and yet I've learnt so much.
  • edited June 16
    My struggle is that I want to create something that impacts me the same way others art does. I keep reading that I need to focus on value study, learn to see values in color. Or another is to just paint, it doesn't matter what it is, just paint. But I have a hard time sinking my heart into a painting of an orange. I don't know what to try to paint, and when I see something and attempt painting, it sucks. I've gone through probably 8 tubes of 2oz Golden Acrylics and have only completed one painting. I have tons of canvas either half painted or marked with several brushstrokes. It causes me to feel worse than the things I hide in the paint from.
    "My struggle is that I want to create something that impacts me"
    This is a great goal to look after, maybe you could think of it as to develop your visual language, and understand what elements of this language impact you. Can you formulate them in thechnical words? Compositional concept can help here. Are you familiar with the concepts of value grouping, visual balance, rythm, focal area, what are the different contrasts that you can choose to emphasize a visual element (contrasts of Johannes Itten), how to apply unity with variety principle... If not, taking a pictural composition class can help understand what elements of the visual language impact you and transduce them into your paintings, and understand what goes wrong in a technical point of view rather than just bad emotional response. Lots of problems in painting are conceptual and not directly related to applying the paint! We sometimes think too much about solving rendering and color issues, which takes years of practice to master, while simple compositional tools can improve your artwork dramatically in a few weeks training. See chart below. For this I highly recommand N. Fowkes pictural composition class on schoolism, totally worth the 30$/month it cost for the benefits it had on my work. It can definitely complement your DMP work.





  • I enjoy the painting process but the set-up is very frustrating, partly because I have a small studio (studio apartment) and it's cramped. The  other part is mixing the paint on the palette that gets crammed and messy. I saw that mark carder uses two palettes on his videos. I suspect the best way to combat the crammed messy palette would be to mix the colors on one palette then transfer to another.

    How do you people keep your palettes tidy and organized?

  • @DryPaintBrush I have two 8x10” glass pallets.  They are just two sheets of 3/8” tempered glass with edges ground so no sharp edges.  I rarely use the second pallet.  Sometimes I transfer some paint to it when things get cramped, but most of the time I clean sections of the pallet with a razor blade when I need space.  I mix paint on-the-go now, but when I started DMP I premixed checked color strings.  At the end of every painting session I always clean the section of the pallet for mixing.  Anything that I have mixed is moved to one side and covered with a small plastic cup.
  •  I have a glass pallet that's 20 X 16 inches and I do like @GTO - I clean sections with a blade if I need more mixing room and store mixed paint around the edges. I, too, used to mix long strings of steps ( and still recommend this for beginners) but it resulted in a lot of waste, so these days I generally mix on the fly. When I finish for the day I scrape down the mixing area and wipe down with a paper towel so it's all ready for the next day. There is inevitably some waste as paint dries over time but, as one gets more experienced, it gets easier to judge how much will be need for a session and wastage is reduced. 
    If you have only a small apartment I would have a dedicated space to store pallet, paints and brushes - just one small cupboard or draw would do - so you can quickly put everything away after your painting session. No need to wash brushes. Just wipe, dip in walnut oil (or DMP brush dip) and wrap in plastic kitchen wrap and put them in the drawer. They'll never dry out.
    GTO
  • I can really empathize with having a small space.  I have a tiny room that serves as my office and studio.  I have about a 3 x 3.5 foot space for my chair to roll around but do have storage.  I have one of those big Rubbermaid tubs that I keep supplies in that slides into the knee space of a second desk that is L-shaped to my own desk and some metal shelves for drawing books, still life objects, camera, finished paintings, etc. 

    Your having a studio apartment is probably even more challenging.  I ordered me a drawing table that has a tilting top.  There are others out there that are probably better that include drawers and places to store things.  You would need lighting,  which may be doable with an existing ceiling fixture depending on where this type of desk is set up.  Here is a link to what I got and I absolutely love it.  You could probably mount a tablet holder on a tilting drawing table if you need to look at a reference photo that way.  You can also put up pegboard behind the table to hold your paints, all in a very small area.  Here is a link to what I ordered: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I2S7RDA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    For my still life setup, that extra desk in my office is the platform I use and made a foldable still life box out of foam core board.  Here is a link to a video on where I learned to do this.  This wonderful lady is no longer with us.  I found it remarkable that she traveled around in an RV for years but still could set up a painting station in that tiny space and paint some very beautiful work.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiR_LRsN0bg   

    I also saw this article that may be helpful in setting up your space to paint.  Again, lighting is something to keep in mind of course.  https://www.recoverie.com/blog/5-art-studio-solutions-for-small-spaces

    I saw one YouTube video where the headline said this person took their little one bedroom apartment and used the bedroom as a studio and now the person sleeps on the floor.  Maybe get a sofa-sleeper or daybed for your living area and use the bedroom for a studio?  

    I have an 12x16 glass palette and as others here, I do mix colors more on the fly.  It does save on paint waste for me.  I work on the painting that needs a specific color and when I'm done, it's usually time to scrape off the palette and start over.  I do clean my brushes but the suggestion to just dip in walnut oil sounds so much easier.  

    Hope this is helpful to you.  Keep at it.  Being an artist I've come to learn is more or less solving problems.  I used to think it would be so nice to just sit down to my easel and paint something like I see in YouTube videos and can just paint freely without running into problems.  That is now just a pipe dream.  Even the best of artists have to regroup sometimes and figure things out.  
    tassieguy
  • VioletViolet -
    edited June 28
    I am new to oils also. I had a set of W&N Artisan water mixable oils that I got about 10 years ago in an art swap and decided to try to use them. They smell horrible. They literally reek. I did three quick paintings which came out okay but I went super fast as the smell. When I finish one, I have to put it in a plastic sealed box to dry as the paintings stink up the house. I am gonna take them to the disposal site as I just can't use them.

    Now I am hooked and want to get some oil paints that don't reek but I'm totally confused as to what to get. Some say smell is from solvents, but that is not true in my case as I didn't not use any except linseed oil for water mixable oils that came with the set. Some say it is the linseed oil that smells bad to some people and that it is in most oil paint. So in that case, I should get safflower or walnut based oil paints. But others say that is not the case and that I should buy one tube of various brands and compare what works for me. But oil paints are not cheap and that seems like a big investment of money on stuff I might end up tossing.

    I am totally confused.

    Also I may have put this in the wrong place as I am new to the forum today. Sorry.
  • Violet

    Welcome to the Forum.

    I have used W&N Artisan Oils for about 12 years mixed with slow dry medium (SDM) and have not noticed any bad odours. SDM contains solvent and clove oil that is noticeable but not unpleasant.
    You may need to arrange for some flow through ventilation for your studio as all oil paints contain drying oils. Probably the least odorous would be Michael Graham Oils as they use walnut oil. This brand is not easy to find around Perth, Australia so I use walnut oil to adjust consistency of other brands and clean brushes.

    Denis
Sign In or Register to comment.