Angry Orc

I finished this incredibly expressive sculpt in two days, but produced one of my favorite, best, and best received pieces to date. I’ll tell you why he’s important to me.

I started an account on Putty & Paint back in January, filled with excitement, ambition, and a healthy dose of fear. The standards on the site are incredibly high, and I had no established identity in the mini painting hobby to fill my sails right off the bat.

My first seven projects posted had fallen flat, failing to earn the ten votes needed to get a score. I was a little frustrated, a little mad, and a little embarrassed. I was not, however, discouraged.

I knew I was producing quality pieces, and (far more importantly) that my painting was rapidly improving. On Friday I added four new projects (the other three were recently presented on ToadChapel), which includes my best work to date.

This time my painting got a lot more attention and I earned a silver medal for this orc. The attention also pushed an older project over the line, so in fact I got two. I was thrilled, not because it confirmed that I’m already great, but because it proved I belonged and gave me a place to start on the next leg of my miniature painting journey. I’m proud of this work and can’t wait to improve upon it.

Maybe these reflections catch you at a point where you’re trying to elevate your minis game, and feel a little vulnerable as you try to stake out new territory as an artist. Maybe you’re intimidated by that word. I shared my experience to try to lend you a little confidence.

Jump in with both feet, be honest with yourself about where you are and where you want to be as a mini painter, and learn what it takes to succeed, however you define success. Be humble but don’t be meek. And apply yourself seriously to the task you’ve set yourself. I’d sincerely love to hear about your goals, struggles, and successes.


This is the orc academic bust from Hera Models. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

8 thoughts on “Angry Orc”

  1. The paint job reminds me a bit of Roman Lappat’s painting (which is a very high compliment indeed!) and it absolutely deserves a silver. Putty and Paint has always intimidated me so I salute you for jumping in there. I have mixed feelings about letting others rate my work after submitting things on CMON for a while there as it tends to bring out a competitive side that isn’t always helpful for me. I tend to feel emotional highs and lows you described above which is both good and bad. With that said, I’d be lying if I said that didn’t have me thinking that it could be an interesting experiment to try and submit a few things 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences and keep up the excellent work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kuribo, thanks for the feedback. I’m with you 100% on the ambivalence toward ratings-based sites like P&P and CMoN. I have succumbed to that negative preoccupation with how your minis are received by total strangers, that thief of joy and waster of motivation. I decided after years of staying off CMoN (I still post on the forums) that Putty & Paint had a much better voting system, and one more likely to lead to fulfillment on my part. There are so many great painters on there, and I wanted to be a part of that community. Is it wholly positive? Certainly not. But I think I’ve got the perspective this time around to take a lot more from the site than it takes from me.
      Cheers and thanks, as always, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for sharing your perspective in a bit more detail. Everything you said makes a lot of sense to me and you’re right that it isn’t going to be completely perfect. You and I both have grown as painters a huge amount since when I posted regularly on CMON too. I hope you continue to enjoy using P&P and who knows, I may give it a whirl at some point in the future! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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