Recent Sketch Cards

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to post anything on my website! Last year I was incredibly busy with numerous trading card projects, along with a book cover and a few other projects that will hopefully be released later this year!

Every so often between the licensed card sets I also create sketch cards for charity raffles or for artist exchanges. More and more lately I’ve begun steering away from non-licensed sketch card commissions as I feel I spend enough time as it is drawing on these tiny pieces of paper for the trading card sets, so when a commission pops up I opt to draw on bigger pieces of paper. However, there have been a few charity raffles where I offered a custom sketch card created on plain paper. There are also a number of artists who like to exchange sketch card artwork; these sketch cards are drawn on plain paper that is the size of a sketch card, 2.5×3.5″.

The Princess Leia sketch card shown here was from a charity raffle last year, the Princess Leia in her Boushh disguise from Return of the Jedi was from a sketch card exchange, and the TMNT, Walter White & Bruce Lee sketch cards were all from a raffle I was invited to on Blowout Cards Forum. That last set of raffle sketch cards was held by a few collectors who commissioned sketch cards from a few artists and then they held a raffle for them.

Etsy Store

i sell on etsy graphicI’ve had a store on Etsy since 2011. I used it a little bit at first and sold a few custom sketch cards on it immediately but then switched my focus solely to Ebay. Lately, I’ve found Ebay prices to be going through the roof and my sales declining. Because of that I am starting to use Etsy again.

Etsy charges 20 cents per listing, but each listing lasts for four months. I can also add links to my social media platforms and my website, which increases (hopefully) traffic to all of these places. I can also add posts and other interactive features to my Etsy store. This is a great advantage over Ebay because it allows me to better communicate with people about my artwork and to grow my sales in areas other than just Etsy.

Obi Wan artist return sketch card
One of my Star Wars Artist Returns that I have for sale in my Etsy Store

So far I have filled my store with artist return sketch cards from a few different sets that I have worked on. I have a few Star Wars, Clerks, and the Gerry Anderson sketch cards. My idea is that I will continue to list my new sketch cards on Ebay, but after 2-3 listings the ones that do not sell will not be listed again on Ebay. Instead, I will list them either here on my website or on my Etsy store. Going forward, I may also list other items on my Etsy store. I don’t want to water down what I sell here on my website, but rather my strategy is to offer my artwork in multiple places to increase my chances of meeting new clients.

Let me know what you think

Make sure to visit my Etsy store and let me know what you think. Also, let me know if you’ve bought or sold something off Etsy before and what your experiences are with their website. I’d love to hear what you think!

Sketch Card Artist Returns for Sale on Etsy

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Chewbacca Commission

 

chewbacca commission drawn by matt stewart
Chewbacca commission drawn by matt stewart

I was recently commissioned to create a large illustration of Chewbacca! The parameters were pretty wide open for what I could do, besides to have a good amount of detail on Chewy, include his bowcaster, and have an open place for the actor who played Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, to sign it. Really fun piece to work on that took probably about 20 hours. For the background I created something inspired by the battle in Force Awakens outside Maz’s cantina. I included the bare trees, blown out bricks walls and even a First Order stormtrooper in the near background. Probably what I’m most happy with in this illustration was how the bowcaster and Chewie’s hair came out.

For this commission, I used Copic markers and polychromous pencils on Strathemore 500 series paper. 8.5×11″ in size, including a 1-0.5″ border.

Send me a message today for your own commission! They take time to make, so please contact me well in advance for one.

Commissioned Portrait

I was recently commissioned to create a traditionally illustrated portrait. The portrait is actually of a friend of mine. The stipulation was just that she wanted me to base the portrait on a particular photo she supplied me. Everything else was up to me.

The Process

commission stage 1The illustration was created on a fairly smooth 11×14″ bristol board paper; not sure if I’d use this same paper again though. An initial, fairly rough pencil sketch of the illustration was created and I sent photos of these to the client for approval before I began colouring.

 

Alphonse Mucha paintingI was given free reign on the background and how to position the portrait in the frame. I decided to do something I rarely have an opportunity to do, which is Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Being influenced by Alphonse Mucha, I created an organic border of vines and leaves with a few flowers. I had the top ends of the vines turn into a metallic brass and drew a metallic brass plate that ran across the bottom.

 

commission stage 3Prior to colouring the piece I cleaned up some of the thicker lines with my pen eraser and dabbed my kneaded eraser across the entire surface to lessen the amount of graphite that sat on the paper. Then I started colouring it with my Copic markers. I sometimes use Copics almost like paintbrushes, lightly blocking in areas of colour and applying colour in a stroke-like fashion, allowing the colours to blend in. I also use a Colorless Blender marker that significantly aids in blending Copics.

 

commission stage 4After I was satisfied with the Copics I used Faber-Castell Polychromos pencil crayons. Faber-Castell is my favourite brand of pencils and their pencil crayons are a pure joy to work with. I dry blended the pencil crayons and kept certain lines intact, such as around the cheeks of her face to add a bit of movement. The hair was approached differently as I added heavy layers of pencil crayons to build up colour, tone, and shape.

 

commission stage 5The final steps were using acrylic paints on certain areas to bring out highlights or allow portions of the illustration to sit further back, such as the yellow petals at the top were given a light white wash so they were less impactful. Once dried, I sprayed a fixative on the illustration so it wouldn’t smear.

 

The client was very happy with the results. She was also particularly happy that she had given me free-reign on the background -and so was I. All too often the projects I work on (like sketch cards) are very specific in what I can do. This is fine but sometimes it’s good to stretch your legs as an artist!

Final Product

If you would like me to create a portrait for you of a family member, favourite celebrity, or perhaps of the cherished family pet, contact me here and we can get started!

commissioned portrait