Topps 2020 Baseball Series 1 was released last week and my artwork was included in it for the third year in a row. As a big baseball fan myself, I love the fact that I have the opportunity to create licensed MLB artwork of some of the best players in the game!
For many collectors, one of the appealing aspects of the first baseball set of the season is the opportunity to add the latest rookie cards to their collections. This year the main rookies are Gavin Lux, Bo Bichette, Yordan Alvarez, and Aristides Aquino. I made sure to draw all of these rookies plus the big stars of the game like Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Yadier Molina, and more!
For this project, I decided to paint the majority of the sketch cards with gouache. I’m really loving this medium as I can use it on a multitude of different paper surfaces. The paint has an opaque characteristic that allows for great blending of colours and can be reactivated with water. It’s also great to use pencil crayons overtop to bring out details.
Except for a few of the gouache paintings, I added acrylic backgrounds of different colour patterns. I think it really helped everything pop and give the artwork a unique characteristic to it.
Samples of my Artwork
These sketch cards were all included in the packs. Let me know if you found any yourself!
Artist Return Sketch Cards
I’ve pre-drawn on a few of my artist return sketch cards but also left a couple blank for commissions. Contact me if you’re interested in picking up one of my blank sketch cards for commission or ask about larger illustrations that I can create for you!
I’m excited to announce that an illustration I created will be included in the upcoming Ghostbusters artbook from Printed in Blood & Insight Editions! The book releases in May and I will have a limited run of official prints to offer at that time.
Pre-order your book today! It will come out in May, but secure your copy today & when you see me at a show I’d love to sign it for you!
Last year I was published in the Stranger Things: Visions from the Upside Down artbook. This book was also published by Printed in Blood. Check out my previous post to see what I contributed to that book!
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New Star Wars sketch cards! This time from the newly released Return of the Jedi: Black and White trading cards from Topps. This set follows it’s namesake, with black and white (or grey tone) imagery from the particular movie. This is also the third Black and White set Topps has produced for Star Wars. The previous two were for A New Hope & Empire Strikes Back, both of which I worked on.
My artwork for this set is all black and white or grey tone. I worked off imagery across the movie, focusing primarily on the characters and a few scenes /locations.
I bounced between three mediums for this project. For some of the cards I only used my graphite pencils and a couple were inked. The rest of the cards were painted with acrylics. I am learning to love acrylic paints, and although it is time consuming I think the results are worth it!
Inserted sketch cards
Below are a few examples of the sketch cards I made that were inserted into the set. These sketch cards can be found roughly 1-2 per case, or every 12 boxes. Definitely not common!
Two of the 35 cards I illustrated were shaped like the Millenium Falcon. I wanted to do something a little different so I drew have the Falcon on each card and the other half had a side profile of Chewy and Han.
I was provided two booklets to draw on for this project. One was a tryptich (three sketch card) booklet and the other a double booklet. The double booklet is shown below and I wanted to do something different and fun for it, so I chose the infamous Luke “kicking” one of Jabba’s enforcers! Used acrylic paint on that one too.
Artist return sketch cards
The two sketch cards below are original, one-of-one paintings. Please contact me if you’d like to purchase them or commission something different!
Please see my earlier article explaining what artist return sketch cards are.
I was commissioned to draw two pet portraits as Christmas gifts this year. Oddly, both commissions were of beagles! For both of these commissions I was provided a photo of the pet, with one of the pets only having a portion of the dog showing so I had to figure out what the hind legs looked like from other photos. In both commissions I created a nature background for the dogs, and in one I create an Art Nouveau design in the top right and bottom left corners.
For both of these illustrations I used 400lb Strathmore illustration boards. They measured roughly 9×12″ and I used a mix of gouache paint, gesso, acrylic, Copic markers, and polychromous pencil crayons. As in all of my artwork, I then sealed them with a fixative that prevents smudging and fading. For the gouache work I’ve been using the Pebeo gouache varnish.
Commission your own pet portrait
Both of these commissions were extremely satisfying to do. They are unlike much of what I’ve been recently working on (sports and star wars sketch cards), and would love to do more! If you are interested in a portrait of your pet or having one done for someone you know as a gift, please contact me here. Turnaround time is between 1 and 2 months right now and prices vary according to complexity and size of the image, but to give you an idea of pricing these two were $125US+shipping each.
Sketch card commission only $40 from now until Sunday! Only 20 commission slots available & these will be in your hand BEFORE Christmas!
These sketch cards will be in colour and drawn on plain sketch card paper. Limit of one character per sketch card, or it can be a ship, object, or whatnot but only one per card. Backgrounds in colour too but are minimal. Shipping is extra; I live in Canada so domestic shipping is free and to the US is $5 without tracking (tracking is an additional $10).
Old Man Like Ron sketch cards are easily the strangest but also one of the funnest trading card projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. The trading card set is based off the popular Youtube series, Old Man Like Ron. The show is very NSFW as it follows the crazy adventures of a foul mouthed old man, who is a puppet, as he chases women, booze, and whatever else he fancies. The show comes from England, which is readily apparent in the choice words the titular character uses.
Prior to this project I had never heard of this show before. After signing on, I watched a few of the episodes and decided to draw the main character, Ron, in images that spoofed popular franchises. I also drew upon other sets I had worked on before at RRParks Cards like Sharknado and Zorro.
What I created
The trading card set is from RRParks Cards. This is a small company out of the states where the owner, Richard Parks, produces only trading card sets of properties that he genuinely loves. He uses professional artist quality paper on his sketch cards and provides his artists with substantial time to produce quality sketch cards. Because of that, I decided to use gouache paint on three of the cards I created; I only did three cards in gouache because it is very time consuming to do. I’m really loving this medium because it can be reactivated at any time with water, dries with a mat finish, and has a great vibrancy to the colour. The three cards I did in gouache were the dinosaur Ron, x-ray Ron, and Zoro Ron.
Hope you like what I created for this set!
Old Man Like Ron on Kickstarter
Go visit the kickstarter campaign for the Old Man Like Ron card set! The campaign ends December 24th, so don’t delay!
Like almost everyone else in the world, I am absolutely loving The Mandalorian! While rewatching the first episode I began doodling and before I knew it, I had plotted out a quick comicstrip that boiled down the first episode into a few panels.
I pencilled and inked the comicstrip and then coloured it in Photoshop. I ran a few filters on the colours to get that old school, graining comic book colour effect. For about eight hours effort I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!
Feel free to download the comic strip I drew! If you share it, please do credit me as the artist by listing my name (Matt Stewart) and tag me in the post (@archaeomatt on Twitter & @stewartillustrations on Instagram).
If you like what I did here and would like me to create a comic strip for you, perhaps boiling down your favourite movie or TV show episode, please send me a message. I can create a black and white strip starting at $125!