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!
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.
Last year I was overjoyed to find out I would be drawing sketch cards for a brand new set of KISS trading cards! I’ve been a big fan of KISS for a long time, so this was definitely a dream project. In highschool my friends and I would listen to KISS on repeat and draw them in art class, and every other class in the corners of our notes and textbooks. I even had an old car that I would hide the rust spots by placing stickers overtop, one of which being the KISS logo. On New Years Eve, 1999, I saw KISS for the first time and sadly missed out on seeing them on their recent farewell tour. I was never an official member of the KISS Army but their music has been a part of my life and can often be heard playing in my office while I’m working!
The KISS trading cards from Dynamite are a 40th anniversary set from the first ever KISS trading card set. This first set was a 1978 set from Donruss. This is highly sought after 132 card set that new and old fans are still collecting. The new Dynamite set has some nods to the original set with cards that form to create a large puzzle and amazing photography of the band. Adding to the original content, the new set has autographs from Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, artwork from the new Dynamite KISS comics with autographs from writers and artists from those series, plus original art cards (sketch cards) made by people like myself.
“Kiss trading cards are some of the most collectible memorabilia out there, they’ve been around since the early days of the band,” bassist Gene Simmons. “These new cards add to the tradition and the lore of Kiss, and I can’t wait for fans to get their hands on them.” ultimateclassicrock.com
Sketch cards I made for the set
For this trading card set I focused primarily on depicting Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Peter and Ace were also drawn in this set but not as frequently. There are only a few sketch cards where more than one band member was drawn on a card. The paper stock was too slick to use my polychromous pencil crayons on and it was too thin for paints, so I stuck to inks and markers. I actually quite like using just inks and markers here as it gave a comicbook feel to it that works great for KISS.
If you’re interested in purchasing some of my artist returns from this set or to commission me to draw one or more of the KISS band members, please contact me here!
Back-to-back weeks of baseball goodness! This week Topps 2019 Baseball Museum Collection trading cards were released! These are a high-end, prestige format trading card set that is offered at card and collectible stores.
I have nine artist returns available from this project and three of my drawings were reproduced in this set for the Canvas Collection series. These three drawings are of Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken jr., & Ozzie Smith. Additionally, I created regular sketch cards and sketch cards done on shaped cards that were inserted into the packs! Check out my social media channels for examples of the cards I drew that wound up in the packs!
Artist Return Sketch Cards
Each one of the below artist return sketch cards are an original, one-of-one, hand drawn art card. I use a mix of copics, pencil crayons, acrylic, & gouache paints to create these, and each one is signed on the back.
These three cards are reprints of three sketch cards I drew for the set. I know that someone found the original Nolan Ryan sketch card but the other two are still out there! What I love about the three players they chose from what I drew to be reprinted, besides the fact that my art was reprinted, was that they chose three of my favourite players from when I was a kid. I grew up in and around St. Louis and saw quite a few Cardinals games in the 80s. Ozzie Smith, like so many other kids in the 80s, was my favourite player. His great smile, backflips in outfield, and amazing play was something that made him stand out and become my all-time favourite baseball player!
If you would like to purchase these directly from me and have them signed, or if you have a copy yourself that you would like me to sign, please contact me! If you’re purchasing them they are $7 each or $15 for all three plus shipping.
I am trying something new by adding auctions of my sketch cards to my website, and the first of these will be a charity auction.
Up for auction is my hand-drawn artist proof (AP) sketch card from Journey to the Last Jedi. This is a hand-drawn sketch card I made, and is part of the small collection of APs I receive from my trading card projects. I have decided to auction this AP in support of the #raisetheruthcharity. The auction will last until 8pm Mountain Time, June 17th and the opening bid starts at $40 Canadian.
100% of the proceeds from this auction will go to #raisetheruthcharity. I will cover the cost of shipping as well.
Dave Gaskin’s sister Ruth has been struggling with a series of chronic, degenerative and debilitating illnesses for several years. As a result, she cannot walk easily without assistance and spends her days in pain on a cocktail of medications. You can read more about it on her blog.
At the beginning of June 2019, Birmingham City Council – through a clerical error and Job Centre Plus incompetence – demanded that she pay back £5000 in allegedly ‘overpaid’ housing benefit. They want the money within 2 weeks and have cancelled her housing benefit payments.
It could take a year to contest this decision which means she potentially is at risk of being made homeless. Added to this, she’s one of the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have had to fight a Government assessment, that she’s ‘Fit For Work’.
Official UK Government figures show that over 17,000 people have died while waiting to hear from their PIP assessments. Independent testimony places the number much higher. The UN has identified that 14 million people in the UK live in poverty – unable to afford proper housing or food.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlighted that 1.5m people experienced destitution in 2017 – meaning they had less than £10 a day after housing costs or had to go without at least two essentials such as shelter, food, heat, light, clothing or toiletries during a one-month period.
It goes without saying that family & friends are rallying around her and plans are in place for a fundraising event in Birmingham at the end of June but we need help. Your help.
Your donation will raise money for Ruth’s living expenses and to contest the council’s demands.
Dave Gaskin’s sister needs our help and doesn’t deserve to join the thousands of other vulnerable people in the UK who’s lives are made miserable by a system that repeatedly lets them down.
Why am I Supporting this Cause?
I am supporting this cause because Dave Gaskin is a fantastic fellow artist who is consistently donating his works for charity and I want to help him out in his time of need. I also hate seeing people with health problems not be able to receive the help they should get from their local government. To not receive the basics such as affordable health care and housing is a universal problem and while this will not fix those issues, it will help raise awareness and aid on individual in need.
“I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay, small acts of kindness and love.” –J.R.R. Tolkien
Topps Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Black and White Sketch Cards is a new Star Wars trading card set released this week from Topps that has some of my artwork in it! I’ve fallen well behind on posting about the trading card projects I’ve had the fortune to work on and wanted to get back into the swing of things with this one! In all I created 35 sketch cards, all of which were in black & white or grey tones. The trading cards for this set were also in black and white and follows in line with last year’s Star Wars: A New Hope Black & White set that I also contributed artwork to. However, unlike last time, these sketch cards were all in black and white or grey tones.
I didn’t do anything too fancy on these cards. For the most part I drew all of the big characters and a few smaller characters from the film. I was limited to only drawing scenes or characters from Empire Strikes Back, which honestly isn’t that many as all the other Star Wars films are loaded with background characters and aliens. Nonetheless, Empire is one of my favourite films and the Cloud City & Hoth battle scenes are ripe with great imagery.
Support an artist!
Below are my artist proofs, which are $115 each if you purchase them here. Just send me a message with which one(s) you would like and I can send you a PayPal invoice. That price also includes your shipping & a free art print of one of my drawings! If you would like more than one, then I will drop the price to $100 each as well.
More samples of my artwork
The images below are the cards that I created which were randomly inserted into packs. In addition to the regular 2.5×3.5″ sketch cards are shaped sketch cards and panel (double and triple) sketch cards.