Topps 2020 Star Wars Holocron Trading Card Artwork

I was invited to contribute artwork to the 2020 Star Wars Holocron trading card set from Topps last year. The set came out right around Christmas of last year but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to post the artwork I did for the set!

The majority of the illustrations I did for this set were painted either in acrylic or designer gouache. I stuck mainly to just drawing characters and scenes from the prequels, Empire Strikes Back (as it was the anniversary of the movie), and from the final season of the Clone Wars animated series, as that had just been released on Disney+ when I was working on this project. This is the strategy I usually use when working on a trading card set too; I focus on a theme or a couple of movies /TV shows. For Star Wars it’s pretty easy to do as there is so much material out there. From the number of movies and TV shows to the deep cast of characters! There’s always something new to draw from the Star Wars universe!

Different Characters

There’s always something new to draw from the Star Wars universe. Like the paintings above that I created, there’s fan favourite droids and aliens like Gronk and Yak Face. Plus, even the names are super fun!

There’s also different styles of the same characters I can draw from. There’s the differences in age or the actors that portrayed them, like with Obi-Wan Kenobi. There’s also differences when the characters pop up in the animated series, like my Yoda painting shown above that features the character from the Clone Wars animated series!

Mandalorian Content

Holocron was the second trading card set where I was allowed to draw characters from Season 1 of the Mandalorian (the first was Women of Star Wars). Although the Mandalorian Season 1 trading card set was released before Holocron, I actually did the art for Holocron before the Mando Season 1 cards.

Since I knew that there was going to be a Mando Season 1 set coming up soon, I didn’t draw too much from the show for Holocron. The Mando set would be limited to only drawing characters from that show, so I didn’t want to burn through drawing my favourite scenes or drawing the same character too many times in Holocron before starting the Mando Season 1 set. Instead, I focused on drawing a few cards of the Mandalorian and a few of baby yoda, with most of those being reserved as artist proofs. The two painted baby yoda’s (in the cockpit and with the bowl) were both artist proofs that have already sold.

BIG sketch card

For the first time on a Star Wars trading card set that I worked on, I was asked to draw an image across four sketch cards. I’ve done puzzle sketch cards before, but never specifically asked to do one for a set! Since I was feeling inspired by the Mandalorian, I chose this iconic scene where Mando first meets the Child. This was painted in acrylic and as far as I know, it has yet to be found in the packs!

Artist Proofs

All but one of my artist proofs from this project have already sold (Ahsoka & Bo Katan shown here). The remaining AP sketch card is $150US including shipping, but if you’re looking for a particular character or scene from Star Wars I do have blank AP sketch cards from other sets I can use for commissions. I can also create a larger illustration of your favourite character! Please use the form below to contact me about purchasing this AP or to ask about a commission:

 

 

A few more sketch cards I painted

Make sure to follow me on Twitter or Instagram to see the rest of the sketch cards I did for this set! Comment here or on one of my posts to let me know which is your favourite and what you’d like to see me draw next!

Topps 2020 Star Wars Masterwork Trading Card Artwork

Topps 2020 Star Wars Masterwork is a premium trading card set that includes sketch cards, some of which I drew! As this is a premium set, the sketch cards are on quality paper stock that have a great texture to draw on. The cards are also stiffer and thicker than other, regular sketch cards.

This isn’t the first time I’ve contributed artwork to the Masterwork product too! I’ve previously worked on the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Masterwork sets! The 2016 set was the inaugural edition of the set and is considered by many collectors to be the finest Star Wars trading card set Topps has ever produced.

For this project, again as it’s a premium product, I also worked on a limited amount of booklet sketch cards. These cards are the size of two sketch cards (2.5×3.5″) that are connected and fold together to form a book. One of the booklets was on the thicker premium paper stock and the others were on thinner paper. Not sure why there was a difference.

star destroyers book sketch card topps 2020 master work illustrated by matt stewart
Regular booklet sketch card

Pack inserted artwork

All of the artwork I did for this set was painted with gouache or acrylic. I’ve been greatly enjoying using gouache and I think this is some of my strongest work yet with the medium.

Artist Proofs

For this set I have left all of my artist proofs blank. This way, you can commission me to draw whatever character you’d like on the card!

Use the form below to contact me about commissioning one of these artist proofs. I only have a few left!

Black Friday Sale on Sketch Card Commissions

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).

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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.

Brand New Star Wars: The Last Jedi Sketch Cards!

My seventeenth Star Wars trading card set I’ve had the privilege to create sketch cards for has just been released! This set was a lot of fun because I started working on it after the movie had come out in theatres, meaning I had access to a lot more imagery. I had also already seen the movie (and loved it!), so was able to draw spoilers from it!

The previous The Last Jedi set was based solely upon imagery from the trailer. This is often the case with trading cards based on movies. For Rogue One it was a similar task where series 1 was based on the trailers and series 2 was worked upon a month or more after the movie’s theatrical release.

For this project I used my usual methods of some acrylic, some inked, and some with copic /polychromous pencil crayons. I have four artist proofs for sale form this project, so make sure to grab them quick before they’re gone!

Pack Inserted sketch cards

Artist proofs

Topps 2018 Star Wars: A New Hope Black and White Sketch Cards

Topps 2018 Star Wars: A New Hope Black and White Sketch Cards is a new trading card set that features imagery strictly from the first Star Wars movie (read more about the set here). For my part, I created 35 unique sketch cards but chose to do them all in colour. I somewhat wish I had decided to create them in black and white but perhaps if Topps decides to do another set like this I’ll go with black and white.

This set is my fifteenth Star Wars set that I’ve had the pleasure of working on for Topps; check out the full list of my projects here! Even though I’ve previously drawn all of the major and many of the minor characters in these projects, I still find new scenes, new characters, and new ways of depicting Star Wars imagery. It really is a blast and easily one of my favourite properties to work on in sketch cards.

Pack inserted cards
Puzzle Sketch Cards

For the first time I tried puzzle cards for a Topps Star Wars set. Puzzle cards are when multiple sketch cards connect to create one larger image. For Topps, these puzzle cards are packed separately so a collector would have to track down the other cards of the puzzle. This is unlike Upper-Deck who packs all of the puzzle cards together into a single pack of cards. Because Topps packs the puzzle cards separately, I made sure that each piece of the puzzle would stand on their own. Each card has the full image of a character or ship on it, but the background is what connects the cards together. I also did this for two of my artist returns, which I think worked out well for depicting the Cantina scene where Luke, Obi, Chewie and Han all meet for the first time.

Artist Returns

Different from other Star Wars sets was the inclusion of die-cut sketch cards in the shape of Vader and a Stormtrooper’s helmet. Previously, Topps had recently released bb-8 and bb-9e shaped cards. I loved the idea of vader and trooper shaped cards and while I was sticking with simple portraits I wanted to create something that was interesting to have inside these shapes. For the Vader shaped cards I drew Luke and Leia and for the Stormtrooper helmets I drew a sandtrooper and Tarkin.

Currently my puzzle artist proofs have already sold, but please check my ebay postings for the others. If they’re not listed, contact me about them or a commission!

Topps Star Wars Masterwork 2017 Sketch Cards

Topps Star Wars Masterwork 2017 trading cards were released this past week. It is the third time this set has been released (in 2015, 2016, and now 2017) and is the second time I have contributed sketch cards to this line of Star Wars cards -first time was in 2016.

For this set, I was provided wood sketch cards, a booklet sketch  card, and some regular sketch cards that had black borders and some that had blue borders. All of the sketch cards were much thicker than a regular sketch card, with a 100pt thickness to them.

photo of a can of liquitex matte gelThe wood sketch cards were tricky to work on. The wood surface would readily absorb the copic markers that I frequently use on sketch cards and I found my pencil crayons didn’t work as I was used to them. I also wanted the wood grains to show through the artwork as I felt that this was one of the main attractive elements to this type of sketch card. My solution was to use inks on these cards with the copics but to over saturate the cards with the marker colours. I then applied a thin layer of matte gel across the cards and used pencil crayons over this in only certain areas. I think some of them came out OK.

For my sole booklet card I wanted to draw an iconic scene from one of the Star Wars movies that would work in an expanded, horizontal format. I chose the scene where Han and Chewie discover the probe droid on Hoth from Empire Strikes Back as it is one of my favourite scenes in the Star Wars movies -actually the entire Hoth sequence is my favourite scene in Star Wars. I reinterpreted the scene to allow for all three figures, droid, Han and Chewie, to be visible on the card. I ended up inking it in a comic book style and used copics and pencil crayons for my colours. I think it turned out OK.

For the rest of the sketch cards I drew on this set I used my usual styles and approaches. It was a mixed bag of comic styles and a softer, more realistic style with copics, pencil crayons and acrylics. I wanted to draw some characters that I hadn’t previously drawn before so I worked in a Jar Jar and a lot of the background characters from Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. The black border cards was a little different from the Blue borders in that I solely went after evil or bounty hunter characters.

 

Examples of my Sketch Cards

I created 100 unique sketch cards for the 2017 Masterwork set. These are a sampling of some of my favourites from this project!

example sheet of wood and booklet sketch cards from star wars masterwork 2017 drawn by matt stewart sample sheet of sketch cards drawn by matt stewart for star wars masterwork blue border sketch cards from masterwork 2017 by topps and drawn by matt stewart examples of black border parallel sketch cards from star wars masterwork 2017
Artist Return Sketch Cards

artist returns by matt stewart from topps star wars masterwork 2017

I have 13 artist return sketch cards for sale from this project. They will be listed for sale on Ebay from time to time but if you don’t see them there then please contact me here to purchase /see if it is still available. I also include a free print as a thank you for each purchase!