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!

Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back Black & White Sketch Cards

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.

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!

 

All of my Topps Rogue One Sketch Cards

I was asked recently by a collector what sketch cards I had drawn for the Rogue One cards by Topps. It got me thinking and I ended up making a quick spread of all the sketch cards I did for Rogue One srs 1 & 2.

I had also worked on Rogue One Mission Briefing but that did not feature any of the characters from Rogue One.

When I started looking at what I had did for the two sets I think I can see an improvement in my art from the one set to the next. Probably feel that way again too if I put those next to what I did for 40th and the upcoming Galactic Files!

All of my Rogue One Sketch Cards

Contact me here if you see something you like and would like to commission your own Star Wars artwork from me.

Star Wars Day: May the Fourth Be With You!

Star Wars Day: May the Fourth Be With You!

I love it when companies utilize fun ‘holidays’ in ways that engage the customers. Not for the sole purpose of selling stuff (though I have done that with my art!) but to just provide a positive and fun atmosphere for their customers. Doing so fosters a culture and atmosphere that customers will remember going forward. Today, Star Wars Day or also known as May the Fourth Be With You Day, is one such day where companies can grow that culture and atmosphere.

What one may not expect is when it is not a company but rather a government agency that plays along with these ‘holidays’. The Government of Canada Transport agency had one special and very witty post for this Star Wars Day and the Canadian Army was not to be left out as they created a video! Neither of these try to promote the agencies in what they do nor have any political motivation behind them, besides that they create a positive atmosphere and culture, and hot damn I loved it!

Transport Canada website had a timely recall notice today!

transport canada recall notice on star wars day 2017

And the Canadian Army also posted a timely video in celebration of Star Wars day!

and just because here’s another sketch card I did for the latest Topps 40th Anniversary Star Wars set!

Darth Vader 40th anniversary sketch card for topps