Topps Star Wars Masterwork 2018

Star Wars Masterwork from Topps is a premium set of trading cards that comes out every year, for the past four years. I’ve had the pleasure of creating sketch cards for the last three of these products, and I feel that this year’s is my best work yet (See previous year’s work here)!

Star Wars Masterwork sketch card booklet by matt stewart
My one Booklet sketch card

One of the reasons why I love working on Star Wars Masterwork is that it allows me to draw from the entire film and TV universe of Star Wars. There’s other sets (like Galactic Files Reborn) that also allow for all of the Star Wars universe to be drawn from, but this one provides me thicker, higher quality sketch cards to work off of. If you were buying a top loader or one-touch protector for these cards they’d be 100pt, as opposed to regular thin trading cards from other sets. This project also has unique booklet cards, of which I was invited to draw on one of them -they are especially rare!

Mediums Used

As per usual, I utilized a few different techniques for creating my sketch cards. For some of them I used pen and ink with copic marker. This produces a comic book like style that I greatly enjoy and has been my mainstay ever since I begin drawing sketch cards. I also used my more recent method of marrying copic markers with polychromous pencil crayons, which gives the image a richer and more realistic appearance.

sketch cards by matt stewart for star wars masterwork trading cards sketch cards by matt stewart for star wars masterwork trading cards sketch cards by matt stewart for star wars masterwork trading cards

New to this project was my usage of water colours and acrylic paints. For the water colours I also used a little bit of gouache. I wanted my pencils to be visible and the water colours to be simple washes. The paper wasn’t too great for it but I think the images still look good. Unfortunately, my scanner didn’t pick up the water colours too well. They look much better in person and I now have a new scanner so future projects with water colour work will be displayed even better!

star wars masterwork sketch cards by matt stewart
Pack Inserted cards painted with water colour /gouache

Earlier this year I began dabbling with acrylic paints on my sketch cards. I’ve been inspired by other artists like Kris Penix & Jay Marchand, who create their sketch cards exclusively in acrylic paint. Painting with acrylics is an incredibly so process so I decided to do only a small batch of my cards in this medium. I feel that with every project my acrylic work is getting better and I’m definitely going to be continuing to use it! I even kept a handful of these as my artist proofs!

sketch cards by matt stewart for star wars masterwork trading cards
Examples of my sketch cards painted with acrylic paints and inserted into packs! The Ahsoka on the bottom left has already been pulled and listed on ebay.
Artist Proof Sketch Cards

I have six artist proof sketch cards available to sell from this project. The Yoda, Fett & AT-AT Driver are all painted in acrylic. The Jyn and Rey have acrylic painted backgrounds and copic/ pencil crayon portrait foregrounds. The Galen is all copic /pencil crayon.

sketch cards by matt stewart for star wars masterwork trading cards
Artist Proof Sketch Cards

Please contact me if you are interested in buying one or more of my artists!

New!!! My Sketch Cards From Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Topps 2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi trading cards came out this week. A few months ago, in September, a prequel trading card set was released. This set was called Journey to the Last Jedi and I had artwork in this product as well. The difference between these two products is that unlike the first set, now I could draw images from The Last Jedi. The Journey to the Last Jedi only had images from Force Awakens.

the last jedi posterImagery used for this new trading card set came from the trailers and publicly released photos, like those found in the special Star Wars Vogue magazine. In the past, with Force Awakens and Rogue One, this is how the artists work on these products. A second series will often follow these where the movie has already been released and then the artists can draw from everything in the movie and you will often see new characters and spoiler type scenes be depicted.

For this set, I drew the character Rose Tico a few times. I knew virtually nothing of the character when drawing her, but now that I have seen the movie I am definitely looking forward to being able to draw her and her sister quite a few times! Other characters I’m looking forward to drawing in, especially in  the context of particular scenes are Luke, Captain Phasma, and Snoke. Before the movie came out there really wasn’t many good photos to draw him from, and now that we can see him in his full glory, it will be a blast to draw!

Examples of my The Last Jedi Sketch Cards

topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi die cut sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 the last jedi sketch card artist returns from matt stewart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Methods and Materials

For this sketch card series I varied up some of the cards but feel that it was a continuation of where I was headed with the previous, Journey to the Last Jedi sketch cards. For the Last Jedi, most of the cards were created with a pencil sketch followed by a base Copic marker layer. Then I added pencil crayons and continued to play with the pencil crayons, blending and layering them until I was happy. Then, I added a sealant and gel matte overtop and added further details with the pencil crayons.

Some of the sketch cards I tried a different medium. For two of the aliens (first sheet, right side), I used some Japanese poster paints I have. I tried a few different styles with the paints and quite enjoyed it. On some of the other cards, like the landscape ones, I applied a gel matte that is thicker than what I normally use. I added several layers of this gel, leaving behind thick brush strokes on it. I think it added a different style than what people have seen me do before. Lastly, for the troopers I wanted to have a little fun. I gave them all different types of backgrounds and on one I used water colours to give it a wholly different feel. Troopers have always been one of my favourite things to draw from the Star Wars universe and I love changing it up from set to set on how I depict them.

Artist Returns and Commissions

I have a very limited number of artist returns available for sale from this project. I have five regular sketch cards and one die cut. They are $150 plus shipping each and are currently listed on ebay. If you are curious if one is still available or would like to commission your own sketch card or larger illustration from me, please drop me a line here!

 

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!

 

Topps 2017 Star Wars: Journey to the Last Jedi Sketch Cards

sale sheet for Topps 2017 star wars journey to the last jedi trading cards with product imagesTopps 2017 Star Wars: Journey to The Last Jedi was released today, on Force Friday II! I created 70 regular sketch cards for this product and for the first time in a Star Wars trading card product, 25 shaped sketch cards. For more information on this product, please visit Cardboard Connection.

Despite the product’s namesake, no images from the new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, were used in the sketch card artwork. Instead, the idea was to draw from the ‘journey’ to the latest movie with imagery from The Force Awakens. I principally worked from screen shots from the film, focusing on various places featured in the movie and the characters, much like what I’ve done on previous Star Wars sketch card projects.

Technique wise, I used two styles. One was my comic book style of inking my drawings then colouring them with Copic markers. I used various brush and mechanical pens. When drawing these cards I continually mentally reminding myself, ‘what would this look like in a comic book?’. The second style was done without inks, using only Copic markers and polychromous pencil crayons. Provided I have the necessary time (which I do not always have when working on these sets), I can obtain a fairly realistic look. It’s also a softer technique, and while not applicable to this set, is my favoured route for when drawing the Star Wars animated characters.

The shaped cards was a unique inclusion to this product. Previously Topps had not created shaped sketch cards for their sets, or at least not on any of the sets I’ve worked on in the past three years. The deadline for completing these cards was very tight, but I am very pleased with how they turned out. There is a very limited run of these cards and will be exceedingly difficult to find in the product, but I will have a few of these for sale myself!

Examples of my sketch cards for this product

This is not an exhaustive list of what I did. Just some of the scanned sheets for this product.

topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 1 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 2 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 3 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 4 topps star wars journey to the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart page 5 topps star wars journey to the last jedi BB8 shaped sketch cards by matt stewart page 1 topps star wars journey to the last jedi BB8 shaped sketch cards by matt stewart page 1

Artist Returns for Sale

Any of my artist returns that do not sell here or on my social media channels within the next week or so will be listed on ebay. Please contact me about what artist returns I have for sale and if there is a character or scene that you do not see, I can create that specially for you! Please contact me and let’s make it happen!

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.