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)!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Please contact me if you are interested in buying one or more of my artists!
Start Making Your Own Sketch Cards!
Below are links to the materials I use!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Imagery 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
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!
The third Walking Dead trading card product I have contributed artwork to has just been released. This product is called Walking Dead: Evolution and it is an all-encompassing product that highlights characters from all of the show’s seasons. For me, this was a lot of fun as I could draw any of the characters that have appeared on the show plus some select walkers.
I contributed 40 sketch cards to this product and have 6 artist returns. Of these 40, roughly half were Walkers and the other half were characters from the show. I wanted to focus on characters that have passed away on the show like Bob, Hershel, and Shane, but also characters that I haven’t previously drawn in the other two trading card sets. When I drew a currently living character, I went for one that is a favourite of mine and that I hadn’t drawn before. To that end you won’t find a Daryl or Rick or Karl, but you will find a Jadis and Jerry!
The turnaround for producing the artwork for this set was very short. Because of that I didn’t have time for full colour on all of the cards. This encouraged me to take a different approach that I think worked very well: red backgrounds with grey character tones.
All but one of the characters I drew for the set (not including my artist returns) is still alive on the show. This card is of Tara, and I drew with grey tones and a red background but wish I had added colour to her. The rest of the cards are of characters that have died on the show and leaving them in grey tones, I think, works very well for that.
For the Walkers, they too are in grey tones with heavy black inks but have spots of red for where there is gore on their bodies. For the backgrounds I added comic style black lines for texture, either in an alternating pattern or in repeated strokes to almost mimic blood dripping down. I also added white paint splatter for more texture. Overall I think it is a striking look!
I specifically wanted to draw villains for my artist returns. I drew the Governor, Gareth, Shane, Jadis and Negan, but also included Jerry because his character is just so damn awesome! These are also some of my favourite characters as they are incredibly dynamic. Gareth was an incredibly rich character that despite only being on the show for a handful of episodes, his character was richly realized. Jadis is a new character on the show, and I’m not entirely sold on if she’s a villain, hero, or something in-between but she’s is assuredly 100% awesome!
If you’re interested in purchasing one or more of my artist returns, I am asking $95 plus shipping. Please contact me below and let me know which ones you want!
Previous Walking Dead Sketch Cards
A couple months back I had a table at a small, local comic show. I was specifically there to sell and talk about my sketch cards, with me having a panel at the end of the day discussing what sketch cards are and how I go about making them. As the show was approaching I made a few extra drawings to sell at the show, including three drawings of one of the celebrities that would be there. My idea, which isn’t that original as I’ve seen others do this, was to create a few sketch cards of Garrett Wang who played Ensign Kim on Star Trek: Voyager. At the bottom of the drawings I left a blank space where someone could have him sign it. While I’ve seen other artists sell commissions like this online, I’ve never seen an artist sell something like this at a comic con.
Custom Sketch Cards
Above are the three sketch cards I created to have signed by Garrett Wang. Unfortunately, the con was poorly attended and none were sold, but I still really like this idea and the actor himself even saw these and commented on how much he liked them!
Each of these cards is sold in an Ultra Pro one-touch plastic case. These are perfect as they are thick and sturdy, able to be easily displayed on a shelf, and easily open for an actor to sign.
Commission Your Own
Contact me if you are interested in commissioning such a sketch card or something else from me that could be signed by your favourite celebrity or athlete. The price is $100 for a sketch card, including the drawing, the one-touch case, and shipping within North America. I will need approximately 2 months notice, but the end result will be something truly unique!