Miguel Ferrer (1955-2017)

photograph if miguel ferrer in the movie RobocopIn January of 2017 the talented actor, Miguell Ferrer passed away. Recently, I believe a lot of people were familiar with him from his work on the TV show NCIS. For me it was his roles in the original Robocop movie, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Trafficand his incredibly long list of TV roles including his portrayal of Albert Rosenfield on Twin Peaks.

After his passing I started looking up other bits of information about Miguell Ferrer. Honestly, I had only previously been familiar with his film roles. Like so many other Hollywood celebrities, I read that Miguell’s parents were both celebrities, with his father winning an Oscar. One of his cousins, surprisingly, was George Clooney!

Miguell didn’t start acting until his 20’s, but his career went into overdrive quickly after it started. His childhood passions of comic books, science fiction and action carried through his career. His enthusiasm for the genres he worked in and the opportunities he had was clear, as shown in a 2009 interview with AV/Film where Ferrer was asked about many of his iconic roles including…

RoboCop was maybe the best summer of my entire life. It was the summer of 1986, and it was the best part I’d been asked to do at the time, and working with an amazing director, Paul Verhoeven. The writer Ed Neumeier and I became great friends, and he gave me just so much to work with. I woke up every day and when I was looking at myself in the mirror shaving, I just couldn’t believe my good fortune. I was the happiest guy probably in the state during that time.”

Miguel Ferrer inked portrait by matt stewart
Miguel Ferrer inked portrait by matt stewart

 

Your Thoughts

This is part of my ongoing series of portraits of those who passed away in 2017. Please comment below if there is someone you think I should include in this series. I have about six more ready to be posted as well 🙂

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!

Topps Rogue One Cassian Sketch Card

I was recently commissioned to recreate a sketch card I had done for the first series of Rogue One by Topps. There was a mistake in the sketch cards delivered to me, so to correct that I was sent a few blank sketch cards after I had completed the project. With this project, I couldn’t create a new image on the blank sketch card they sent me but instead I could redraw any of the sketch cards I did that were approved by Lucas Film /Topps.

All of my Rogue One Sketch Cards
All of my Rogue One Sketch Cards

So a client chose their favourite sketch card I had done for that set and I then redid it. I think this one came out way better than the first, with more vibrant colours and the ink work being tighter. Client was super happy with it too!

Rogue One sketch card of Cassian
Topps Rogue One sketch card of Cassian
Commission Your Own Drawing!

Would you like to commission a custom sketch card or larger illustration from me? If so, drop me a line!

Topps 2017 Star Wars Galactic Files Reborn Sketch Cards

topps star wars galactic files 2017 artist proof sketch cards

Topps 2017 Star Wars Galactic Files Reborn released this week! I did a small batch of sketch cards for this product and have eight returns to sell (pictured below). One of the fun aspects of this set is that I am allowed to draw from all of the Star Wars universe, including all of the movies (to date) and the animated TV shows of Clone Wars and Rebels.

It can sometimes be daunting when working on a set that has such broad parameters such as this one, but to make it easier on myself I often come up with a theme or themes. In previous sets, I will choose a few scenes to work from so that I can focus on a certain group of characters. This makes it easier in finding reference images and thinking of styles /compositions. For this set I chose a slightly broader theme in drawing the women of Star Wars. I hadn’t always drawn a lot of women in previous Star Wars sets and thought with such amazing characters like Rey, Jyn, Sabine, and Ashoka, it was about time I did!

topps star wars galactic files sketch card by matt stewart of leia jyn padme and rey

Perhaps the one sketch card I’m most proud of is the one to the left, where I drew four of the Star Wars royal ladies. Starting clockwise from the top right is Rey, Jyn, Leia and then Padme. I also included the Deathstar on the bottom left and the Starkiller on the bottom right. I think some of the small details got away from me on this card, but I still really like the overall composition and it is something I’m really keen on redoing on a larger scale. Perhaps I’ll add in a few subtle details like the rebel insignia when I do!

Feedback!

What do you think though? Would you like to see the Star Wars royal ladies card done as a larger illustration? Is there another female Star Wars character you’d like to see in the illustration too? Or do you think the overall composition needs some more work? Just leave a comment below to let me know what you think!

If you really like this idea, why not commission a Star Wars drawing for yourself! Perhaps tell me which female characters you would like portrayed or leave it up to me & soon you can have your own original Star Wars illustration hanging on your wall. Just give me a shout and make it happen!

 

 

 

Topps 2017 AMC The Walking Dead Season 6 Sketch Cards

 

topps walking dead banner

Topps 2017 AMC The Walking Dead Season 6 Sketch Cards

For the first time I had the opportunity to work on AMC’s The Walking Dead property by creating original sketch cards for Topps’ The Walking Dead Season 6 trading cards. I did a relatively small number of sketch cards for this project, with the subject matter being a mix of walkers (zombies) and main cast members from the TV show. Each illustration of an actor was approved by that actor themself, which I always think is pretty cool when I see that they personally approved a drawing I did of them.

I’m also a Fan of the Show!

I’ve been a big fan of the Walking Dead ever since it first came on TV. Back in 2010 I was at San Diego Comic Con with my wife, where we saw posters and whatnot for the upcoming Walking Dead TV show. At the time neither one of us were familiar with the comic book so the TV show meant little to us. Looking back on it, this was a bit of a missed opportunity to see the show’s panel or potentially meet some of the cast!

Right around Halloween of that year I saw TV previews for the Walking Dead and thought it looked pretty good. My wife had to work the night it premiered but the day after I couldn’t stop telling her how good the first episode was. By the next week she was watching the second episode with me and was as deeply hooked on it as I was.

To this day, Sunday nights during the fall and winter months are date nights. My wife and I curl up on the couch, becoming transfixed on watching the Walking Dead followed by the Talking Dead. We’ve loved the show from the start and it’s not the ‘zombies’ that draw us in on a weekly basis, although they are quite entertaining in their own right. Instead, it’s the characters that make us love the show. We love how the show is about people facing extraordinary circumstances. Each character has a full arc, with dynamic changes occurring through their stories.

More Images to come!

This was the first project I used oil based pencil crayons on. Previously I had lightly dabbled in them, but for roughly 1/4 of this set I went all out. For all of the walkers I inked them with my trusty Japanese brush pen and then coloured them with Copic markers and used a white gel pen and pencil crayons for highlights or backgrounds. For the portraits I sparingly used the brush pen again or not at all. Then I used copics to create a base layer of colour and then pencil crayons for highlights and on some, like especially the Negan and Glen pictured above, I used an extensive amount of pencil crayon. I repeated this approach in the Star Wars: 40th Anniversary set which was released last month but was actually created after my work on the Walking Dead set.

For this Walking Dead product, which is the first Topps Walking Dead product to include sketch cards, I was allocated five artist proofs for sale. All five of these have been sold but you can still commission me to create an illustration of your favourite Walking Dead character or walker; just not on a Topps card. Despite all of my artist proofs being sold, I will be posting some examples of sketch cards I did for the set that can be found in the product itself. Look for those being posted on my social media channels like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Commissioned Portrait

I was recently commissioned to create a traditionally illustrated portrait. The portrait is actually of a friend of mine. The stipulation was just that she wanted me to base the portrait on a particular photo she supplied me. Everything else was up to me.

The Process

commission stage 1The illustration was created on a fairly smooth 11×14″ bristol board paper; not sure if I’d use this same paper again though. An initial, fairly rough pencil sketch of the illustration was created and I sent photos of these to the client for approval before I began colouring.

 

Alphonse Mucha paintingI was given free reign on the background and how to position the portrait in the frame. I decided to do something I rarely have an opportunity to do, which is Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Being influenced by Alphonse Mucha, I created an organic border of vines and leaves with a few flowers. I had the top ends of the vines turn into a metallic brass and drew a metallic brass plate that ran across the bottom.

 

commission stage 3Prior to colouring the piece I cleaned up some of the thicker lines with my pen eraser and dabbed my kneaded eraser across the entire surface to lessen the amount of graphite that sat on the paper. Then I started colouring it with my Copic markers. I sometimes use Copics almost like paintbrushes, lightly blocking in areas of colour and applying colour in a stroke-like fashion, allowing the colours to blend in. I also use a Colorless Blender marker that significantly aids in blending Copics.

 

commission stage 4After I was satisfied with the Copics I used Faber-Castell Polychromos pencil crayons. Faber-Castell is my favourite brand of pencils and their pencil crayons are a pure joy to work with. I dry blended the pencil crayons and kept certain lines intact, such as around the cheeks of her face to add a bit of movement. The hair was approached differently as I added heavy layers of pencil crayons to build up colour, tone, and shape.

 

commission stage 5The final steps were using acrylic paints on certain areas to bring out highlights or allow portions of the illustration to sit further back, such as the yellow petals at the top were given a light white wash so they were less impactful. Once dried, I sprayed a fixative on the illustration so it wouldn’t smear.

 

The client was very happy with the results. She was also particularly happy that she had given me free-reign on the background -and so was I. All too often the projects I work on (like sketch cards) are very specific in what I can do. This is fine but sometimes it’s good to stretch your legs as an artist!

Final Product

If you would like me to create a portrait for you of a family member, favourite celebrity, or perhaps of the cherished family pet, contact me here and we can get started!

commissioned portrait

EUGENE CERNAN (1934-2017)

I’ve always been fascinated with space, NASA, and those that pushed through the impossible to explore the unknown. Eugene Cernan was born in 1934. He was an American astronaut, naval aviator, electrical engineer, aeronautical engineer and fighter pilot. In 1972, the last and final NASA mission to the moon took place, with Cernan, his third trip to space, as commander of Apollo 17. This final lunar landing was to have Cernan be the eleventh person to ever walk on the moon and be the last man to re-enter the Lunar Module.

This sketch of Mr. Cernan was done on 8 3/4″ x 6″ illustration paper. I used a black #14 Kuretake brush pen and white acrylic paint. The NASA emblem was coloured with copic marker and then edited in Photoshop to give it a grainy texture and added the white splash marks overtop of it.