Topps 2021 Museum Collection Artist Proof Sketch Cards

I painted four artist proofs for the Topps 2021 Museum Collection set that I will be putting up for sale. These are original paintings, done in traditional gouache and oil based pencil crayons. On the backside of the cards, I’ve signed it, hand-written the player’s name and “Artist Proof”. This type of sketch card can ONLY be obtained direct from an artist like myself who worked on these projects!

I also have copies of my reprinted artwork that was included in this year’s Museum Collection set. Please check out my previous post that features the Canvas Collection cards of bob Gibson, Juan Soto, and Anthony Rizzo!

Contact me

I have more blank artist proof sketch cards from this project that I will be using for other portraits soon. Contact me to find out what I’ll be doing for my next Artist Proof and how you can pick-up one of the above, already finished, Artist Proofs!

Topps 2020 MLB Update Trading Card Artwork

In 2020 I contributed artwork to the Topps MLB Museum Collection, Flagship series 1 and series 2, and Gallery. I’ve previously posted about all of those projects except for 2020 Update, which I’m doing so now! This was also the third year of me working on Topps MLB products and sometime soon I’ll be posting about my contributions to their 2021 products!

Pack inserted original artwork

I used a mix of inked, comicbook style drawings and mixed media portraits. Most of the comicbook style ones are action shots and I gave them either action style lines radiating from the borders to the player or Kirby dots. For the portraits, I cut off the body from the shoulders down and used acrylic paint to give it a bold colour. I also gave the portraits a white halo to make them pop a bit more from the background.

One of the other, more simpler things I did on this project was to colour the border icons. It’s not the most imaginative thing I could’ve done but I liked the idea of giving the border design that was printed on the cards a little bit of colour. The colours I chose were also one of the player’s team colours.

Contact me about commissions

I have blank artist proof sketch cards from this and other official baseball trading card projects I’ve worked on. To find out more about sketch cards please see my earlier post and use the form below to contact me about a commission! Prices start at $125US.

Topps 2020 MLB Museum Collection Trading Card Artwork

Topps MLB Museum Collection is easily my favourite of all baseball trading card sets to work on. I’ve previously worked on the 2018 to 2020 sets and the 2021 set but that won’t be released until June. What makes this set great to work on every year is that the paper quality is the best of any project. The cards are thick and the paper has good tooth for drawing on. The thickness of the cards allows for different mediums like water based acrylics, water colours, and gouache to be used, but also dry mediums like markers. The design of the cards is always nice and the subject matter is broader than other baseball sets as I am allowed to draw both active and retired stars of the game.

Another great aspect of working on Museum Collection is that sometimes my artwork will be chosen to be reprinted as part of the Canvas Collection. I’ve had my work reprinted in the 2018 and 2019 sets, and again for the 2020 set. For the 2020 set I had two of my paintings reprinted: Albert Pujols and Ryne Sandberg.

Canvas collection

Above are the two Canvas Collection cards that feature my artwork. On the backside of the card my name is printed at the bottom. Topps provided me with 25 copies of each of these cards and I have numbered the backs along with writing “artist copy” on them. To add one of these to you collection, please contact me via the form at the bottom of the post.

Pack inserted artwork

I tend to do quite a few sketch cards for Museum Collection every year. For the 2020 set I originally created 50 sketch cards and then was asked to create additional cards. All of the sketch cards were in colour, and most were painted in gouache.

In addition to the standard rectangular, 2.5×3.5″ dimension sketch card, I also worked on shaped sketch cards. These were much more limited in number and besides the difference in shape, were the same as the regular sketch cards.

Artist proofs

Below are a few of my artist proofs from this set. I also have a few blank AP sketch cards I can use for commission.

Contact me

2020 Upper Deck Goodwin Aesop Fables Artwork

2020 Upper Deck Goodwin is a highly popular all sports and entertainment trading card set produced by Upper-Deck cards. The set is a callback to the historic Goodwin Champions cards that first appeared in 1888. This is similar to the Topps Allen & Ginter trading cards that are made today and are a revival of the 1887 trading cards of the same name. Both of these original cards were found in packs of cigarettes!

Allen & Ginter 1887 trading card.

Sketch cards are not a common item to find in packs of Goodwin. Instead, these are found once per case (8 boxes in a case) or sometimes even more rare. The sketch cards also differ from other projects I’ve worked on in that the cards are on thick, 100pt paper and are booklets. The front of the book has a printed image and the name of the Aesop Fable the card is about. The entire set of sketch cards for this project were all based of Aesop Fables, and the inside of the book has a short synopsis of the story with the opposite inside page having the original sketch. The backs of the cards are signed by the artists.

1888 Goodwin Champions trading card. of captain bogardus
1888 Goodwin Champions trading card.

This is the second trading card set I worked on for Upper-Deck in 2020. The other set was for the Runaways TV show, which I posted about previously. I have another set, Chasing Amy, that should be coming out soon from Upper-Deck. That set is a follow-up to the 2017 UDĀ Clerks set that I also previously posted about.

Pack Inserted sketch cards

Below are a few examples of the sketch cards I created for this project. I scanned the images plus the accompanying Aesop Fable. On some of the cards I used acrylic paints, some gouache paints, and some copics & pen.

Artist proofs

I have a very limited supply of artist proofs from this project. The AP sketch cards have a foil stamp on the front with the letters “AP” and unlike the pack inserted cards these are not booklets. Instead, the APs are single sketch cards that are roughly 40pt in thickness.

Please fill out the contact form below to grab one of these APs! Pricing starts at just $90, including shipping!

Topps 2020 Series 2 Baseball Sketch Card Artwork

Topps 2020 Series 2 Baseball is the third year I’ve had the pleasure of creating artwork for this set. This is one of the ‘flagship’ products for Topps, and something that I personally have collected since I was a kid.

For this project, I created mainly portraits of current baseball players. I didn’t draw too many rookies but instead opted for the stars of MLB. Also, I tried to draw a player from as many teams as I could. I created 35 sketch cards for this set that were inserted into the packs, and there were a few teams that I drew more than one player from, like the Dodgers, Yankees, and Cardinals.

Pack inserted sketch cards

Many of the cards I did for this project were painted with gouache and then oil pencils used overtop. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite mediums as it works well across almost any paper type and has a nice rich look to it. The tradeoff is that it takes twice as long to use the paints than it does to use markers and ink pens!

Commission a sketch card

I have a limited amount of artist proof sketch cards from this project that I can use for commissions. These start at $125US each, including shipping within North America. The above two sketch cards are two artist proofs I’ve previously made! Fill out the form below to add one to your collection!

Who Should I Draw next?

If there’s an active player you’d like to see me draw for an upcoming Topps baseball set, let me know in the comments below! I’m already working on 2021 sets, so it might just appear in one of them!

Newly Commissioned Artwork

I wanted to share a few commissions I completed for people over the past few months. It’s a mix of sports and pop culture, and all of it was bigger than the artwork I do for trading card projects!

Colby Cave Commission

Colby Cave in Bruins uniform Illustration Commission hand drawn by matt stewart

This was a 9×12″ mixed media commission of the late hockey player Colby Cave. Colby passed away this summer and he was a very promising hockey player who played for the Boston Bruins & Edmonton Oilers.

The image above is a scan of the original but the lettering at the bottom is digital. I hand drew the lettering on the actual commission but I wanted it to look even more crisp in the digital version so I superimposed digital lettering overtop.

Son’s Hockey Portrait

For this 6×8″ commission, a father asked if I could draw his son playing hockey from a photo he had. I gave it a few small design elements and added the “Young Guns” and his jersey number at the bottom similar to what you would find on an Upper-Deck hockey card.

Eminem portrait

I think this is the first time I’ve been asked to draw a portrait of a musician. Personally, I love Eminem and especially his latest album, which was playing on repeat while drawing!

I was provided a specific reference to work from and was asked if I could have “Slim Shady” written somewhere on it. I thought it would be cool to have the words in a funky script and have the background somewhat come through the lettering so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. For the background I wanted to attempt a graffiti like design. I have the phrase “12 Mile” in that background and extended the tops of the “M” to act as horns behind Eminem’s head. He really liked how it turned out and it’s easily one of my favourite drawings from this year!

Mickey Redmond Commission

This was a fun but challenging one! A huge hockey fan asked me to draw Mickey Redmond, who was one of his favourite hockey players when he was growing up. The challenge was that the one reference image he wanted me to work off of was very blurry. There aren’t a lot of great photos of him playing hockey to start with, so on things like his hair I had to make it up.

The design of the drawing is based off a Topps baseball card from the 80’s. He loved those baseball cards and thought it would look really neat if Redmond had a card similar to those baseball cards. The lettering was tricky and honestly I’m not the best at drawing it, but I think it still turned out pretty cool! He definitely loved it at least!

Luke & Vader Commission

Hand’s down the largest and possibly most time consuming commission I did this year. The original concept was of showing half of Luke & half of Vader’s face. I then went a little overboard by adding elements of ships and whatnot from The Empire Strikes Back and the Star Wars title at the bottom. It was pretty much a process of me doodling on the paper, filling it in with this or that.

It measures 11×17″ and is a mix of gouache, copic, pencil crayon, and acrylic paint. Overall I think it turned out pretty well and I might make a few prints from it once Cons come back!

Commission your own

Thanks for reading about some of the commissions I worked on this year. If you would like to add one of my drawings to your collection, please contact me through the form below and let me know what you would like!

Mickey Mantle Personal Sketch Cards

Recently I created three Mickey Mantle sketch cards for a big baseball fan. These three drawings were based off iconic Mantle Topps trading cards from 1952, 1953, and 1956.

These three sketch cards were drawn on plain, high quality paper stock that has the same dimensions as a trading card (2.5×3.5″). I used Copic markers, polychromous pencil crayons, and acrylic paint to create them. After the drawings were complete I sealed them with a matte finish spray that prevents them from smudging and gives them some UV protection.

mantle with aceo sticker on back by matt stewart

I’ve recently begun placing a sticker of authenticity to the backsides of all of my drawings. These stickers fit perfectly to the backs of my sketch cards. On the stickers it states that these are “1 of 1” drawings, “certified” as original drawings, and I sign the open space in the middle. Let me know what you think of my stickers down below in the comments!

Commission a drawing

If you’d like a drawing similar to one of these for yourself or to gift to someone else, please contact me today! Prices start at $65US and estimated turnaround is 2-4 weeks.