Late last year I had the fantastic opportunity to create sketch cards for the 2018 Baseball Series 1 from Topps. I still need to post examples of my artwork from that set here but I’ve been so darn busy! Case in point, Series 2 from the 2018 Topps Baseball set was released about a month ago and I had, again, sketch cards in it!
I have a mix of styles in the set and tried to draw a player from every team but I think I accidentally forgot about one or two. I also had the chance to draw a few retired players, going all the back to Honus Wagner! One of my favourite retired players was also in the mix, a Mr. Ozzie Smith!
These sketches are incredibly rare to find in the packs of cards. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the odds of finding one is about one per every 2 or 3 cases of cards! That’s not packs, or boxes, but cases!
Check out what I have listed on ebay and if you don’t see it there, contact me here and commission an original from me! I often have a month or two long waiting list, so please make sure to contact me early for commissions. I also have some blank official artist proofs from companies like Leaf available, but they may not be available for long!
Up next for my project release calendar is Topps 2018 MLB Museum Collection. This was released in the last week of June. Coming up in July is a horror trading card set for MNS Cards and Lost in Space series 2 from Rittenhouse. I have a few commissions and other non sketch card projects I’m working on this month that I am also excited about sharing! Hoping to have much of that posted on Twitter and Instagram, so make sure to follow me there!
Topps 2018 UFC Museum Collection was the first sports set I’ve had the opportunity to work on for Topps. For this project, I created 40 unique sketch cards that featured some of the top fighters in the UFC. In addition to the 40 sketch cards I created, I also created five additional cards I kept as artist returns. My returns are currently listed on ebay.
This set is an annual release trading card product from Topps. It is considered a high-end release with packs having only a few cards in them, but you are guaranteed a hit such as a relic, an autograph, or a sketch card. All of the cards have a premium feel to them, being on thicker card stock and having glossy images. Beckett Cards has a full breakdown of what is included in this product, including a sample image of one of the sketch cards I created!
I used two different approaches to this project. The sketch card paper was not ideal for Copic markers, so on some I used watercolors. This approach worked well on a lot of them but I lost the detail I like using in my portraits. For some of the cards I used watercolors for the entire drawing and others it was only used in the background. In my artist returns I tried to add a little more detail by including a miniature image of the fighter in a fighting stance and this miniature drawing was done in watercolors.
The second approach was keeping with my base colour layer of Copics and then going over it with oil pencil crayons. However, because the paper did not have a lot of tooth to it, I applied some of my matte gel to it. This gave it better tooth and allowed for the pencil crayons to go down more easily. On top of the pencil crayons I added another layer of sealant to discourage smudging.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you collect UFC Trading cards!
These past few weeks I’ve been playing catch-up on pretty much everything, including posting on my website. One thing I’ve been meaning to post about is that I was interviewed twice recently about my sketch card artwork. I was both surprised and flattered that I was asked for such interviews. I was also happy that I could show off some of my artwork to a few new eyeballs!
I often have blinders on when I get busy, such as the past few months where all I do is focus on meeting art deadlines. It amazes me that people out there like my art and collect it. It’s something I never really expected to have happen five or so years ago and I truly appreciate hearing from people who collect this or that drawing I made!
The first interview was on That Sports Card Podcast back in October of last year. This interview was really cool as I was able to talk about a few different topics that ranged from who I am personally, what I collect, and about the artwork I create. Hopefully I came across OK on the podcast and at some level am interesting to listen to!
The second interview came from the online magazine, Collection Connections. I was sent a few questions which again were about my sketch card artwork and my own collecting hobby. I’m not sure how many other artists collect but I am a big card collector (mainly hockey) along with Lego and comic books. Again, this interview was a lot of fun to do. Like most people, it’s hard not to enjoy talking about yourself and what you do.
Another cool bit of news is that Steve over at the Star Wars Everything website has been kind enough to highlight some of the sketch card artists on new Star Wars trading card sets produced from Topps. Myself and a handful of other artists have been able to post examples of our sketch cards on his website, where he also talks more in depth about that particular Star Wars trading card product that is coming up. Really appreciate an opportunity to post some more of my artwork!
If you would like to ask me a question directly or interview me for your website or podcast, please drop me a line here!
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!
Milt Schmidt was born in Kitchener Ontario, March 5, 1918 and passed away this year at the age of 98.
Milt was a WWII veteran in the Canadian military and a Boston Bruins legend, playing from 1937 to 1942 and 1946 to 1955. He won two Stanley Cups, coached the Bruins from 1955 to 1966, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.
This sketch of Mr. Schmidt was done on 8 3/4″ x 6″ illustration paper. I used a black #14 Kuretake brush pen for inking the pencil sketch. Grey markers were used in places on the portrait and a yellow marker with a white grease pencil overlain overtop was used for the background.