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!
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 Solo trading cards is the sixteenth Star Wars project I’ve had the pleasure of being on! By the end of this year I might be at 20 total Star Wars projects, and definitely well over 20 projects for Topps in all!
For this project, the only reference material I had to work from was a magazine shoot and the first two trailers. With limited reference material, I only worked on 35 sketch cards plus my returns for this project. I drew pretty much 50/50 main cast versus background characters. I did take some liberties on the storm troopers, knowing they were in the movie and decided to just draw some as they normally appear in other movies.
I used acrylic paints on six of this project’s sketch cards, and used acrylics on the backgrounds to all but one of my artist returns. This small sample of acrylics was a testing of the paints for myself. I haven’t used acrylics in a long time and this was a way for me to practice them. Going forward I have a few acrylic paintings in each set.
I have six artist returns for sale (pictured above) from this project. If interested in picking them up, I will be posting them for sale on ebay soon and if you don’t see them there, please drop me a line here!
Topps 2018 The Walking Dead: Road to Alexandria is the fourth Walking Dead trading card set I’ve had the pleasure of working on! I am a huge fan of the TV show and greatly enjoy drawing some of my favourite and most hated characters from the show. This time around, the Road to Alexandria set allowed me to draw from any of the characters from the past 8 seasons of the TV show, plus a select few Walkers.
Since I could draw characters from the past 8 seasons of the Walking Dead, I decided to forego drawing Walkers and focus on cast members. I also stepped away from doing some of the current and recent main cast as I had already drawn many of them in the last few projects I had worked on.
Above and below are some 18 examples of the sketch cards I created for this set. I stuck with the same methods I have been using in previous sets, with using Copic markers and oil based pencil crayons over top. On a few, however, I also used black india ink and the white backgrounds on cards like the Olivia below were created with brushed acrylics.
Previous Walking Dead Projects
Check out the previous Walking Dead sets I’ve worked on:
Do you have a favourite Walking Dead sketch card I’ve drawn or is there a character that you haven’t seen me draw before? Let me know down below in the comments section!
Start Making Your Own Sketch Cards!
Below are links to the materials I use!
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 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!