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:
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.
Currently my puzzle artist proofs have already sold, but please check my ebay postings for the others. If they’re not listed, contact me about them or a commission!
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!
I am having a year end sale on some of my artist return sketch cards. They are $60(USD) each with free shipping and will offer a discount if ordering more than one. To purchase, just message me at the bottom of the post with your email address and which sketch cards you want to pick up. I’ll then send you an invoice through PayPal within a day.
For this sale, I am including the Terminator 2 and Gerry Anderson sketch cards I created for Unstoppable cards, Mars Attacks: The Revenge sketch cards from Topps, 2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron from Upper-Deck, 2015 Ant-Man from Upper Deck, and a Ghostbusters sketch card from Cryptozoic. With each purchase I will also send you a free print of one of my drawings -it might be a sports illustration, Creature from the Black Lagoon, a Vader print or a Boba Fett print!
To order one or more of my artist return sketch cards, please message me below with the name and number of the sketch card. For the sketch card number, just tell me the set name, like Terminator 1 or Avengers 10, so I know which card you want! I will reply to your email within 24 hours and send you a paypal invoice! Easy-peasy!
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!