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

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!

Topps 2020 Gallery Baseball Base Card Artwork

Last year I had the opportunity to contribute illustrations to the Topps 2019 Gallery Baseball set. This artwork was used for the insert set called Impressionists and there were 30 cards in all. As per most insert sets, the cards were not found in every pack but instead 1 in every 88 or so packs had one of these cards in them. It was a great project to work on but I had been hoping that my artwork would be found a bit more easily.

For Gallery 2020 trading cards, I contributed 26 illustrations that were used for the base cards. These are the common cards that tally up to 100 different cards that make up the “base set”. Every pack has several different base cards in it, so my cards are much easier to find in the packs this year!

The original illustrations I created for these cards measured roughly 4×6″ and then were scanned down to fit the cards when printing. The originals were used by Topps as incentives in the trading card set, with being inserted into jumbo packs they placed inside the larger boxes of cards. For the cards, they are sold in individual packs, small boxes, and what are called Mega boxes which have the jumbo packs included in them. These cards are also only sold at retail locations like Walmart.

Above are just a few examples of the artwork I created for this year’s Gallery base cards. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I’ll be sharing the rest of the cards I illustrated!

MEDIA USED

I used mixed media in illustrated the portraits. Images were provided to my by Topps and then I pencilled out the portrait. I then used markers to create a base colour and painted a thin layer of designer (or traditional) gouache overtop. I then used oil pencil crayons to create defined lines and shapes overtop the painting.

Curious about what art supplies I use? Follow the links below to purchase the same supplies I use!

Holbein Traditional Gouache Paints

Faber Castel Polychromous Pencil Crayons

Commission Your Own

I don’t have any of the original illustrations to sell as these were inserted into the Mega boxes, but you can commission a drawing of your favourite baseball player in the same style and size that I did these Gallery illustrations in! If you have a copy of one of my Gallery cards I’d also be more than happy to sign it for you (just need you to cover the return shipping though).

 

***Mattstewartillustrations.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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.

 

Mini Pop Culture Paintings

I’ve been creating acrylic paintings on 2×2″ canvases for a little while now. Often I create these when I have some leftover paint from a project or just some time between projects. They’re a great way to practice painting, and because they’re roughly 1/2″ deep with a wooden frame, I can attach a magnet to the backside so they can hang from the refrigerator door.

I make these to sell but also for fun, so the subject matter is usually just fun stuff that I like. I’ve been slowly working my way through iconic looking comicbook, cartoon and Star Wars characters. It’s only the face of the characters, so I try to choose only iconic looking characters like Wolverine or Batman, but I have done a few stylized portraits like that of Stan Lee.

Contact Me

If you’re interested in buying one of these they’re $65 each or $100 for two, including shipping.

Magik Drawing

I’ve been looking over some of my more recent drawings and it confirmed what I already knew; I’ve drawn A LOT of portraits. It’s a product of how I spend a lot of my time drawing sketch cards that entail drawing mostly portraits (Star Wars and baseball), and that when I am commissioned it is often from people asking me to draw a portrait of this or that person. Don’t get me wrong, I love drawing portraits, but I also love drawing other stuff like comicbook characters!

Since I wanted to enlarge the scope of my portfolio, I decided I’d start with drawing a few of my favourite comicbook characters. I haven’t had a tonne of time to do this, but I did recently finish a sketch of Magik. Also known as Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina, she’s an awesome character from the New Mutants, a comicbook from Marvel. The sister to Colossus, the Russian metal clad mutant of the X-Men team, Magik has the ability to teleport between dimensions & use magic, along with weilding an awesome ‘soul’ sword.

The Drawing

Anyways, below is the drawing I did and in the near future I might make a very limited print run of it. The original is also for sale, and measures 6×8″. I used india ink, copics, gesso, and gouache on the drawing. Like most of my drawings, it started off with the pencil sketch and then I inked it. After that I added copics markers for the colours and grey tones. I wanted to try something a little different  so I added a watered down layer of gesso to the back, black area. Overtop of the gesso I added black gouache to darken it again, but the mix of gesso and gouache gave it a different feel that I quite liked. Lastly, I used pencil crayons to mark the outline over the flames and then a little bit of white acrylic splatter.

drawing of magik the new mutants comic book character

For the print, which is shown below, I made a few digital edits to it with bringing up the whites and adding a texture to the background. The texture is of concrete which I thought looked pretty cool and allowed Magik to pop a bit more. I also made the image a little darker than the original and highlighted the white halo around Magik.

Commission Your Own

To commission a drawing like this, please follow the link to my commission page. If you are interested in purchasing this Magik drawing it is $100 with shipping included, and comes with a mystery thank you print! Please contact me below if you would like to score this original drawing!

 

Materials I used

Pick up the same art supplies I used on these cards below!

Curious about what art supplies I use? Follow the links below to purchase the same supplies I used in creating the Ghostbusters illustration!

Copic Markers

Holbein Traditional Gouache Paints

Faber Castel Polychromous Pencil Crayons

 

***Mattstewartillustrations.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Pet Portrait Art Commissions

I was commissioned to draw two pet portraits as Christmas gifts this year. Oddly, both commissions were of beagles! For both of these commissions I was provided a photo of the pet, with one of the pets only having a portion of the dog showing so I had to figure out what the hind legs looked like from other photos. In both commissions I created a nature background for the dogs, and in one I create an Art Nouveau design in the top right and bottom left corners.

For both of these illustrations I used 400lb Strathmore illustration boards. They measured roughly 9×12″ and I used a mix of gouache paint, gesso, acrylic, Copic markers, and polychromous pencil crayons. As in all of my artwork, I then sealed them with a fixative that prevents smudging and fading. For the gouache work I’ve been using the Pebeo gouache varnish.

Commission your own pet portrait

Both of these commissions were extremely satisfying to do. They are unlike much of what I’ve been recently working on (sports and star wars sketch cards), and would love to do more! If you are interested in a portrait of your pet or having one done for someone you know as a gift, please contact me here. Turnaround time is between 1 and 2 months right now and prices vary according to complexity and size of the image, but to give you an idea of pricing these two were $125US+shipping each.