Stranger Things Day! My artwork for Topps Stranger Things Season 1 Trading Cards!

I find that I often forget to post the artwork I’ve done for trading card projects to my website. Then, months or even years later, something will pop up to remind me about a project I worked on that I never posted about! Today is one of those days as it is Stranger Things day and with it, the trailer for season four was released!

The new trailer for season four of Stranger Things was release today and although I have yet to draw any of the characters or events from season 4 or 3, I was invited to contribute artwork to the first and second season’s trading card sets from Topps. A couple of years after working on these trading card sets I also had a large Stranger Things illustration published in an artbook from Printed in Blood, which I posted about before on my website. From that artbook project I made licensed prints (see left), of which I still have limited copies still available.

The Stranger Things sketch cards I made are a few years old now and although I’m highly critical of my work, and in particular my older work, I’m still quite happy with how a number of these turned out, like those below!

Pack inserted artwork

The artwork I made for this set was quite varied. Some of the cards had coloured backgrounds but the figures were black and white inked sketches. Some of the other cards were coloured with copic markers and pencil crayons and others were painted with poster paints that I was trying out at the time.

Some of the drawings were a mix of ink, copic, and pencil crayons. I quite liked this approach as it brought out the blacks quite nicely. The upside down Will (above) is one of my favourites for this set and I think it still holds up pretty well.

I also made a few puzzle sketch cards for this project. I don’t tend to do a lot of puzzle cards because they aren’t packed together. That leaves collectors on what can be an endless search for the other half of the puzzle, but I do try to make each part of the puzzle stand on it’s own so if you only find one half it still looks pretty cool. One of my puzzles is shown above, where Jonathan and Nancy are laying in bed together; not sure if anyone ever found those in a pack.

artist proofs

All but one of my artist proofs sold for this set. The one remaining artist proof I have is of Barb. If you’d like to add this to your collection or to commission a custom illustration, please use the form below!

New Artwork in Alien 3 Trading Cards from Upper-Deck!

Awhile back I was invited to contribute artwork to the Alien3 trading card set from Upper-Deck. As a MASSIVE Aliens fan I was stoked to work on this project!

Previously I had contributed artwork to the Aliens trading card set from Upper Deck and I will have an illustration included in an Aliens artbook, published by Printed in Blood. I can’t share what I did for the artbook yet but once it releases I’ll have prints and the original painting for sale!

I’m a big movie fan and I rewatch a lot of movies, but there’s a particular handful of movies that I’ll rewatch every year. The Aliens movies are some of those that I’ll watch every year. I even have mini statues and toys of the ships and creatures from the Alien movies hanging out in my office!

Pack Inserted artwork

For the xenomorph drawings I went a pretty colourful patch. I used copics, pencil crayons, and inks on these drawings, with a very bright background. I also tended to up the amount of green that was on the xenomorph heads.

I also depicted a few scenes and background imagery. I used designer gouache for most of these ards and looked for more iconic shots from this film. The illustration on the left is the Sulaco ship as it was approaching the prison colony at the start of the movie. To the right is a silhouette of one of the prison inmates finding a dead xenomorph facehugger.

Lastly, I painted a few portraits of characters in the movie. I used a combination of marker, designer gouache, and pencil crayons for these portraits.

artist proof sketch cards

I don’t have any artist proof sketch cards already drawn for sale and instead I have blank AP cards I can use for commissions! Use the contact form below to request one or more of my APs, or to ask about a larger Aliens illustration!

Topps 2021 Star Wars Galaxy Chrome Trading Card Artwork

Topps 2021 Star Wars Galaxy Chrome trading cards was released this week and it’s the first SW set to hit shelves in several months! This set is highlighted by the reissuing of artwork previously used in the Galaxy line of trading card sets from Topps but this time given a “chrome” treatment. As for my contribution to this set, I created 35 full colour sketch cards that were randomly inserted into packs and I have two artist proofs available for sale!

Pack inserted sketch cards

The sketch cards I painted for this project were all based off imagery from the first series of Star Wars trading cards from Topps that were released in 1977. These cards feature scenes and characters from SW: A New Hope and had blue borders with a star pattern on them. I redrew the first 35 cards from this set but changed it up by deleting the backgrounds and only drawing the figures. For the backgrounds I made them the starry blue pattern that was used on the original card’s borders.

artist proofs

I have two artist proofs available from this project. Both of these are characters from the Mandalorian (Ahsoka and Baby Yoda), but to keep with the theme of the pack inserted cards I gave them a design similar to the original set’s sticker cards. Those cards had a colourful border that wrapped around the character that was featured on the card.

Both of these artist proofs were painted with designer gouache, the same as the pack inserted cards. They are $175US each or $300 for the pair, and that includes tracked shipping within North America. To purchase one or both of these please use the form below.

baby yoda grogu star wars artist proof sketch card by matt stewart

Commissioned Painting of a Muscle Car

Personally I’m not a big car guy. I’ve always liked the look of classic cars and high end sports cars but I’ve never been all that knowledgeable about them. I don’t know the details or really even the names of this or that type of car, but I have always liked the look of the older and more unique cars.

Artists can draw: a quick story

Recently I was asked to paint a classic car; a Camaro SS. I don’t draw or paint a lot of vehicles. It’s not as if I don’t like drawing them or that I’m not good at drawing them but rather I haven’t had the need to.

In a related way I’d like to share a recent story of how sometimes people will ask “do you have an example of a drawing of this particular thing” and if you say no then they will assume it’s because you can’t draw it. Recently, someone posted in an online artist group that they were looking for someone to do an architectural drawing for them and specifically it was going to be a water tower. Artists chimed in saying they were interested and many posted samples of architectural drawings except no one had a specific drawing of a water tower. As no one had previously drawn that specific item, another art collector posted that no one would get the job because they didn’t post an example of that specific object.

The odds of someone ever finding an artist who has previously drawn a very specific thing they are looking for is slim. If you limit your search to only those that have previously drawn that specific thing, then you’re needlessly limiting yourself in who you could hire or commission. If an artist says they’ve drawn something in that realm or they’re comfortable drawing whatever it is that your looking for, then odds are they’ll do more than just fine drawing whatever that specific thing is that you’re looking for. Look to the artist’s style. If you like their work then odds are that you’ll like whatever else they draw.

Much of the artwork that an artist posts online is a product of what they’ve been previously commissioned to do and not a reflection of what they’re actually able to draw. In my case, much of the artwork I post consists of Star Wars and baseball sketch cards. I can draw a lot of other stuff and I’d be happy to do so but the majority of what I’m asked to draw is Star Wars or baseball portrait sketch cards. If you like the Camaro painting I posted here then odds are you’ll also like a painting I do of a space shuttle or whatever else you might have in mind for me to draw! 🙂

The Camaro painting

I was provided a photo of the car and in the painting I deleted the background and replaced it with a fairly simple geometric design. I used a mix of Copic markers, designer gouache, and pencil crayons on a strathmore bristol board (600 series I believe).

The painting measured 11×17″, which is about as large as I go for any of my illustrations and paintings. It’s definitely a liberating feeling to work at this size as opposed to my usual 2.5×3.5″ sketch card size!

Contact me

Please contact me through the form below if you’d like to commission a drawing like this from me.

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 2021 Museum Collection Canvas Series Reprints

Topps Museum Collection trading cards is a higher end baseball card product. It has been around for quite a few years and for the past four years I have been contributing artwork to the product. This artwork comes in the form of sketch cards but the cards I work on are thicker than a regular sketch card. Additionally, Topps chooses a few of these sketch cards to be used for the Canvas Collection set, forming a 50 card subset. In way of thanks from Topps, each artist receives 25 copies of the card that features their reprinted artwork.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020 I had a few of my sketch cards reproduced for the Canvas Collection subset. It varies how many, or if any, of my sketch cards will be reproduced but this year I had three of my cards included in the set. For the 2021 set they chose my Gibson, Soto, and Rizzo paintings. The original sketch cards for these three players are inserted into a pack where a lucky(?) collector will find one! Additionally, I also created 47 other sketch cards that were inserted into the packs!

2021 Canvas Collection Cards

I have a limited number of these cards for sale at $35US each plus shipping. I also have Artist Proof sketch cards for sale from this project that I will post later on, but for now please contact me through the form below if you’d like to pick up one of these Canvas Collection cards or to ask about my artist proofs.

Each of my Canvas Collection cards is hand-numbered on the backs to 25. I have also handwritten “Artist Copy” on the backside and I can sign either the front or the back of the card.

Previous Year’s Canvas Collection Cards

Below are the Canvas Collection cards from previous year’s sets. I have some copies available from these previous sets but they won’t last long, especially the Ohtani!

Contact me

Artwork for Mandalorian Season 2 Trading Cards

The Mandalorian Season 2 trading card set from Topps releases today! I contributed 35 full-colour sketch cards to this project, including a few that were in the shape of Mando’s helmet! In addition to these 35 sketch cards, that were inserted into the packs, I have one artist proof for sale (check it out at the bottom of this post).

Last year I worked on the Mandalorian Season 1 set and throughout the rest of the year there will be a few more Star Wars sets coming out with my artwork in them. If you’d like to inquire about picking up an artist proof from one of these or my past sets, please use the contact form below.

Pack inserted sketch cards

The majority of the sketch cards I contributed to this project were painted with traditional gouache paints, much like what I did for last year’s Masterwork set (the four below are all in traditional gouache). In addition to the gouache, I also painted a small handful of cards in acrylic and oils. This was the first time working in oils, and although I greatly enjoyed it I found it too time consuming to use for a lot of the cards.

Below is one of the cards I painted with oils.

Below is one of the cards I painted with acrylics.

Below is one of the cards I painted with acryla gouache.

One of the big surprises for me in the Mandalorian Season 2 was the appearance of actor Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who is one of the stars of Kim’s Convenience. I’m a HUGE fan of that show and after seeing him on the Mandalorian I knew I had to draw him for this set!

More art for mandalorian season 2

I loved the Mandalorian show so much that I’ve previously painted one of the Mandalorian characters that appeared in the second season. This painting included an official autograph from the actor that portrayed him. I quite liked how this turned out and time permitting, I’ll be doing a few more and will make them available for sale!

artist proof sketch card

I only have this one remaining Artist Proof for sale. This one, of Ahsoka Tano, was painted with traditional gouache. The white background is textured and painted with gesso. I am asking $175US delivered for the AP.