Topps 2020 Star Wars Holocron Trading Card Artwork

I was invited to contribute artwork to the 2020 Star Wars Holocron trading card set from Topps last year. The set came out right around Christmas of last year but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to post the artwork I did for the set!

The majority of the illustrations I did for this set were painted either in acrylic or designer gouache. I stuck mainly to just drawing characters and scenes from the prequels, Empire Strikes Back (as it was the anniversary of the movie), and from the final season of the Clone Wars animated series, as that had just been released on Disney+ when I was working on this project. This is the strategy I usually use when working on a trading card set too; I focus on a theme or a couple of movies /TV shows. For Star Wars it’s pretty easy to do as there is so much material out there. From the number of movies and TV shows to the deep cast of characters! There’s always something new to draw from the Star Wars universe!

Different Characters

There’s always something new to draw from the Star Wars universe. Like the paintings above that I created, there’s fan favourite droids and aliens like Gronk and Yak Face. Plus, even the names are super fun!

There’s also different styles of the same characters I can draw from. There’s the differences in age or the actors that portrayed them, like with Obi-Wan Kenobi. There’s also differences when the characters pop up in the animated series, like my Yoda painting shown above that features the character from the Clone Wars animated series!

Mandalorian Content

Holocron was the second trading card set where I was allowed to draw characters from Season 1 of the Mandalorian (the first was Women of Star Wars). Although the Mandalorian Season 1 trading card set was released before Holocron, I actually did the art for Holocron before the Mando Season 1 cards.

Since I knew that there was going to be a Mando Season 1 set coming up soon, I didn’t draw too much from the show for Holocron. The Mando set would be limited to only drawing characters from that show, so I didn’t want to burn through drawing my favourite scenes or drawing the same character too many times in Holocron before starting the Mando Season 1 set. Instead, I focused on drawing a few cards of the Mandalorian and a few of baby yoda, with most of those being reserved as artist proofs. The two painted baby yoda’s (in the cockpit and with the bowl) were both artist proofs that have already sold.

BIG sketch card

For the first time on a Star Wars trading card set that I worked on, I was asked to draw an image across four sketch cards. I’ve done puzzle sketch cards before, but never specifically asked to do one for a set! Since I was feeling inspired by the Mandalorian, I chose this iconic scene where Mando first meets the Child. This was painted in acrylic and as far as I know, it has yet to be found in the packs!

Artist Proofs

All but one of my artist proofs from this project have already sold (Ahsoka & Bo Katan shown here). The remaining AP sketch card is $150US including shipping, but if you’re looking for a particular character or scene from Star Wars I do have blank AP sketch cards from other sets I can use for commissions. I can also create a larger illustration of your favourite character! Please use the form below to contact me about purchasing this AP or to ask about a commission:

 

 

A few more sketch cards I painted

Make sure to follow me on Twitter or Instagram to see the rest of the sketch cards I did for this set! Comment here or on one of my posts to let me know which is your favourite and what you’d like to see me draw next!

Mandalorian Painting with Autograph

I had an idea of incorporating an autographed trading card into one of my paintings. I’ve seen collectors do something similar before, where they removed a sticker autograph from one trading card and placed it on a card they printed which features a different character that actor portrayed. I’ve also seen collectors use larger photos of a character, let’s say Obi-Wan Kenobi, but used an autograph from the actor who passed away, like Alec Guinness, and placed the full size autograph underneath the new photo and have a small window cut out in the new photo to show the autograph. I loved this idea as it elevates an autographed trading card, allows for someone to have an autographed image that otherwise would not be available, and it creates something very unique for someone’s collection!

My idea, riffing off what I had previously seen, was to create an original painting of someone who doesn’t currently or rarely has a licensed autograph of a particular character they’ve portrayed. As a big fan of the Mandalorian TV show, I realized that the actor who played Axe Woves doesn’t have an official Star Wars autograph but has previously signed James Bond trading cards as he was in Quantum of Solace.

The Painting

The painting is 4×6″ and I used Copic markers, polychromous pencil crayons, acryla gouache, and designer gouache. The main portrait and the smaller figure in the top two-thirds of the image were painted with designer gouache and the background with the portion of Woves’ Mandalorian helmet was done in acryla gouache. I chose acryla for that background because it has deeper and darker colours that helped set it apart from the portrait painting. I also used the acryla on the Mandalorian logo, again because the paint’s blacks are darker than anything else I could achieve with the other mediums. The painting was then coated in a gouache varnish that prevents it from scratching or fading.

I cut out a small window to show the autograph but was careful so as only the autograph from the card would be showing. I hand wrote the actor’s name and character’s name below the window, which I think looks pretty good but will likely do it differently in future paintings.

I attached my COA sticker, which I signed, on the back of the painting. The autographed card is in a penny sleeve to give it some protection, but also as a means to attach it to the painting without damaging the trading card as I placed my COA sticker on top of it, securing the autograph to the painting and making sure it won’t move around. It’s not shown in the photo but I also used some masking tape to further secure the trading card.

Add it to your star wars collection!

The painting and signed card all fit nicely into a 4×6″ plastic top loader, making it look a little bit like an oversized trading card. As is, this painting can sit nicely on any display shelf or be taken out and framed. If you’d like to add this to your collection ($200US) please contact me through the form below to see if it is still available or to ask about commissioning something similar!

Artwork from the 2019 Bettie Page Trading Card Set

Back in 2019 I contributed artwork to the Bettie Page trading card set. This set was produced by Dynamite Entertainment, which is best known as a comic book publisher. Some of their comics you may have read are Vampirella and Red Sonja, both of which had trading card sets I also worked on!

Bettie Page was one of the most famous and original pinup girls, rising to fame in the 1950s era. A cultural icon who has continued to garner fans and produce new works about her. The NYT obituary said this about her:

In her trademark raven bangs, spike heels and killer curves, Ms. Page was the most famous pinup girl of the post-World War II era, a centerfold on a million locker doors and garage walls. She was also a major influence in the fashion industry and a target of Senator Estes Kefauver’s anti-pornography investigators.

For artists like myself her ‘girl next door’ type face is very fun to draw. She has equal parts warmth and fierceness though, making her extremely dynamic. I hope that a little bit of that was conveyed in my tiny little drawings!

The artwork

I contributed 50 different drawings to this project, which is quite a bit more than I usually do! Most of the drawings are of close up portraits, showing just her face. There are a few full or bust drawings of Bettie that I drew, but I decided to not draw backgrounds to save time (I’m not as fast as some artists so I’d rather spend my limited time drawing the figure or portrait).

For art materials, I used a pentel pocket brush pen, a felt pen, copic markers, and pencil crayons for creating these drawings. The pentel pocket brush pens are great for creating lines of varying widths, especially super fine lines that look great for inking hair. These pens also have replaceable tubes of ink, so they’re fairly inexpensive.

For a few of the cards, like the one below, I drew only the face and had the hair become a negative image. Just recently these types of drawings have become super popular as comic covers. I’m thinking I should do some more artwork like this since people are getting really into it. Plus, these were a few of my favourite drawings!

Commission your own

I have quite a few blank sketch cards from this project I can use for commissions. They are $95 each and that includes shipping within North America. If you’re interested, use the form below and I can have one (or more) done for you within the next month or two!

Two Unusual Star Wars Commissions

I was recently asked if I could draw a portrait of a guy’s friend, but not just any portrait. Instead, he wanted me to draw his friend in a Star Wars scene. One of the portraits had his friend’s face replacing Luke Skywalker’s, with the Rebel pilot helmet and jumpsuit on. The second drawing was to have his friend drawn as one of the Mandalorian’s captives, being dragged behind the bounty hunter.

 

Both of these drawings were 6×9″ and I used a mixed media of gouache, pencil crayons, and copic markers. I think they turned out pretty good and he really loved them! In fact, a few other people loved the idea so much I’m working on another portrait like this for someone else right now!

Get Your Own Unique Commission

If you’d like a similar drawing like what I did here, fill out the form below and I’ll let you know how much it would be and roughly when I can have it done by!

Firefly Illustration in the New Printed in Blood Artbook

For the third time I’ve had one of my illustrations included in a Printed in Blood artbook. The first two were the Stranger Things artbook and the Ghostbusters artbook, plus I have two more artbooks coming up that will have my artwork in them. The next book, coming out early this fall, will be an Aliens artbook!

For the Firefly illustration, Printed in Blood printed it on a full page, with an opposite page featuring a quote from the show and a segment of the illustration printed in black and white. I’m super happy with how my illustration received a full page spread, plus I love the quote they used!

Process of the design

The origin illustration is 11×14″ and is mixed media. I used acrylic paint on the background and a mix of Copic markers, gouache, and polychromous pencil crayons on the center, main image. The background uses the common colours of the show, a reddish brown and yellow. I included the Kanji (Chinese characters) that are part of the show’s logo but didn’t want to have the characters look like they were just slapped on. So I decided to have the characters flip to a negative shape when they crossed the circle. I think that made them look a little more dynamic and well integrated into the overall design.

Did you know the Chinese characters on the Firefly logo mean “Serenity”?

I wanted to include a portrait of each of the ship’s crew along with an iconic item for each of them, but the drawing became too busy so I only included iconic objects for a few of the crew. For Jayne I drew grenades and for Wash it was leaves, and I had the two items falling in a similar way to add a bit of symmetry.  The ship itself is a character on the show, so I thought it would be cool to use the outline of the ship as a frame for all of the characters. Overall I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!

Commission artwork

Please use the form below to commission artwork from me or to inquire about purchasing the original Firefly painting.

 

Topps 2020 MLB Update Trading Card Artwork

In 2020 I contributed artwork to the Topps MLB Museum Collection, Flagship series 1 and series 2, and Gallery. I’ve previously posted about all of those projects except for 2020 Update, which I’m doing so now! This was also the third year of me working on Topps MLB products and sometime soon I’ll be posting about my contributions to their 2021 products!

Pack inserted original artwork

I used a mix of inked, comicbook style drawings and mixed media portraits. Most of the comicbook style ones are action shots and I gave them either action style lines radiating from the borders to the player or Kirby dots. For the portraits, I cut off the body from the shoulders down and used acrylic paint to give it a bold colour. I also gave the portraits a white halo to make them pop a bit more from the background.

One of the other, more simpler things I did on this project was to colour the border icons. It’s not the most imaginative thing I could’ve done but I liked the idea of giving the border design that was printed on the cards a little bit of colour. The colours I chose were also one of the player’s team colours.

Contact me about commissions

I have blank artist proof sketch cards from this and other official baseball trading card projects I’ve worked on. To find out more about sketch cards please see my earlier post and use the form below to contact me about a commission! Prices start at $125US.

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