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!

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.

 

Ultraman Trading Cards from RRParks!

RRParks cards has produced a multitude of different trading card sets, from the niche and strange to the far more mainstream that the average collector is familiar with. That range of subject material is one of the reasons why as an artist it’s so much fun to work on their projects!

Previously, I’ve worked on Old Man Like Ron, Zorro, Sharknado, and more! Each of these projects involved me making ten sketch cards that were randomly inserted into the packs.

Who is ultraman?

Ultraman is a Japanese character that first appeared on TV in 1966. He is an alien who fought alongside his human host, Shin Hayata. The original series ran for one year, with 39 episodes airing. It is this original series that I focused on for my sketch cards.

Ultraman has continued on with numerous subsequent TV shows, movies, toys, and comics. Just last year Marvel comics published their first Ultraman mini-series! Even though the show is over 50 years old, it has remained just as popular as the day it first aired and has become a pop culture hero across the world!

If you’re unfamiliar with Ultraman, check out the first episode of the original series below!

Ultraman Sketch Cards

I created ten original sketch cards for the Ultraman set. Some of these were inked in the style of a comic book and others were coloured more softly, giving them a more realistic appearance.

The below three were done a little bit different than the above six. These three had painted backgrounds that are reminiscent of the graphics used in the opening credits to the TV show. The far right image of Ide has also been reproduced for one of the promo cards! This card will be given out through the Kickstarter campaign, at comic-cons, and I’ll have some copies to give away /sell at a later date!

Buy Ultraman trading cards

Now that you’ve seen some of the artwork I created for this series, go visit the RRPArks Kickstarter Campaign to score a box of these cards! There are tons of awesome perks in the campaign and actors from the original series have signed some of the cards!

 

Getting to Know a Fellow Trading Card Artist, Jim Dickson

Last month I posted a conversation I had with trading card collector Chris Mixer and today I am posting one with fellow trading card artist, Jim Dickson. Both Jim and myself hail from Canada and met on social media channels through our mutual line of work. We’ve both actively shared one another’s work on Twitter and Instagram, but I wanted to take it a step further by doing up a blog post on my website about his fantastic artwork, what he enjoys about the sketch card medium, and how being a Canadian influences his artwork.

A Conversation with a Canadian Trading Card Artist

  1. How would you describe yourself and your artwork?

    I’m an easy going eastern Canadian who says “sorry”, “thank-you” and “please”. For my artwork,  I do my best work (realistic) when I have a reference to work from because I mainly do “fanart”.

  2. How long have you been creating art? As in, constantly creating artwork where every week or month you would draw something? Or, perhaps, are you not that type of artist and instead draw only when asked to do so?

    I have been creating art my whole life but creating consistently, and frequently, since 2016 when I started drawing on McDonalds napkins on my lunch break at work.

  3. What was the first and most recent sketch card set you’ve worked on? Do you notice any differences in the projects and the artwork that you create for these projects?

    First set was either Walking Dead – Road to Alexandria or Star Wars – a New Hope: Black and White, but I started official sets in 2017. Currently I am working on Topps Star Wars – Chrome Galaxy, Topps Baseball 2021 Series 2, Upper-Deck 2020 Marvel Premiere and a couple more on the way. Differences are really just based on cardstock quality and the ease of reference.

  4. What mediums do you prefer to use in your art? Any medium or styles that you are currently experimenting with or want to work on?

    I primarily use alcohol markers and colour pencil. What I’d like to use is my airbrush, which is here at my desk and is never used. lol.

  5. Where do you see your art going in the future? A particular trading card license or set you would like to work on, or is there something different you want to work on like a comic book or perhaps a gallery showing?

    As far as the future is concerned I’d like to develop my skills and find myself doing official work on licensed prints/posters or even comic book covers. I’m enjoying the baseball, Star Wars and Marvel licenses, to be honest.

  6. Is there anything you would like to see changed in trading card art? Perhaps different types of projects or materials provided to artists?

    There isn’t much I would change… maybe use a base pay/card a tad higher than the current average between companies. Plus, maybe a more consistent stock quality. As a collector myself, I’d also like to see cheaper retail prices… hey a guy can dream. 🙂

  7. When you create your artwork, is there something or someone that inspires you?

    I listen to music while creating art or the Sorting Tray podcast, Star Wars Card Collectors FB group plug intended. Artists who inspire me would be my fellow Topps artists and the usual suspects like Drew Struzan, Boris Valejo, Frank Frazetta and the great comic artists like Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, Travis Charest and Marc Silvestri.

  8. when I’m drawing I always have something playing in the background. It might be a tv show I’m binging, a movie, music, or a podcast. What do you have going on in the background when your drawing? Any recommendations for background noise?

    I build my own playlists on Spotify. I’m a blues/rock  guy and lately been listening to “super groups” like The Dead Daisies, Black Country Communion and Chickenfoot. Above all, my usual “go to’s” are The Black Keys or Alice in Chains.

  9. Do you feel that there is something in your artwork that makes it uniquely Canadian? Could you describe, even if you don’t see it in your own artwork, something unique about Canadian art?

    I can’t honestly think of anything about my work that would suggest it was done by a Canadian. I mean my art is pulled from pop culture references, but in general I guess we have a large cultural pool to draw from. Indigenous art being a main influence I suppose.

  10. How can people reach you for projects or to follow you to see new artwork you are creating?

    People can follow me on Instagram at /lunchdoodlejames or on Facebook at /lunchdoodlejamesart

  11. Bonus question: What’s a question you want to ask the person reading this?

    Hello reader!! I’d like to know about what YOU like about sketch cards? How many do you have? 🙂

Contact & Follow Jim Dickson for more of his artwork!

To contact Jim and see more of his artwork, follow him on  Twitter and Instagram

Read and Hear My Interviews on Sketch Cards and Collecting

These past few weeks I’ve been playing catch-up on pretty much everything, including posting on my website. One thing I’ve been meaning to post about is that I was interviewed twice recently about my sketch card artwork. I was both surprised and flattered that I was asked for such interviews. I was also happy that I could show off some of my artwork to  a few new eyeballs!

I often have blinders on when I get busy, such as the past few months where all I do is focus on meeting art deadlines. It amazes me that people out there like my art and collect it. It’s something I never really expected to have happen five or so years ago and I truly appreciate hearing from people who collect this or that drawing I made!

The first interview was on That Sports Card Podcast back in October of last year. This interview was really cool as I was able to talk about a few different topics that ranged from who I am personally, what I collect, and about the artwork I create. Hopefully I came across OK on the podcast and at some level am interesting to listen to!

The second interview came from the online magazine, Collection Connections. I was sent a few questions which again were about my sketch card artwork and my own collecting hobby. I’m not sure how many other artists collect but I am a big card collector (mainly hockey) along with Lego and comic books. Again, this interview was  a lot of fun to do. Like most people, it’s hard not to enjoy talking about yourself and what you do.

 


 

If you would like to ask me a question directly or interview me for your website or podcast, please fill out the form below!

End of Year Artist Return Sale

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!

Artist Returns
unstoppable sketch card sale sheet
sale artist return sketch cards by matt stewart

 

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!

No Fields Found.

 

 

 

New!!! My Sketch Cards From Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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.

the last jedi posterImagery 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

topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 star wars the last jedi die cut sketch cards by matt stewart topps 2017 the last jedi sketch card artist returns from matt stewart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!