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!

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.

 

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!