Star Wars Masterwork from Topps is a premium set of trading cards that comes out every year, for the past four years. I’ve had the pleasure of creating sketch cards for the last three of these products, and I feel that this year’s is my best work yet (See previous year’s work here)!
One of the reasons why I love working on Star Wars Masterwork is that it allows me to draw from the entire film and TV universe of Star Wars. There’s other sets (like Galactic Files Reborn) that also allow for all of the Star Wars universe to be drawn from, but this one provides me thicker, higher quality sketch cards to work off of. If you were buying a top loader or one-touch protector for these cards they’d be 100pt, as opposed to regular thin trading cards from other sets. This project also has unique booklet cards, of which I was invited to draw on one of them -they are especially rare!
As per usual, I utilized a few different techniques for creating my sketch cards. For some of them I used pen and ink with copic marker. This produces a comic book like style that I greatly enjoy and has been my mainstay ever since I begin drawing sketch cards. I also used my more recent method of marrying copic markers with polychromous pencil crayons, which gives the image a richer and more realistic appearance.
New to this project was my usage of water colours and acrylic paints. For the water colours I also used a little bit of gouache. I wanted my pencils to be visible and the water colours to be simple washes. The paper wasn’t too great for it but I think the images still look good. Unfortunately, my scanner didn’t pick up the water colours too well. They look much better in person and I now have a new scanner so future projects with water colour work will be displayed even better!
Earlier this year I began dabbling with acrylic paints on my sketch cards. I’ve been inspired by other artists like Kris Penix & Jay Marchand, who create their sketch cards exclusively in acrylic paint. Painting with acrylics is an incredibly so process so I decided to do only a small batch of my cards in this medium. I feel that with every project my acrylic work is getting better and I’m definitely going to be continuing to use it! I even kept a handful of these as my artist proofs!
Artist Proof Sketch Cards
I have six artist proof sketch cards available to sell from this project. The Yoda, Fett & AT-AT Driver are all painted in acrylic. The Jyn and Rey have acrylic painted backgrounds and copic/ pencil crayon portrait foregrounds. The Galen is all copic /pencil crayon.
Please contact me if you are interested in buying one or more of my artists!
Trying a Black Friday sale this week. From now until the end of next weekend (Nov. 26th), I’ll have a bunch of my artist return sketch cards for sale. Some of these are from a few years ago and a few are from this year. To pick some up, just fill out the form I’ve put at the bottom with the set name and the corresponding number /letter I’ve put next to the sketch card. After that, I’ll send you a PayPal invoice for the cards you selected.
If you pick up 3 or more of my sketch cards I’ll also send you another sketch card for free. This will be a random sketch card from a binder I have of drawings I’ve done for fun or for practice -they’re not artist returns.
Topps Star Wars Masterwork 2017 trading cards were released this past week. It is the third time this set has been released (in 2015, 2016, and now 2017) and is the second time I have contributed sketch cards to this line of Star Wars cards -first time was in 2016.
For this set, I was provided wood sketch cards, a booklet sketch card, and some regular sketch cards that had black borders and some that had blue borders. All of the sketch cards were much thicker than a regular sketch card, with a 100pt thickness to them.
The wood sketch cards were tricky to work on. The wood surface would readily absorb the copic markers that I frequently use on sketch cards and I found my pencil crayons didn’t work as I was used to them. I also wanted the wood grains to show through the artwork as I felt that this was one of the main attractive elements to this type of sketch card. My solution was to use inks on these cards with the copics but to over saturate the cards with the marker colours. I then applied a thin layer of matte gel across the cards and used pencil crayons over this in only certain areas. I think some of them came out OK.
For my sole booklet card I wanted to draw an iconic scene from one of the Star Wars movies that would work in an expanded, horizontal format. I chose the scene where Han and Chewie discover the probe droid on Hoth from Empire Strikes Back as it is one of my favourite scenes in the Star Wars movies -actually the entire Hoth sequence is my favourite scene in Star Wars. I reinterpreted the scene to allow for all three figures, droid, Han and Chewie, to be visible on the card. I ended up inking it in a comic book style and used copics and pencil crayons for my colours. I think it turned out OK.
For the rest of the sketch cards I drew on this set I used my usual styles and approaches. It was a mixed bag of comic styles and a softer, more realistic style with copics, pencil crayons and acrylics. I wanted to draw some characters that I hadn’t previously drawn before so I worked in a Jar Jar and a lot of the background characters from Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. The black border cards was a little different from the Blue borders in that I solely went after evil or bounty hunter characters.
Examples of my Sketch Cards
I created 100 unique sketch cards for the 2017 Masterwork set. These are a sampling of some of my favourites from this project!
Artist Return Sketch Cards
I have 13 artist return sketch cards for sale from this project. They will be listed for sale on Ebay from time to time but if you don’t see them there then please contact me here to purchase /see if it is still available. I also include a free print as a thank you for each purchase!
I was recently commissioned to recreate a sketch card I had done for the first series of Rogue One by Topps. There was a mistake in the sketch cards delivered to me, so to correct that I was sent a few blank sketch cards after I had completed the project. With this project, I couldn’t create a new image on the blank sketch card they sent me but instead I could redraw any of the sketch cards I did that were approved by Lucas Film /Topps.
So a client chose their favourite sketch card I had done for that set and I then redid it. I think this one came out way better than the first, with more vibrant colours and the ink work being tighter. Client was super happy with it too!
Commission Your Own Drawing!
Would you like to commission a custom sketch card or larger illustration from me? If so, fill out the form below!
As a huge fan of the Star Wars universe I am always happy when I have an opportunity to work on a Star Wars trading card set from Topps. Today Topps releases a new Star Wars trading card set called Rogue One: Series Two. This is the third trading card set I have worked on from Topps that specifically deals with Rogue One – the first two being Rogue One: Mission Briefing and Rogue One: Series One.
What you may not realize is that sketch cards for sets like this one are created months to a year prior to the release of the trading card set. For Rogue One Series 1 cards, like previous Star Wars sets, the trading card product was timed to release as close to the movie’s release date as possible. As this means the artwork must be produced earlier, obtaining reference images of the characters is exceeding difficult. When it comes to the sketch cards, the artists are not privy to anything other than what has been made public.
The Rogue One: Series 2 product is timed to release with the Blue Ray /DVD release of the movie, which meant the deadline for the art cards was cutoff about a week after the theatrical release back in December of 2016. For my reference material, this meant that I had access to all the magazine articles (I was also given some costume photos to work with), all of the trailers, and like a true fanboy I had rushed out to see the movie on opening night. Because I had actually seen the movie I could draw a few of the spoiler characters which I had not previously known about!
In all I created 100 sketch cards for this product. I alternated between water colors and a mixed media of pencil crayons (mainly just white pencils), copic markers, and india ink. I felt a little rushed on some of the cards but am overall happy with my results. Below are 13 of my Artist Returns from this project, all of which are listed on Ebay.
Topps 2017 Star Wars: Rogue One Series Two, Artist Returns