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

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!

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.

 

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!