Topps 2020 Star Wars Holocron Trading Card Artwork

The final Star Wars trading card set for the year released this week and it wouldn’t be 2020 if there wasn’t at least one little mishap! In this case there are two. The first is that the set was delayed a number of times and it’s now a little crazy for me to look at my artwork again after so many months!

The second mishap is that my scanner was glitchy. It created a green line that ran through the middle of a lot of my scans as you can see with the Ahsoka above. I’ve since patched the problem but the scanner is definitely on its last legs. So if you like my artwork and want to pick up some of my artist returns or commission an original, then you now know what that money will be going to! 🙂

Pack Inserted Artwork

I created 40 regular, pack inserted sketches for this project. I used some different mediums on these cards including, gouache, acrylics, and marker & inks. In addition to the regular sketch cards is one 4 card puzzle. This puzzle card is numbered on the back and I was told that all four of the cards will be packaged in the same pack. So no worries to collectors wanting to scour the internet for years trying to complete a puzzle sketch card!

While the subject matter was pretty much anything from the Star Wars universe, to make things easier on myself I went after just a few topics /movies. I drew heavily from the final season of Star Wars: Clone Wars the Animated series as the final episodes had been just released prior to me working on this project. I also drew a number of different scenes and characters from Empire Strikes Back as it’s the 30th anniversary of the movie. On top of those particular movies /series I drew some of my favourite characters and gave a little love to characters from the prequels. Overall it’s a pretty good spread of scenes and characters from the prequels, animated series, original trilogy, and the Mandalorian. Very little if anything from Solo, Rogue One, or the new trilogy though. However, if you’re following me online or here on my website you’ll now I drew a lot of Solo stuff for Masterwork!

Artist Proof Sketch Cards

I have five artist proofs from Holocron that I have already finished off. They’re all approved and ready to go to a new home! The Leia below has already found a new home, thanks to a terrific long time supporter of my art. The two sketch cards of the Child are also on hold for another terrific collector but they might become available if he decides to pick up one of my other sketch cards instead. If that happens, please let me know if you’re interested in one or both of the Child sketch cards and I’ll message you later to let you know if they become available or are sold.

My Bo Katan and Bo Katan with Ahsoka sketch card artist proofs are available and are $175US each, including tracked shipping from Canada. Please send me a message about adding either of these to your collection! You can also pay 50% upfront and 50% when it’s done, or 100% upfront.

Also, funnily I had NO idea Bo Katan and Ahsoka would be in the second season of the Mandalorian! I’m just a huge Rebels fan and figured other people are as well! 🙂

Contact me about artist proofs & commissions

Interview with Chris Mixer About Collecting Sketch Cards

Recently, one of the biggest collectors of sketch cards I know and easily the most knowledgable person of the artform I know, Chris Mixer, asked me a few questions about being a sketch card artist. He posted that interview on his website and today I’m excited to share my interview with him here!

A Conversation with a Sketch Card Collector

What is it about sketch cards that made you want to collect them and eventually create a website about them?
I collected ComicBooks growing up. In 1998 when I graduated college and had my first full-time job, I had more disposable income so I joined eBay to look for comic books. I quickly discovered that some of my favorite comic book creators had affordable original art in the form of sketch cards (Marvel Creator’s Collection by Fleer/Skybox). I used to scan and upload every sketch card I collected online, but Microsoft Frontpage and PhotoBucket both became dated over time and I lost that work, so now I mainly blog about them. One day I hope to re-build a proper large-scale website.
What was the first sketch card you added to your collection? Was it something you found when opening a pack of cards or did you see it online /in a store and buy it or did you buy it direct from the artist?
It was 1998, so Marvel Creator’s Collection was the easiest to find on the secondary market. I don’t remember the exact card that was my first purchase, but I still own 90% of what I collected back then, so whatever it was is probably still in my possession. I only opened 1 box of Marvel Creator’s Collection back then (because I learned I could buy 3-5 sketch cards off eBay for the price of 1 box). It was a Human Torch by Mariano Nicieza.
Have you tried creating sketch cards yourself? Were you inspired by what you collect? Let’s see a photo!
LOL. No, but I have a funny story. When Upper Deck started making Marvel Masterpieces 2007, I wanted to learn and blog about the process of “trying out” to help potential artists. The only way to learn the process was to actually submit something to Upper Deck. The good news is that they graciously turned me down. I had promised myself that if I was hired, I would personally buy back every last one of my sketch cards to relieve the world and put money back in the hands of the poor people that pulled my cards.
 Do you have a favourite trading card set that included sketch cards and /or a favourite particular sketch card?
I have definitely had favorite sets, but eventually when the cards dried up on the second market, and I could no longer continue to grow my collection easily, I moved on to a new set. Actively collecting, trading, and organizing is what made them my favorite. The ones I collected most aggressively were MCC98, Complete Avengers 2006, and 2005 Topps Gallery Baseball.
How do you store and display your sketch card collection?
Very poorly, LOL. I used to scan every card, but now they sadly sit in two row shoeboxes stacked on top of each other like a Jenga tower. I hope to build a website and scan them all again someday, but I have too many to actually display on my walls or shelves.
Is there a property you wish would receive a trading card set /sketch cards? Is there a property that hasn’t had new trading cards /sketch cards in a long time that you wish would come back? Personally I’d love to see a new Simpsons set!
I have a boatload of ideas, but I don’t know if they’re all good. For example, if Topps is going to make another Star Wars set, why don’t they differentiate it by making it vehicles and weapons only? And why isn’t there a DC Comics Evolution set, where every sketch card is part of a 2-card puzzle … 1950s Batman on the left, 2020 Batman on the right? I am also surprised that Creator Owned Comics haven’t pooled their resources, and created a set based on 10 or 20 different independent comics. Sure, Rob Guillory’s CHEW can’t carry a set on its own, but it could be one property in a larger Image Comics set.
Is there something in the art-form that you would like to see done in sketch cards that hasn’t been done yet or rarely done? Can be style of art, medium used, or something else.
I am at the point that even a photo-realistic headshot seems a little too common even if beautifully rendered. I would much rather collect an architectural detail shot, a vehicle, or a card with word balloons. Any card the differentiates itself from the rest demands a premium from me. — I also think manufacturers need to do whatever it takes to enlist some artists with name appeal and a large following. Pay Adam Hughes or J. Scott Campbell whatever they want to get them drawing sketch cards again.
As a collector, where do you see original artwork in trading card projects heading? Do you see it slowing down, staying the same, becoming more popular, or something else?
There’s no way that Topps can continue to put out Star Wars sets at their current pace. It’s sometimes hard to tell one set from another. It looks like collectors are turning to small press, limited run, and premium packs to get something “fresh.” Those Perna sets (like Hallowe’en) seem to sell out within minutes.
Why should other collectors add sketch cards to their collections?
I hope they don’t; that’s just more competition. (Just kidding). I think there are still sports card collectors and pop-culture collectors that don’t even know sketch cards exist. For example, I remember going to a large baseball card convention couple years ago, and half the dealers didn’t even know what I was asking about. I think there are comic book collectors that don’t know their favorite artist (like Neal Adams) has drawn sketch cards in the past. There is still a lot of knowledge to be shared.

Check Out Chris’s Website!

Thanks again to Chris for joining me for this interview!
To read more sketch card and trading card articles by Chris, please visit his website Original Art that fits in your pocket & give him a follow on twitter!

Topps 2020 Star Wars Masterwork Trading Card Artwork

Topps 2020 Star Wars Masterwork is a premium trading card set that includes sketch cards, some of which I drew! As this is a premium set, the sketch cards are on quality paper stock that have a great texture to draw on. The cards are also stiffer and thicker than other, regular sketch cards.

This isn’t the first time I’ve contributed artwork to the Masterwork product too! I’ve previously worked on the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Masterwork sets! The 2016 set was the inaugural edition of the set and is considered by many collectors to be the finest Star Wars trading card set Topps has ever produced.

For this project, again as it’s a premium product, I also worked on a limited amount of booklet sketch cards. These cards are the size of two sketch cards (2.5×3.5″) that are connected and fold together to form a book. One of the booklets was on the thicker premium paper stock and the others were on thinner paper. Not sure why there was a difference.

star destroyers book sketch card topps 2020 master work illustrated by matt stewart
Regular booklet sketch card

Pack inserted artwork

All of the artwork I did for this set was painted with gouache or acrylic. I’ve been greatly enjoying using gouache and I think this is some of my strongest work yet with the medium.

Artist Proofs

For this set I have left all of my artist proofs blank. This way, you can commission me to draw whatever character you’d like on the card!

Use the form below to contact me about commissioning one of these artist proofs. I only have a few left!

2020 Cryptozoic Rick & Morty Season 3 Artwork

Earlier this year Cryptozoic released their third and final Rick & Morty trading card set. It was so much fun returning to draw these crazy cartoon characters as I had previously worked on the first series. I also created a 9×10″ painting of Rick & Morty that I turned into a print last year!

There was a set list of characters I could draw from the third season of the show and that list was pretty expansive. A few characters, like Rick, Morty, & Pickle Rick got a little extra attention because they’re the stars /so iconic.

The artwork I produced for the project (above) was all created with copic markers, ink, and some pencil crayons. The paper stock had a glossy coating to it that the Season 1 project didn’t have, resulting in a slightly different look to these cards. For instance, if you look at the big blocks of colour in the background you’ll see that the colour is a little streaky.

Artist Proofs

From this project I have ten artist proofs for sale. For more information on what an artist proof is, please check out my previous post explaining how artwork for trading card projects work!

own your own original drawings

All of my artist proofs from this project have already been drawn on, featuring characters like Pickle Rick. I have listed some for sale on ebay but I also have a store where some may also be posted. If you’re interested in adding some of my Rick & Morty artwork to your collection, please either visit my store or contact me below to ask about a commission /what I have available! Also, as long as supplies last I will include a copy of my mini Rick & Morty print when you add one of my artist proofs to your collection!

Marvel’s Runaways Trading Card Artwork

Upper-Deck recently released their Runaways trading card set on their epack platform. The set is sold exclusively through their online service, with each pack containing a hit like an autograph from one of the show’s stars or a sketch card drawn by someone like myself!

This isn’t the first time I’ve worked on a set from Upper-Deck where my cards have been available on E-Pack either. My work on the Clerks trading card set is one I’ve posted about before and I have cards from Aliens and Goodwin that I haven’t posted yet!

Runaways is a wildly popular comicbook from Marvel comics that focuses on the lives of a handful of kids with various powers. These kids ‘runaway’ from their parents who are part of a cabal called Pride. More well known characters like Captain America and the X-Men pop-up in the comics.

The Runaways TV show follows the major story points from the comic but is a self contained story with no crossover with more well known characters like Captain America. It was unclear if the TV show is set in the same world as the MCU but it did crossover with another Marvel TV show, Cloak and Dagger.

As a huge comicbook fan I watched Runaways, along with the other Marvel TV shows like Cloak and Dagger. I loved both of these shows and was really sad to see Runaways end as I think there is a lot of potential in where the show and characters could go. For the trading card set, while it is based on the TV show with autographs from the actors included in the product, the sketch cards were all based on the comicbook. This lack of drawing from the TV show and instead from the comics is common in trading card sets from Upper-Deck.

runaways artwork

When I draw comicbook based stuff I tend to do so in a very different manner from what I do on sports, Star Wars, and other projects where I am drawing from references of living people. Instead, I like to draw the comicbook characters in a more cartoony /stylized manner. The majority, if not all of the drawings, are inked and coloured pretty simply with Copic markers. This type of colouring gives a similar style to that which you might find in a comicbook.

To read more about how I create sketch cards, check out my blog post on How to Make Sketch Cards.

Examples of My Artwork for the Runaways set

As with many trading card projects, the deadline for this one was very tight. When deadlines are tight I’ll often not draw anything in the background and instead give it a solid colour or an impression of something there. I think the cards still look pretty good despite the lack of backgrounds 🙂

commission your own marvel trading card

I have blank AP sketch cards from this project available for commissions. If you like, I can also draw something larger or perhaps on a blank comicbook sketch cover! Use the form below to contact me about a commission:

Star Wars The Mandalorian Trading Card Artwork

Star Wars the Mandalorian trading cards were just released by Topps this week. Some of my original artwork can be found in packs of these cards, sold at hobby shops and retailers!

This trading card series focuses exclusively on season one of the Mandalorian, and explores all of the characters and settings from this season. While this is the first trading card set to focus on the Mandalorian, it wasn’t the first time I could draw characters from this series. In the Women of Star Wars set that released in the spring of 2020 I was able to draw the female characters from the Mandalorian such as Cara Dune. Two other sets I’ve worked on also allowed me to draw characters from this show but these sets won’t release for another month or two (Masterwork and Holocron).

Samples of my Mandalorian artwork

I created 35 full colour sketch cards for this set. I jumped between a few different styles and mediums, which if you’ve read my previous posts you’ll see that’s common for most of the sets I work on. The sketch card below of the Mandalorian as a child was painted with designer gouache and the ice cream maker was painted with acrylic. The other three cards were coloured with Copics and pencil crayons overtop. Some of the cards for this set were done with Copic markers and inks.

Let me know if there are any characters that you loved from the show in the comments below!

Artist Proofs

Unlike many of my other projects, I don’t have any completed artists proofs for sale. Instead, my APs are blank and can be used for commissions of any character or scene from the show! Contact me below to find out more!

Topps 2020 Gallery Baseball Base Card Artwork

Last year I had the opportunity to contribute illustrations to the Topps 2019 Gallery Baseball set. This artwork was used for the insert set called Impressionists and there were 30 cards in all. As per most insert sets, the cards were not found in every pack but instead 1 in every 88 or so packs had one of these cards in them. It was a great project to work on but I had been hoping that my artwork would be found a bit more easily.

For Gallery 2020 trading cards, I contributed 26 illustrations that were used for the base cards. These are the common cards that tally up to 100 different cards that make up the “base set”. Every pack has several different base cards in it, so my cards are much easier to find in the packs this year!

The original illustrations I created for these cards measured roughly 4×6″ and then were scanned down to fit the cards when printing. The originals were used by Topps as incentives in the trading card set, with being inserted into jumbo packs they placed inside the larger boxes of cards. For the cards, they are sold in individual packs, small boxes, and what are called Mega boxes which have the jumbo packs included in them. These cards are also only sold at retail locations like Walmart.

Above are just a few examples of the artwork I created for this year’s Gallery base cards. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I’ll be sharing the rest of the cards I illustrated!

MEDIA USED

I used mixed media in illustrated the portraits. Images were provided to my by Topps and then I pencilled out the portrait. I then used markers to create a base colour and painted a thin layer of designer (or traditional) gouache overtop. I then used oil pencil crayons to create defined lines and shapes overtop the painting.

Curious about what art supplies I use? Follow the links below to purchase the same supplies I use!

Holbein Traditional Gouache Paints

Faber Castel Polychromous Pencil Crayons

Commission Your Own

I don’t have any of the original illustrations to sell as these were inserted into the Mega boxes, but you can commission a drawing of your favourite baseball player in the same style and size that I did these Gallery illustrations in! If you have a copy of one of my Gallery cards I’d also be more than happy to sign it for you (just need you to cover the return shipping though).

 

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