Topps 2020 Series 2 Baseball is the third year I’ve had the pleasure of creating artwork for this set. This is one of the ‘flagship’ products for Topps, and something that I personally have collected since I was a kid.
For this project, I created mainly portraits of current baseball players. I didn’t draw too many rookies but instead opted for the stars of MLB. Also, I tried to draw a player from as many teams as I could. I created 35 sketch cards for this set that were inserted into the packs, and there were a few teams that I drew more than one player from, like the Dodgers, Yankees, and Cardinals.
Pack inserted sketch cards
Many of the cards I did for this project were painted with gouache and then oil pencils used overtop. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite mediums as it works well across almost any paper type and has a nice rich look to it. The tradeoff is that it takes twice as long to use the paints than it does to use markers and ink pens!
Commission a sketch card
I have a limited amount of artist proof sketch cards from this project that I can use for commissions. These start at $125US each, including shipping within North America. The above two sketch cards are two artist proofs I’ve previously made! Fill out the form below to add one to your collection!
Who Should I Draw next?
If there’s an active player you’d like to see me draw for an upcoming Topps baseball set, let me know in the comments below! I’m already working on 2021 sets, so it might just appear in one of them!
I wanted to share a few commissions I completed for people over the past few months. It’s a mix of sports and pop culture, and all of it was bigger than the artwork I do for trading card projects!
Colby Cave Commission
This was a 9×12″ mixed media commission of the late hockey player Colby Cave. Colby passed away this summer and he was a very promising hockey player who played for the Boston Bruins & Edmonton Oilers.
The image above is a scan of the original but the lettering at the bottom is digital. I hand drew the lettering on the actual commission but I wanted it to look even more crisp in the digital version so I superimposed digital lettering overtop.
Son’s Hockey Portrait
For this 6×8″ commission, a father asked if I could draw his son playing hockey from a photo he had. I gave it a few small design elements and added the “Young Guns” and his jersey number at the bottom similar to what you would find on an Upper-Deck hockey card.
I think this is the first time I’ve been asked to draw a portrait of a musician. Personally, I love Eminem and especially his latest album, which was playing on repeat while drawing!
I was provided a specific reference to work from and was asked if I could have “Slim Shady” written somewhere on it. I thought it would be cool to have the words in a funky script and have the background somewhat come through the lettering so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. For the background I wanted to attempt a graffiti like design. I have the phrase “12 Mile” in that background and extended the tops of the “M” to act as horns behind Eminem’s head. He really liked how it turned out and it’s easily one of my favourite drawings from this year!
Mickey Redmond Commission
This was a fun but challenging one! A huge hockey fan asked me to draw Mickey Redmond, who was one of his favourite hockey players when he was growing up. The challenge was that the one reference image he wanted me to work off of was very blurry. There aren’t a lot of great photos of him playing hockey to start with, so on things like his hair I had to make it up.
The design of the drawing is based off a Topps baseball card from the 80’s. He loved those baseball cards and thought it would look really neat if Redmond had a card similar to those baseball cards. The lettering was tricky and honestly I’m not the best at drawing it, but I think it still turned out pretty cool! He definitely loved it at least!
Luke & Vader Commission
Hand’s down the largest and possibly most time consuming commission I did this year. The original concept was of showing half of Luke & half of Vader’s face. I then went a little overboard by adding elements of ships and whatnot from The Empire Strikes Back and the Star Wars title at the bottom. It was pretty much a process of me doodling on the paper, filling it in with this or that.
It measures 11×17″ and is a mix of gouache, copic, pencil crayon, and acrylic paint. Overall I think it turned out pretty well and I might make a few prints from it once Cons come back!
Commission your own
Thanks for reading about some of the commissions I worked on this year. If you would like to add one of my drawings to your collection, please contact me through the form below and let me know what you would like!
Recently I created three Mickey Mantle sketch cards for a big baseball fan. These three drawings were based off iconic Mantle Topps trading cards from 1952, 1953, and 1956.
These three sketch cards were drawn on plain, high quality paper stock that has the same dimensions as a trading card (2.5×3.5″). I used Copic markers, polychromous pencil crayons, and acrylic paint to create them. After the drawings were complete I sealed them with a matte finish spray that prevents them from smudging and gives them some UV protection.
I’ve recently begun placing a sticker of authenticity to the backsides of all of my drawings. These stickers fit perfectly to the backs of my sketch cards. On the stickers it states that these are “1 of 1” drawings, “certified” as original drawings, and I sign the open space in the middle. Let me know what you think of my stickers down below in the comments!
Commission a drawing
If you’d like a drawing similar to one of these for yourself or to gift to someone else, please contact me today! Prices start at $65US and estimated turnaround is 2-4 weeks.
Back-to-back weeks of baseball goodness! This week Topps 2019 Baseball Museum Collection trading cards were released! These are a high-end, prestige format trading card set that is offered at card and collectible stores.
I have nine artist returns available from this project and three of my drawings were reproduced in this set for the Canvas Collection series. These three drawings are of Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken jr., & Ozzie Smith. Additionally, I created regular sketch cards and sketch cards done on shaped cards that were inserted into the packs! Check out my social media channels for examples of the cards I drew that wound up in the packs!
Artist Return Sketch Cards
Each one of the below artist return sketch cards are an original, one-of-one, hand drawn art card. I use a mix of copics, pencil crayons, acrylic, & gouache paints to create these, and each one is signed on the back.
These three cards are reprints of three sketch cards I drew for the set. I know that someone found the original Nolan Ryan sketch card but the other two are still out there! What I love about the three players they chose from what I drew to be reprinted, besides the fact that my art was reprinted, was that they chose three of my favourite players from when I was a kid. I grew up in and around St. Louis and saw quite a few Cardinals games in the 80s. Ozzie Smith, like so many other kids in the 80s, was my favourite player. His great smile, backflips in outfield, and amazing play was something that made him stand out and become my all-time favourite baseball player!
If you would like to purchase these directly from me and have them signed, please click the paypal button below, or if you have a copy yourself that you would like me to sign, please contact me!
Late last year I had the fantastic opportunity to create sketch cards for the 2018 Baseball Series 1 from Topps. I still need to post examples of my artwork from that set here but I’ve been so darn busy! Case in point, Series 2 from the 2018 Topps Baseball set was released about a month ago and I had, again, sketch cards in it!
I have a mix of styles in the set and tried to draw a player from every team but I think I accidentally forgot about one or two. I also had the chance to draw a few retired players, going all the back to Honus Wagner! One of my favourite retired players was also in the mix, a Mr. Ozzie Smith!
These sketches are incredibly rare to find in the packs of cards. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the odds of finding one is about one per every 2 or 3 cases of cards! That’s not packs, or boxes, but cases!
Check out what I have listed on ebay and if you don’t see it there, contact me here and commission an original from me! I often have a month or two long waiting list, so please make sure to contact me early for commissions. I also have some blank official artist proofs from companies like Leaf available, but they may not be available for long!
Up next for my project release calendar is Topps 2018 MLB Museum Collection. This was released in the last week of June. Coming up in July is a horror trading card set for MNS Cards and Lost in Space series 2 from Rittenhouse. I have a few commissions and other non sketch card projects I’m working on this month that I am also excited about sharing! Hoping to have much of that posted on Twitter and Instagram, so make sure to follow me there!
Topps 2018 UFC Museum Collection was the first sports set I’ve had the opportunity to work on for Topps. For this project, I created 40 unique sketch cards that featured some of the top fighters in the UFC. In addition to the 40 sketch cards I created, I also created five additional cards I kept as artist returns. My returns are currently listed on ebay.
This set is an annual release trading card product from Topps. It is considered a high-end release with packs having only a few cards in them, but you are guaranteed a hit such as a relic, an autograph, or a sketch card. All of the cards have a premium feel to them, being on thicker card stock and having glossy images. Beckett Cards has a full breakdown of what is included in this product, including a sample image of one of the sketch cards I created!
I used two different approaches to this project. The sketch card paper was not ideal for Copic markers, so on some I used watercolors. This approach worked well on a lot of them but I lost the detail I like using in my portraits. For some of the cards I used watercolors for the entire drawing and others it was only used in the background. In my artist returns I tried to add a little more detail by including a miniature image of the fighter in a fighting stance and this miniature drawing was done in watercolors.
The second approach was keeping with my base colour layer of Copics and then going over it with oil pencil crayons. However, because the paper did not have a lot of tooth to it, I applied some of my matte gel to it. This gave it better tooth and allowed for the pencil crayons to go down more easily. On top of the pencil crayons I added another layer of sealant to discourage smudging.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you collect UFC Trading cards!
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!