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 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 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.

 

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!

Topps 2020 MLB Update Trading Card Artwork

In 2020 I contributed artwork to the Topps MLB Museum Collection, Flagship series 1 and series 2, and Gallery. I’ve previously posted about all of those projects except for 2020 Update, which I’m doing so now! This was also the third year of me working on Topps MLB products and sometime soon I’ll be posting about my contributions to their 2021 products!

Pack inserted original artwork

I used a mix of inked, comicbook style drawings and mixed media portraits. Most of the comicbook style ones are action shots and I gave them either action style lines radiating from the borders to the player or Kirby dots. For the portraits, I cut off the body from the shoulders down and used acrylic paint to give it a bold colour. I also gave the portraits a white halo to make them pop a bit more from the background.

One of the other, more simpler things I did on this project was to colour the border icons. It’s not the most imaginative thing I could’ve done but I liked the idea of giving the border design that was printed on the cards a little bit of colour. The colours I chose were also one of the player’s team colours.

Contact me about commissions

I have blank artist proof sketch cards from this and other official baseball trading card projects I’ve worked on. To find out more about sketch cards please see my earlier post and use the form below to contact me about a commission! Prices start at $125US.