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!