The Evolution of Custom Art #1

rough sketch #1

rough sketch #1: Bishop Antonelli, Father Castillo (seated), Satan

So a couple of weeks ago I decided that for two upcoming science fiction books, I wanted custom artwork. Custom artwork is not cheap, but the beautiful thing about it is that it is customized to my desires, which means it can reflect a lot of the story that it is covering.

Artwork by Daniel Johnson @ Squared Motion




rough sketch #2

rough sketch #2

Once I received the initial sketches, I knew right away I wanted to make a series of posts showing how art can go from initial concept to rough sketch to finished art (and then to book cover!). I’m the type of nerd that watches the extras on animated movie DVDs just to see how all of that stuff is done.




rough sketch #3

rough sketch #3

A few things to keep in mind: I’m only showing one book’s artwork for the moment. The book is titled (for now) “Diabolus” and the plot is basically ‘Skynet meets The Exorcist.’ Two Vatican priests are tasked with ‘exorcising’ a malfunctioning AI, one that has control over the world’s nuclear forces, and is intent on bringing about Armageddon, fulfilling the prophecies of Revelations.

It is a science fiction story, and it is not preachy at all (there’s no scripture in it that I’m aware of!). It is a good theological-philosophical adventure, and it will probably be a fairly quick read at around 40,000-50,000 words (maybe 250 paperback pages).

Here are the first three initial rough sketches, where Daniel Johnson ( is sort of ‘thinking out loud’ with his pencils, so to speak, and allows me to see what he’s thinking, and add/suggest what I’m looking for to flesh them out. Over time, you’ll see one of these drawings, or maybe a combination of all three, evolve into a finished, professional piece of art. I’ll update with new art as it comes in.

Feel free to leave comments!


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