Unused concept for Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Warbreaker’, Image © Dan dos Santos

For every book cover I do, I typically offer my client about 3 or 4 cover concept to choose from. I sometimes put a lot of time and care into these concepts, because I don’t want to get stuck painting something I don’t love. But the sad truth is, there can be only one cover, and most of them won’t make the cut. I draw them, knowing full well that tomorrow, three of those four ideas I slaved over are going directly in the trash.

These concepts are seldom reusable for other jobs, so they never reach their full potential as finished images.  Instead, they’re doomed to collect dust in what I call “Sketch Purgatory”.

This week, I’ve been posting a sketch a day on my social media accounts, (@dandossantos_art). But if you missed them, I figured I would collect them all here, and a few extra, for your perusal.

It’s nice to give some of these ideas an audience at long last… I hope you enjoy them!


Unused concept for ‘Switchblade Goddess”

Unused concept for ‘Dragon Magazine’

Unused concept for ‘White Trash Zombie’

Unused concept for ‘White Trash Zombie’

Unused concept for ‘The Dresden Files’

Unused concept for ‘Eos, Taking Flight’

Unused concept for ‘Mercy Thompson’

Unused Concept for ‘Mercy Thompson’

Unused concept for ‘The Seer Stone’