Joe DeVito (1957-present) has painted Doc Savage covers since 1991.
No matter the art, everything starts with drawing. Before I do anything else, I draw as many small sketches as necessary to arrive at a suitable composition. For any beginners reading this, this ‘thumbnail’ stage is of great importance. Most often illustrators, and artists in general, do not sit down and paint what comes to mind when their painting has specific criteria to meet. By doing loose little drawings, say 2”x3”, no time is wasted on unnecessary detail because you do not proceed until the overall composition is arrived at, or at least until an idea crystallized. At this stage you establish basic size relationships, shadow patterns, and the like with no effort at all. I never stop drawing until I have something which works. — Joe Devito, Notes on Painting
From Joe DeVito’s website: “It was while in the city, though, that his life-long love of dinosaurs and fantastic creatures began, with his first viewing of King Kong. A frequent visitor to the Museum of Natural History as a boy, his infatuation with all animals has never left him.”
DeVito was responsible for the look of Doc Savage for the Will Murray novels. His Doc was a bit older than Bama’s. His well-lined face was often seen in 3/4 profile. DeVito also produced a statue of Doc Savage based on the image from the cover of Python Isle.
PS: So what happened to open the door in that area?
JD: I was painting the last of the Doc Savage book covers at the time and came in contact with Bob Chapman of Graphitti Design. He was one of the first to tap into the figurine market and was looking to produce a Doc Savage statue. I saw the opportunity and begged him to give me a shot, sight unseen. I convinced him that it would be a good tie-in to have the guy doing the covers sculpt the piece. I had nothing to show, but just knew that, if I had the chance, I could do it. Thankfully, at great risk to himself (if I had failed), he gave me a free hand to do whatever I wanted. The Doc/Python piece was the result. That kind of established me and I’ve been sculpting steadily ever since. ”
All of Devito’s Doc Savage covers are featured at DocSavage.Org