A new series from Phil Hickes, author of the popular Aveline Jones series, which I also illustrated. Set in the 80s, at a creepy old boarding school, Shadowhall Academy follows the childhood school adventures of Aveline’s Aunt Lilian.
As a bit of fun, I drew a school crest for Shadowhall Academy (below), incorporating some key elements from the book. There’s a strong theme of ‘doubles’ in the story so the symmetry of the heraldic creatures seemed appropriate. I also thought it would be fun to have a palindrome for the motto. (It means something like, ‘Secluded but pure’.)
These initial scribbles explored Lilian and her friends against the backdrop of the spooky old Shadowhall mansion. I experimented with framing devices of a school badge and the school gates. (I thought it would be fun for Lilian to be holding a torch, as a nod to the first Aveline Jones cover.) The third option is a creepy scene from the story.
In the roughs below I wanted to try interior scenes with a film-noir look, but decided these might look a bit too old fashioned or historical.
These tonal and colour roughs also show the development of the final composition, with the girls eventually being moved to more prominence in the foreground.

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