The Scrapyard

The Scrapyard - student project


The Scrapyard - image 1 - student project


The Scrapyard is a place that exists outside of time, where vehicle technology from all eras of Earth’s history (past, present, and future) washes up after becoming obsolete. Steam ships, hovercraft, penny farthings, muscle cars, space rovers, submarines, locomotives, caravans, colony starships….all arranged in piles (but by whom?) in a wasteland not unlike the Sonoran Desert.

People live among the debris and wrecks with no clear idea of who they are or how they got there. Are they themselves derelict technology? They live in small bands or alone. It’s anarchic, but generally non-violent, because people can find most of what they need from the scraps and rations left over in the vehicles. They scavenge the wreckage and trade useful finds with periodic visitors.

The main character is a boy who lives in half an airplane, and is about to find a baby in an abandoned Victorian perambulator.


I've had this world in mind for a few months, but it always seemed insane to actually try to draw, because it's probably the most complicated visual world I can imagine. Thanks, Ira, for the class and contest that finally gave me the motivation to do it!

I started out with pencil and paper—I'm not that experienced with digital drawing, and at least for initial sketching, pencil is a lot more comfortable for me. I drew a big sketch at first, but then decided to not just go with my very first impulse, and did some thumbnails instead:


The Scrapyard - image 2 - student project


I'm glad I did, because I ended up choosing a totally different view than what I initially had in mind. I developed the upper-right thumbnail into a more detailed pencil sketch:


The Scrapyard - image 3 - student project


I inked it using a light pad on Bristol paper, then scanned the result to begin the digital coloring process:


The Scrapyard - image 4 - student project


I really haven't done much digital coloring (or coloring in general), so this process was a bit convoluted the way I did it. My initial flat colors were much too bold, so I overlaid a grey scale on all the junk. I didn't do the tone thumbnails, although that would probably have been a good idea.


The Scrapyard - image 5 - student project


The Scrapyard - image 6 - student project 

I drew in shadows and a lamp to make the boy's home more homey. And that's it! 


The Scrapyard - image 7 - student project


This is the first complete concept art I've ever done, and after doing this process start-to-finish, it's a lot more accessible and less intimidating. I'm really thinking about developing it into a complete (if short) narrative. Thanks a lot, Ira, for the great class.