Mistake | Episode 4 | Independent Art Series

Welcome to the Independent Art series, Episode 4, Mistake! This episode covers starting a new scene, angles, and making a mistake.

Jump to:

What I Did Wrong

Number Confusion

The Fix and Page 5

Page 7 Steps

Page 8 Steps

Independent Art Project

Cottonseeds 3, graphic novel, pages 5, 7, and 8

Independent Art Tools

Photoshop and internet research

The Mistake

I drew a big blank. What happens on Page 6? Does a character die? Is it a big fight scene? I can’t remember! When I went back to my script, I realized why I couldn’t remember.

I skipped a page.


In my script, page 5 is something else, I skipped to the following page, and called it page 6. How the Photoshop files looked, Page 4, Page 5. How the script looks: Page 4, Page 5, Page 6.

I made a mistake.

Making a mistake is humiliating and depressing. With a lot of effort, I snapped out of it, pushed aside my embarrassment. I’ll show you exactly what happened. TOP

Number Mistake

I used to be really good at keeping track of numbers. Since sclerosis ate my brain, not so much. I forget sometimes that the skills I had aren’t there anymore. Making a mistake, such as skipping a whole page, forces me to remember.

The difference between how I used to be and how I am now, is that now I have to think about everything a lot. At the same time, I have the memory of keeping track of numbers without effort. The before and now is a constant conflict for me. TOP

Fixing the Mistake

Fortunately, adding the missing page isn’t a big deal. I used the art from Page 4, renamed files, adjusted the background, elements, and added different captions.

More good news. This means I’m one page closer to finishing the issue than I thought. Yay for me!

cottonseeds3 before 4 and 5 mistake

Cottonseeds 3 Pages 4 and 5 Before

cottonseeds3 pages 4 5 6 mistake

Cottonseeds 3 Pages 4, 5, 6 After


Page 7 Steps

It’s time to leave the underground and find out what’s happening with the other characters, which means starting a new scene. I had to purge my brain. Forget the first 5 pages and put them away. A new scene is like starting a new book. Then, after, piece it all together in a way that I hope makes sense to someone else beside me.

Step 1 – Picking the Angle

Page 7 jumps to a jail cell scene and I want something a bit different. There are so many different angles and perspectives that can be used in art whether it’s a graphic novel or a camera view. I’ve yet to find a website that has a list of all terms. Send me a message if you know site like that.

Usually, when I’m picking an angle, my thought process goes something like this:

You know that angle? That view? What’s the name of that angle again? It’s a different angle. The angle has to be… at an angle. What’s the term for that?! Dammit. Maybe google with help. Shit. Google doesn’t help. Lemme try a different search engine. Wait! What was that google search result I just closed?

I finally found the term for the angle I imagined. The Dutch Angle.

Step 2 – Picking the Sequence

I have a good idea of how this scene plays out. It’s simple. We’re now in jail. Figuring out how to get out of jail comes later. For now, this is a jail scene, with bars, lock, and no key.

And nothing happens. No action or movement.

I read my script again. There’s dialogue, but it’s static. Nothing moves. It seems I made a mistake again.

You might guess my bad habit at this point. I tend to get waaay ahead of myself. I’m so eager to get to the end of the issue that I forget obvious things like action.

Step 3 – Rewrite Page 7

My first idea is to split Page 7 into two pages. I’m not keen on that idea because it means adjusting page numbers (shudder), but visually it makes sense. It make sense emotionally, too.

What I really want to do right now is a primal scream, and not just any scream. A screeching, ripping, burst your ear drums, type of scream.

Can I pull that off in graphic novel format? There’s only one way to find out.

So I wrote a note. Primal scream, Page 6. What happens in jail, stays in jail, Page 7. Seriously. That’s a copy and paste of the note.

And I know the exact right glue that’s going to tie everything together. A ghost.

mistake page 7 final independent art

Cottonseeds 3 Page 7 Final


Page 8 Steps

I’m on a roll now.

Step 1 – Page 8 Layout

3 panel layout, with jail scene texture background. The script is written and prep work is done.

There’s one little problem.

I made the mistake of giving pages 8 and 9 waaay too much space. So I merged those two pages. It’s a good thing I split Page 7 into two pages. The final page count still works out to 22 pages.

Are you confused by the page count yet? I’m getting there.

Step 2 – Page 8 Rough Layout

Since this is new scene, I had to take my time. I’m getting confused enough with page counts as it, no point in adding layout confusion that would cause another mistake. So I drew a rough layout, 3 panels, and character positions/poses.

mistake first page 8 layout independent art

Page 8 rough layout

This layout turned out to be another mistake.

Step 3 – Page 8, Another Layout

With all the many mistakes and merged pages, I decided to say, fuck it, screw the script, angles, and layouts. I chose a simple 2 panel layout.

Step 4 – Page 8 Art

At this point, I worked with no breaks and kept going until the page is finished.

page 8 final mistake

Cottonseeds 3 Page 8 Final

In other words, I didn’t do screenshots of each art step. You can revisit Episodes 1, 2, and 3, to see my techniques. I promise to save screenshots for Episode 5.


‘Til next time!