Recipes Always Have a Place in a Visual Journal

February 24, 2020
Sketch of one of the leeks I was making soup out of, followed up with a write up of the soup I created on that day—so I could make it again and again.

I love to make new soups. I take things I have on hand and work out what would taste good together. 

Keeping track of these improvised recipes in my visual journal means that I’ll be able to remake them and enjoy them again on another day. (Or be able to fix things that didn’t turn out—this soup is now one of our favorites.)

It only takes a moment out of your day to stop and do a simple pen and watercolor wash sketch. 

Even though this isn’t watercolor paper I know I can paint on this paper. I enjoy the challenge of putting the washes on the paper.

In the short while I worked on this sketch I was able to think through things like the different colors I see in the skin of a leek; and I was able to spend a moment puzzling out how I want the roots to be handled with paint and ink.

Of course then it’s back to the business of the day. You feel lighter when you have stopped to make a page like this. You know that you have valuable information for the future kitchen experiments of course. But more important to me there is a sense of well-being that I derive from pausing in the day and taking time to really observe something and get it down on paper. It’s as important as breathing air.

This page along allowed me to think about the design of the page; the negative space in the leek and its roots; the placement of title, text, and illustration to work off that negative space; and of course the scale of my text and lettering. 

Each decision takes only a few seconds because I’ve practiced and discovered the way I like things. They are still satisfying; a moment of reflection in a very busy stream of events.

I hope you’ll start thinking about all the small moments you can include in your visual journal. For most of us there will be many more small moments in our lives than ones that are large, dramatic, emphatic, exciting…

You get the idea. Stop and make some soup.

If you would like to know more about how I think about the design and layout of a page please sign up for my in-depth, information-packed class By Design: The Intentional Page.  It’s ongoing and you can sign up at any time.

  1. Reply

    I LOVE doing this kind of sketching…it completely enhances my whole cooking experience! The smells, the visuals – and even if I burn something because I am happily concentrating on a stray vegetable (happens more often than I admit to most people) it is all worth it! Beautiful recipe, Roz!

    1. Reply

      I’m glad you think so too. I think it also creates a fun record of the healthy (and sometimes not quite healthy) foods I eat. Sketch on!!!

    • Adrianne
    • March 20, 2020

    That is a beautiful leek. And a beautiful page. The recipe sounds beaut…I mean, delicious.

    1. Reply

      Thanks, I hope you make the soup, it’s yummy. It’s addictive. I have made some more every week since, even yesterday!

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