Here are some exercises along the way and the final cookbook cover at the end.
An initial doodle:
A composition of basic elements:
My lunch in various perspectives through a rectangular viewfinder (squash, Brussels sprouts, and quinoa):
Some thumbnails for a cookbook cover called "No remorse veggies" or "Veggies with no remorse".
I tried to develop the top-middle thumbnail with this yellow design. Some things just don’t work out. Maybe a better font or hand-drawn lettering could help. Something about the colors and proportions also don’t satisfy me. In other words, nothing was coming together, so I moved on.
I decided to work on the top-left thumbnail, and I’m much happier with the result. Here’s the final layout: