How to Illustrate a Children’s Book for Free

IMG_0082I made up stories for my kids, when they were little.

Now that I’m getting older, they’ve been nagging me about getting my stories published.

Writing my stories was no problem, but I was stalled when it came to illustrating them. I’ve done a bit of sketching and painting, but I knew that doing my own illustrations would be very time consuming. Thanks to Bruce Jones for posting a video, about making children’s books. He demonstrated Waterlogue, and I was hooked.

I’ve used a lot of photo editing apps., but this one is just for applying a watercolor effect to your photos.


By using Waterlogue, and my own photos

  • I don’t have to take the time to do my own illustrations
  • I don’t have to pay someone to do them
  • I can use my own photos
  • I can use sentimental photos in a new way and enjoy them longer and more often
  • I never have to worry about copyright infringement

Here are a couple of examples.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.26.14 PM

Book Cover

This is a still shot of my son, in the ’80s, lifted from my favorite video footage of him. Now I can enjoy a still photo, from that time, as a watercolor illustration. No, his real name is not Danny Putnam, but it is the name of his favorite character from one of my stories. By using my own photos, I can also include pictures of other family members.



Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.22.34 PM

A page from my children’s book

This is an actual photo of my house before we renovated it. It was more country cottage then, and fit the story, so why not?


Install the Waterlogue app, and give it a try, or maybe you have discovered something just as fun. I’d love to see your ideas about how to illustrate a children’s book!






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