I appreciate your way of forming a picture in your mind for every new Chinese word, which must be the immension learning of a language. However, I kind of doubt about the means of finding a similar pronunciation in English. There are huge differences in the pronunciation between English and Chinese. Besides, in this way, you will still try to learn Chinese with the help of English, which is opposite to your purpose of drawing pictures for the words.
In my opinion, if you find it difficult to memorize the sound of Chinese characters, it is better for you to try to memorize some very easy and basic characters firstly, and then to connect the new charecters with the one that has the same pronunciation and you have already known. You will find out that there are many groups of characters, with similar pronunciations and similar looks, even their meaning have close relationship. In fact, they are called 形声字 in Chinese.
I hope this will be helpful to you.