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AI art prompts: 11 simple tips to make the image magic happen

The magic of AI art prompts at AndWhatsNext com
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Unlock your creative potential with AI art generators

The world of AI image generation is brimming with possibilities, but crafting the perfect prompt can be tricky. You need to be clear and concise, yet leave room for a touch of magic. That’s where the power of detail comes in.

The power of detail in AI art prompts

When you type “a cat” into an image generator, it’s hard to say what you’ll end up with. You might end up with a feline friend like this…

Boring monochrome cat at AndWhatsNext com

… or you could get a fluffy Persian curled up on a windowsill, a sleek Siamese stretching on a rug, or even a mischievous cartoon feline. While each is adorable in its own way, if you had something else in mind, none of them would truly capture your vision.

But what if you want a specific feline friend? Enter the power of precision:

  • Breed and color: “A fluffy Maine Coon cat with grey and white fur…” suggests a specific breed, and the AI paints its signature ear tufts and gentle gaze.
  • Setting and mood: “…lounging lazily in a sunlit garden…” paints the scene, adding warmth and tranquility to the portrait.
  • Details: “…surrounded by daisies and greenery” completes the canvas, adding a touch of floral charm.

Suddenly, the AI isn’t just painting a cat — it’s capturing a moment or telling a story.

Ai prompt for fluffy Maine Coon cat at AndWhatsNext com

DON’T MISS! The one weird way most popular AI image generators work

Asking AI to draw or create photos for you

🪄 From generic & simple to vivid & detailed

Detailed prompts act as your artistic roadmap for the AI. Let’s see how adding details can transform your results:

  • Generic prompt: A cityscape at night
  • Detailed: A futuristic cityscape at night, neon lights reflecting on rain-slick streets, towering skyscrapers piercing the clouds, and sleek flying cars zipping between them.

AI prompt for futuristic cityscape at night at AndWhatsNext com


🪄 Setting the mood

  • Generic prompt: A forest
  • Detailed: An ancient, misty forest at dawn, sunlight filtering through the canopy of gnarled oak trees, a carpet of bluebells shimmering like dewdrops, and a faint, ethereal glow painting the air.

AI image prompt for ancient, misty forest at dawn at AndWhatsNext com


🪄 Specifying the subject

  • Generic prompt: A house
  • Detailed: A mid-century modern house with an A-frame roofline, big windows, and wood and stone exterior. A garden with drought-tolerant plants and several trees. Sunny day with blue sky.

AI image prompt for mid-century modern house at AndWhatsNext com


🪄 Image prompts: Beyond the basics

The beauty of detailed prompts lies in their ability to capture not just the what, but also the why. Consider these additional layers:

  • Emotion: Is the scene peaceful or chaotic? Romantic or haunting?
  • Style: Do you want a photorealistic painting, a whimsical cartoon, or a gritty cyberpunk vibe?
  • Composition: Where should the focus be? How will the elements interact?

Setting the scene with AI art prompts

Detailed prompts are a lot like writing a story. The more intricate your story is, the more breathtaking your end result will be.


🖼️ Specify foreground and background elements

  • Clearly distinguish what you want in the foreground (the main subject) and the background (the setting or backdrop).
  • Example: “A vibrant red cardinal (foreground) perched on a snowy branch, with a softly blurred winter forest in the background.”

Red cardinal bird AI photo at AndWhatsNext com


🖼️ Rule of thirds

  • You can mention the rule of thirds to position key elements off-center for a more dynamic composition.
  • Example: “A solitary boat positioned in the right third of the image, with the vast ocean occupying the rest.”

Solitary boat AI photo at AndWhatsNext com


🖼️ Perspective and depth

Incorporate perspective and viewpoint:

  • Indicate whether the view should be close-up, bird’s-eye, worm’s-eye, or a standard eye-level shot.
  • Example: “A worm’s-eye view of towering redwood trees stretching up towards a clear blue sky.”

Towering redwood trees AI photo at AndWhatsNext com

Use depth to create interest:

  • Mention elements that add depth, like overlapping objects, varying sizes, or a pathway leading into the distance.
  • Example: “A winding path leading through a lush garden, with flowers of varying sizes creating a sense of depth.”

AI photo of a winding garden path at AndWhatsNext com


🖼️ Focal point and balance

Highlight the focal point:

  • Direct the AI to focus on a specific element in your image. This can be done through contrast, color, or positioning.
  • Example: “A bright blue butterfly resting on a monochrome grey stone, clearly standing out as the focal point.”

Bright blue butterfly AI photo at AndWhatsNext com

Balance and symmetry:

  • Describe how elements should be balanced, whether symmetrically or asymmetrically, to create harmony or tension.
  • Example: “A symmetrically composed image of a serene lake, flanked by identical rows of pine trees on each side.”

AI art of a serene lape with pine trees at AndWhatsNext com


🖼️ Light, movement, and texture

Play with light and shadow:

  • Describe how light and shadow should interact in your scene. This can add drama, mood, or focus.
  • Example: “The late afternoon sun casting long shadows in an old cobblestone alleyway.”

AI picture of an old cobblestone road at AndWhatsNext com

Incorporate movement or stillness:

  • Suggest whether elements should convey motion (like flowing water or blowing leaves) or stillness (a calm lake or a frozen moment).
  • Example: “Children playing and running around a fountain, their movements blurred to show action.”

Children running around a fountain AI photo at AndWhatsNext com

Use of color and texture:

  • Mention specific colors or textures to emphasize or de-emphasize certain parts of the image.
  • Example: “A rough-textured, old brick wall painted with vibrant graffiti, contrasting with the smooth, dull pavement.”

NEXT written in AI grafitti at AndWhatsNext com

Consider framing elements:

  • Use natural frames like windows, archways, or tree branches to enclose or highlight the main subject.
  • Example: “A quaint cottage viewed through the frame of a flower-covered archway.”

Quaint cottage view AI photo at AndWhatsNext com


🖼️ Clarity and abstraction

  • Be mindful of ambiguity: AI might struggle with ambiguous terms or concepts. Be as precise as possible to avoid misinterpretation.
  • Abstract concepts: When dealing with abstract ideas, try to anchor them with concrete examples or comparisons.

🖼️ Iteration is key

  • Refine and experiment: Don’t hesitate to refine your prompt based on the results. AI can be unpredictable, so iteration is a part of the process.
  • Learn from outputs: Each output is a learning opportunity. Observe how the AI responds to different phrasings or details.

AI energetic woman photo with orange and blue at AndWhatsNext com

Legal and ethical considerations when using AI art prompts

✅ Guide your AI with prompts that spark imagination, foster collaboration, and stay within the bounds of copyright and trademark law. Your can find out about both online at the US Copyright Office and/or the US Patent & Trademark Office. Consult an intellectual property (IP) attorney if you have questions or concerns.

✅ As a user, it’s essential to recognize that you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to directing AI. Think of yourself as the AI’s mentor – it relies on your cues, and it’s up to you to model the integrity of its actions. You have the power to craft requests that are not only smart but also uphold ethical and legal standards.

Bro courtroom judge photo by AI at AndWhatsNext com

Paint a picture with words or… let the AI get creative

Details are your paintbrush. The more you provide, the closer the AI can come to realizing your artistic vision. So, don’t be afraid to get specific! Experiment, play with adjectives and adverbs, paint a picture with your words, and watch the AI breathe life into your artistic dreams.

Don’t have anything very specific in mind? Then writing less might be just what you need! Allow some flexibility for AI’s creative capabilities. Rather than controlling every aspect, present the key components and let the AI creatively expand within that framework.

For example, here are some of the diverse results we got when we ran a prompt simply asking for a window seat in a beautiful home with a view of a garden:

Ai photos of beautiful home window seats at AndWhatsNext com

This approach often leads to more dynamic and surprising results. Let the system deliver some ideas to you, which you can refine and re-run as you like.

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