Roll like Bob Ross!

Unlock the full potential of AI image tools like Midjourney by mastering the art of crafting prompts.

bob ross mixing paint

Elevate your image creation from broad strokes to nuanced details, ensuring your vision comes to life.

Strategic Prompt Planning: Saving Time

Before diving into prompt creation, consider crafting a strategic prompt. By rough drafting and then planning your prompt, you can streamline the image generation process, saving time and achieving better results.

For instance, instead of refining through multiple iterations, envision your final image and structure your prompt accordingly. Work Smarter, not harder

First, take a few minutes to brainstorm some of the elements of the image you would like to see. For example, consider the following:

  • Subject and Scene: Define the who, what, and where that will be the focal point.

  • Color palette: Specify a color scheme, considing hues, tones, contrasts, and visual tone (warm, cool, cold, etc).

  • Style: What style would you like to see — abstract, surreal, cyberpunk, anime?

  • Atmosphere/Environment: Indoor, outdoor, forest, in a fantastical realm?

  • Composition: Is it from a bird's or worm's eye view, portrait, close-up?

  • Lighting: Are you thinking shadowy, soft ambient, neon, where is the light coming from?

Text-to-image generators can draw from a full range of artistic elements and principles and can mimic and combine many artistic styles. Open a text document and practice a bit of freewriting/brainstorming to help get you started.

Lady Gaga says,

With all that in mind and written down, then you can begin the rest of the process. ➡️

From General to Specific

Begin with a broad concept and progressively add specificity for a powerful prompt. For example, a Midjourney prompt always begins when you type "/imagine", and the word "prompt" appears.

Here's the basic prompt and results:

/imagine prompt: cityscape

/imagine prompt

These are nice, but they might not be what you're looking for.

Adding Visual Details

Enhance prompts with vivid details, guiding Midjourney to specific elements. For example:

/imagine prompt: cityscape with skyscrapers and a bustling street at dusk

4 results of the /imagine prompt: cityscape with skyscrapers and a bustling street at dusk.

Now you have a bustling street at dusk!

Too Broad 🥱

  • Cityscape

  • Love

  • Train

  • Space

  • Adventure

Better 😃

  • Cityscape with skyscrapers

  • Love between a male and female couple

  • A steam train in the desert

  • Space in a cloudy nebula

  • Adventure in an ice cave

Style and Tone Experimentation

Experiment with style and tone parameters for diverse visual outcomes. For example:

/imagine prompt: cityscape transformed into a vibrant, retro-futuristic neon wonderland

Results: Cityscape transformed into a vibrant, retro-futuristic neon wonderland by midjourney

Try style prompts like these:

  • Abstract geometric shapes

  • Impressionistic brushstrokes

  • Pixel art

  • Minimalist design

  • Surreal dreamlike landscape

  • Cubist interpretation of a face

  • Watercolor-inspired scene

  • Comic book illustration

The limit is your imagination! 🧠

Try tone prompts like these:

  • Mysterious and moody

  • Cheerful and vibrant

  • Eerie and unsettling

  • Serene and tranquil

  • Playful and whimsical

  • Dramatic and intense

  • Warm and nostalgic

  • Futuristic and technological

👑 Adjectives are king!


Add words to enhance the style and tone of the image in this prompt: /imagine prompt: field of red flowers, _________ and ___________

Color and Atmosphere Integration

Incorporate color and atmosphere cues, specifying mood and lighting. For example:

/imagine prompt: cityscape at sunset with warm hues, casting long shadows on the streets.


results: cityscape at sunset with warm hues, casting long shadows on the streets by midjourney

Come up with color prompts like: 🎨

  • Monochromatic blue palette

  • Vibrant and contrasting colors

  • Pastel sunset hues

  • Rich autumnal tones

  • Black and white with a pop of red

  • Cool and calming greens

  • Warm earthy tones

  • Neon-bright color scheme

Try atmosphere prompts like: 🤔

  • Misty morning atmosphere

  • Busy urban street atmosphere

  • Cozy fireplace ambiance

  • Underwater tranquility

  • Enchanted forest mood

  • Sci-fi futuristic cityscape

  • Stormy and dramatic skies

  • Desert oasis serenity


Midjourney has special parameter codes that can be used to adjust the size or type of image in unique ways. Some of these include:

Aspect ratio: Type "-- ar" and add the aspect ratio you want. Like like -- ar 5:5 for a square or -- ar 3:2 or 7:4 for landscape mode.

Chaos: Type "-- chaos" and add a number from 0 to 100 to adjust how different the 4 images will be. A lower number will have fewer differences, while 100 will give you 4 very different iterations of your prompt.

No: Type "-- no" and add something you don't want in the picture like clouds or trees. The images will not include those things.

Weird: Type "-- weird" and add a number from 1 to 3000. This experimental parameter asks Midjourney to tinker with the aesthetics of the image.

/Imagine prompt: merge the energy of a city crowd with an abstract representation of technology -- ar 5:5 -- chaos 50 -- no cars -- weird 1000

Results of Merge the energy of a city crowd with an abstract representation of technology with parameters by midjourney

These square aspect images are all very different, contain no cars, and are more abstract thanks to the parameters added.

Think Like an Artist

There is no limit to the types of prompts you can try with the right prompt. Try some of these prompt hacks:

1. X as Y: Put two things together where they might not normally be.

/imagine prompt: bullfrog as a purple space cowboy with a rocket ship

Result for purple bullfrog as a space cowboy with a rocket via midjourney

2. In the style of an artist: Try artists like Dali, Monet, Klimt, Kandinski, or Van Gogh.

/imagine prompt: cityscape in the style of Gustav Klimt

Results of cityscape in the style of Gustav Klimt by Midjourney

3. Medium: Ask Midjourney to create a medium like a drawing, pastels and chalk, origami, mosaic, carving, tattoo, or jigsaw.

/imagine prompt: black and white origami tiger in a wet jungle

Results of black and white origami tiger in a wet jungle by midjourney

Take Action

A visual representation of midjourney AI machine; images all around with man on computer in the center

With some planning and patience, you can create a story-telling, eye-catching image to go with your content!


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