Ultimate A.I. Visual Style Guide Transform Your Midjourney Prompts with These 380+ Creative Techniques (with 1500+ Examples and Descriptions)
As I explore AI’s artistic potential, I am amazed by its endless possibilities. Each new discovery fills me with wonder and excitement, knowing that it can shape the future of art and design. I share my insights to inspire others to push boundaries and strive for greatness.
To learn more about my work, you can check out my artificial intelligence image projects at
imrsn.com and my product design portfolio at ryanallen.com
Here is a list of over 350 useful terms for A.I. art generation tools, including image examples. These cover multinational art styles, movements, brush strokes, design and color terms, photographic and film terms, pop culture stylistic genres, artistic composition styles, and more.
For this chair style comparison, I have adjusted
my Midjourney settings to prioritize quality and style over the default settings. /settings
For reference, here are chair generations with the above settings and no additional prompts. These should result in a variety of random styles.
Chair /imagine prompt: chair /imagine prompt: chair List of 350+ Prompts with Image Examples
Here is a list of chair designs that showcase a unique stylistic element.
These can be combined to create an eclectic mix of styles. 8 bit / pixel /imagine prompt: chair, 8bit Retro, blocky video game aesthetic (try voxel for less video game themes) Abstract / abstraction /imagine prompt: chair, abstract or /imagine prompt: chair, abstraction Not representational or based on external reality or nature, multi-media Abstract Expressionism /imagine prompt: chair, abstract expressionism abstract, gestural painting that expresses personal convictions and human values Academic /imagine prompt: chair, academic Conforming to the standards of an official academy. Aesthetic / beautiful / designer / superb /imagine prompt: chair, aesthetic or /imagine prompt: chair, beautiful or /imagine prompt: chair, designer or /imagine prompt: chair, suberb Concerned with beauty or good taste. Aluminum made using aluminum as the primary medium or material Ambient light general indirect soft lighting Analytical drawing analyzes the subject by breaking it down into individual parts and features, lacks lettering Anime Japanese animated entertainment with colorful graphics, vibrant characters, and fantastical themes based on manga and encompassing various genres. Angular / oblique angle sharp corners, or angles App image used to represent an application on a digital device, probably mobile Appropriation copying and alteration of preexisting images, objects, and ideas Architecture relating to buildings, bridges, and other large structures Art Deco featuring geometric shapes, bold colors, and ornate decoration, often associated with luxury and glamour Art Nouveau organic, curving lines and decorative motifs inspired by nature, such as flowers and animals Artifice deception or trickery Arts and crafts values unity of the arts, the individual craftsperson, materials, construction, simplicity, functionality, and traditional methods Assemblage combinations of found objects or non-traditional materials Atelier Populaire Parisian print workshop active during protests, known for daily images and found materials. Automatism artist suppresses conscious control over the making process, allowing the unconscious mind to have great sway (similar to surrealism) Avant-garde innovative, experimental, and inventive in its technique or ideology B movie low-budget, sometimes a companion to high-budget Baroque extravagant, complex art from europe Bauhaus influenced modern art. emphasizes materials and functions over traditional art school methodologies Beat nontraditional forms, rejection of conventional social values Belle Epoque Pre WWI French ideal for optimism, peace, and innovations in science and technology Ben-Day dots CMYK colors used to create shading and secondary colors in printing Biomorphic abstract forms or images that look like living things Bird’s eye view perspective of a scene from above, as if seen from a bird Black black, like any color chosen, colors the item in that color Blender / render / unreal engine / unreal engine 5 / octanerender / octane render / octane realistic 3D renders with any of these prompts Block print technique in which a relief image is carved into a block, inked, and pressed onto a surface to transfer the image Blurry not clearly visible Brocade heavy fabric interwoven with a rich, raised design Brushwork forces a painted look, should be combined with type of brushwork eg fan, fine, etc Built environment Human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity Byzantine Stylized imagery over naturalistic depictions to inspire admiration for the christian church Calligraphy Decorative lettering Canon considered representative of a particular artistic genre or style Card thick stiff paper or thin pasteboard Caricature drawing of typically a person with exaggerated features meant to satirize the subject Cartes-de-visite (CdV) Trading cards from the 1800's Celluloid first tough, flexible, and moldable synthetic plastic material from 1800s Censorship Examining material to remove or suppress objections Ceramics made of clay hardened by heat Charcoal produces an interplay between light and shadow known as chiaroscuro Chibi style of cute caricature originating in Japan, and common in anime and manga where characters are drawn in an exaggerated way, typically small and chubby with stubby limbs, oversized heads, and minimal detail. Chine colle french technique, glued thin chinese paper process creates a subtle, delicate backdrop to the printed image Choreography arranging dances Chromogenic ability of a substance to produce color Cinematographe 1800’s non electric motion picture aesthetic Cinematic motion picture themed and lighting effects like bounced, diffused, and color adjusted light Cityscape urban scenery as its primary focus Classicism ancient greek and roman artistic embodiments Clever superficially skillful Cloth flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers Collage arranged materials affixed to a supporting surface Color (complementary, warm, cool, local, relative, blue, etc) one of the primary ways we perceive and experience the world and can be described in terms of hue, saturation, and brightness and represented in various ways (single color, gradient, theory, etc) Color Field large areas of color, typically with no strong contrasts of tone or obvious focus of attention Coloring book outlines or drawings of images that can be colored Copper copper as the primary medium Comic sequential art encompassing a wide range of artistic styles and techniques Composition (gestalt, figure-ground relationship, rule of thirds, dynamic symmetry, golden mean/fibonacci nubmers, steelyard, balanced scales, circle, s, triangle, cross, radiating line, tunnel, etc) way in which elements of art, such as line, shape, color, balance, unity, contrast, texture, and other design principles are arranged Concentric having a common center Conceptual the idea or concept being expressed, rather than on the traditional visual elements of art, such as form, color, and composition
“The idea itself, even if not made visual, is as much a work of art as any finished product.” —
Sol LeWitt Construct formed or constructed from parts Constructivism early 1900’s russian post-revolution ideal aimed at stripping emotion to enable greater social utilitarian purpose Contour outline Contrast variability in tonality Cor-Ten steel steel alloy that develops a rust-like appearance Costume what a figure is wearing Close crop removing outer edges of an image Cross-hatching shade a drawing with intersecting sets of parallel lines Cubism geometric planes and compressed space fragmentating traditional subjects like nudes, landscapes, and still lifes Cultural icon widely recognized or culturally significant person, symbol, object, or place Cute appealing, endearing Cyberpunk cyberpunk aesthetic combining 40s film noir fashion, 90s gothic style, military uniforms and gear, and futuristic cybernetic details Cybernetic builds upon the legacy of cybernetics, like automatic control systems in machines and living things Dada anti modern media & machine/tech culture, characterized by exposure of conventions of order and logic through use of chance, spontaneity, and irreverence Daguerreotype 1800s direct positive photography technique using silver or silver-coated-copper in a camera obscura Dark fantasy disturbing and frightening themes of fantasy De Stijl (The Style) stripped-down formal vocabulary principally consisting of straight lines, rectangular planes, and primary color Decorative / exquisite / ornamentation ornamental objects Decorative arts unique, ornamental, handcrafted, useful objects Deep focus technique where all parts of the image, including the foreground, middleground, and background, are in sharp focus Design doc / diagrammatic drawing technical specs,explain how something works or clarify the relationships between parts of a whole Designer unique, luxurious, high quality, haute couture, etc Die Brücke (the Bridge) simplified or distorted forms and unusually strong, unnatural colors. birth of expressionism Digital made with a computer Diptych two sections Direct positive photograph made by exposing a surface to light and developing it without using a negative, chemically treated to imitate the tonal range of nature. Documentary film nonfiction films that aim to accurately depict some aspect of reality Documentary photography genre of photography that objectively documents a subject or event Double exposure photography and filmmaking technique where film is exposed twice to merge two images in a single frame Dramatic sudden and striking Drawing made with pencil, pen, crayon, charcoal, or other materials, often featuring lines and marks Drip form of abstract art in which paint is dripped or poured on Drypoint intaglio printmaking technique that produces sharp lines with velvety, fuzzy edges. Drybrush achieves a blurred or softer painted aesthetic Dynamic symmetry composition theory geometrically designed to promote continuity, flow, rhythm and balance Earthwork / land art / landscape manipulation of the natural landscape École des Beaux-Arts french art schools based on ancient Greek or Roman forms Electronic operates with the aid of many small components like microchips and transistors that control and direct an electric current Elevation scale drawing Embroidery / needlework decorating with yarn or thread materials using needlework Emulsion combination of liquids that don’t blend easily Enamel smooth glossy paint Establishing shot film shot setting context by showing important figures and objects Etching intaglio printmaking technique that makes thin, fluid, graceful, serpentine, tight and scratchy lines Expressionism styled to emphasize intense personal expression, sometimes with clashing colors Extreme close up (ECU) intense version of a close-up shot Extreme long shot scene shot from far away Extreme wide shot shows the subjects surroundings Fabric / textile material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn Facade public facing side of a building, often with decorative finishes Fantasy inspired by 20th century fantasy literature and includes symbolism from victorian era, pre-raphaelites, golden age of illustration, and surrealism Fauvism strong vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes Fibre made of rope, knotting, rug, etc Figurative representing form or figure Film related to film, motion pictures, movies, etc Fine detail exactly or sharply defined Fish eye lens produces strong visual distortion to create a wide panoramic or hemispherical image Flat simple design and color choices Flat design simple design and color choices in a vector illustration style, popularized with the mobile app boom of the early 2000s Font design term to style lettering or typeface weight and size variations Foreground appears closest to viewer Forced perspective optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller Form shape or structure of an object Formal official, suitable, done in accordance with rules of convention or etiquette Found object manufactured or natural object not originally designed to be artistic, but is now artistic Framing edging or framing for art Full shot shot showing subject in environment Futurism early 1900’s celebration of modern technology with fragmented forms evoking energy and violent dynamism Gelatin silver late 1800’s black-and-white photographic print making technique that uses silver gelatin Genre having specific form Geometric using simple rectilinear or curvilinear lines from geometry Gestalt organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts, similar elements are visually grouped, regardless of their proximity to each other Gesture laying in of the action, form, and pose of a model / figure, typically series of poses Glitch digital or analog errors for aesthetic purposes Global Illumination adds more realistic lighting to a 3d scene Glow gives off its own steady radiance of light God adds divine masculine qualities God ray(s) crepuscular rays are sunbeams that originate when the Sun is just below the horizon, and are noticable when shining through cracks and dust Goddess adds divine feminine qualities Golden mean desirable greek middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities Gouache like an opaque watercolor, its a water-based matte paint Gradient gradual blending from one color to another Graffiti usually public facing and done without permission, similar to street art but often incorporates large lettering or decorative script Graphic strong use of line and tone Graphite form of carbon and leaves a shiny metallic gray color on a surface Greek art from ancient greece involving naturalistic idealized depictions Grotesque ludicrous, repulsive, incongruous, ugly, outlandish, bizarre, distorted aesthetic Halftone converting images into a series of dots Hardboard compressed wood pulp boards Harlem Renaissance african art and contemporary themes HDR high dynamic range enables extreme contrasts and details Hieroglyphics egyptian stylized pictographic communication system High angle (shot) looking down on the subject from above High quality very good Hologram Interference image formed by coherent light Holographic / iridescent reflecting, shimmering, iridescent Horizon line shows where land and sky meet Horror meant to provoke fear and revulsion with monsters, grotesque images, blood, gore, etc Hue gradiation of color, shade or tint Iconic important, enduring, object of great attention or devotion Iconography symbolic artistic representation Idol object of excessive worship or adoration Illuminate make visible or bright by shining light on it; light up Illuminated manuscript intricate precious metal paintings in hand written books Illusion unreal, deceptive, misleading Illustration visual interpretation of a concept Impasto thickly laid on paint, sometimes using a palette knife, so marks are visible Impressionism captures transient sunlight, rapid broken color dabs Improvisation made with little or no preperation In situ / setting in the situation where it belongs Inclined plane flat slanting surface Industrial Design aesthetic concerned with manufactured consumer objects Information age shift towards digital technology in the late 1900s Infographic graphical representation of data designed for quick understanding Installation art invites engagement with the environment Institutional defining something art makes it art Intaglio encompasses multiple metal-plate printmaking techniques including etching, drypoint, engraving, aquatint, mezzotint, etc. Interaction Design process of designing artifacts, typically digital, to be interacted with by sentient creatures, probably humans Interior Design focusing on functional and aesthetic aspects of indoor spaces Intricate (intricately detailed) very detailed, complicated Isometric three-dimensional object representation via isometric projection Japanese ink delicate black ink brushstrokes, simplicity and use of negative space Jazz age early 1900’s american jazz and the pursuit of social pleasures Jewel uses precious stones and jewels Juxtaposition close together for comparison or contrast Kawaii japanese cuteness Kinetic depends on or depicts motion Kintsugi japanense art of mending broken objects with gold lacquer Lacquer various coatings that dry to form a film Lacquerware japanese art of coating an object Latin artistic traditions that developed in Mesoamerica, Central America, and South America after contact with the Spanish and the Portuguese Leather leathercrafting uses molding, dyeing, carving, stamping, and fabrication techniques on the skins of animals Light source of illumination or a reflection within a composition that can be any color and creates shadows Line uses long narrow marks or bands Lithography printmaking with oily pastels or tusche Logo symbol used to identify an organization or product Long shot filmmaking term used to place objects in relation to its surroundings Low angle cinematography term angling the camera up from a low angle Mandala sacred buddhist and hindu art form sybolizing the universe Manga whimsical japanese pictures, typically for comics published in japan Matte dull flat non-glossy color with no shine Maximalism aesthetic of excess Mecha large armored robot in manga usually controlled by a human Metal bronze, gold, tin, lead, copper, aluminum, silver, etc Melodrama exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, interpersonal conflicts Metaphysical transcending physical matter or nature’s laws Mexican muralist early 1900’s mexican muralist movement with political and social messaging Mid-century modern natural materials like wood, leather, and glass, appears lighter and less cluttered, large flat planes, open spaces, etc Minimalism simple geometric forms devoid of representational content Mixed media multiple artistic medias Model detailed three-dimensional representation Modern typically monochromatic, clean lines, minimalism, natural materials and light Monochrome rendered in one color Montage assembly of images that relate to each other to create a single vision Mood emotion, state of mind Mosaic made of small pieces of colored stone, glass, ceramic, etc Motif distinctive often recurring feature, found in tropes Mural large painting often on a wall or ceiling Muse guiding spirit inspiring artists Narrative account of an event Nastaliq calligraphy for persion, urdu, and malay manuscripts Naturalism adherence to nature Negative (photographic) reversed tones from photographic film Neo-impressionism more measured, less spontaneous than impressionism with more vibrant colors Neoclassical grandeur form of classical greek and roman art Neon utilizes neon lights to create forms Obelisk tall 4-sided monument tapering into a pyramid-like form Oil Paint painted with pigment suspended in oil, which dries on exposure to air Old Master distinguised european artist from 1500–1700, like Michelangelo One-line illustration / drawing (drawing is less digital) simplistic line drawing Op art abstract optical illusions that appear to move Opaque light cannot pass through Open forms everything points out beyond itself, looking limitless Origami japanese paper folding art Organic biological or organic characteristics Painting two dimensional caputre of an idea using pigments Palette (warm, cool, monochromatic, analogous, complementary, split complementary, triadic, square, rectangle, etc) examples of color palette not set, warm palette, and cool palette Palette Knife technique involves loading the tip of the knife in thick paint (usually some kind of vivid color) and then dabbing it onto the painting Panel flat board Panning pivot camera along horizontal plane Panorama view of surrounding area Paper cut craft art of cutting paper Paper quilling rolled, shaped, and glued strips of paper Paranoiac critical method creative process for the exploration of the creative potential of dream imagery and subconscious thoughts, irrational knowledge based on a delirium of interpretation, it makes the world of delirium pass onto the plane of reality, by simulating paranoia one can systematically undermine one’s rational view of the world, which becomes continually subjected to associative transformations — interview on video
“Presentation by Dalí
Paranoia and critical
The method is based on a “faculty” that only some have, that of being inhabited by “associations and delusional interpretations”. This is the ” paranoia ” part of the method. Whether in the framework of an authentic delusion or that of an ordinary fantasy, the extravagant ideas at the origin of the work are organized in a structure. It is this structure, specific to what is the theme of an obsession, “objective”, and not the subjective thought of the artist, which systematically generates and links the images from one and several obsessive ideas.
However, these images of obsessive ideas will “be objectified a priori by the critical intervention “, that is to say, thanks to distant reflection, the eye of the artist. This is the “critical” part of the method. The role of the artist is to be receptive to these “associations” of images and to understand the system that associates them, “interpret” their meaning, to organize them into a work.”
source Pastel soft delicate color shades Patchwork joined pieces or patches of fabric Pattern compositional elements that repeat in predictable way Persona assumed public facing role, as opposed to the inner self Photogram type of photographic print Photograph image recorded by exposing a photosensitive surface to light Photogravure photo negative transferred onto a copper plate Photojournalism news story told with photographs Photorealism reproducing a photograph in other mediums as closely as possible Photoshoot the act of planning and taking a photograph Pigment / color color Pixel art simplistic digital art style using individual pixels as building blocks, often with no anti-aliasing, smaller blocks than 8bit or voxels typically Pixel sorting glitchy effect which selectively orders the pixels in the rows/columns of an image Plan diagram showing structure or organization of object(s) Plastic malleable moldable materials Pliable capable of being shaped, bent, stretched, etc Plywood thin layers of wood heated and glued together Point-of-view shot shows what the character is looking at Pointillism image made up of small dots of color Polaroid type of camera print instantly produced after each exposure Polyethylene common form of tough, light, flexible synthetic plastic commonly used in bags and other packaging Pop art ironic and critical mid 1900’s art based on popular culture and mass media Porcelain hard white translucent ceramic Post-impressionism emotional and psychological responses to the world through bold expressive color and symbols Postmodernism anti-authoritarianism, deliberate mix of different styles Precisionism abstracted forms, crisp contours, static composition Primary color red blue yellow green (yellow is for pigment, green is for light) Print art transferred to paper, can be used for multiple copies Profile side view Propaganda systemic widespread dissemination of ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. often used for deception or distortion Proportion harmonious relations of parts to others and or the whole Prototype preliminary model of something Psychedelic distorted surreal visuals, bright colors and full spectrums PVC pipe created with polyvinyl chloride plastic pipes (pvc plastic is often used in clothing, upholstery, electrical cable insulation and inflatable items) Readymade found and declared as ‘art’ by an ‘artist’ Realism representing something acurately Relic object surviving from a historical or sentimental time Renaissance revival of classical arts in europe in the 1500s Rococo elaborate ornamentation including scrolls, foliage, and animals Romanticism Rule of thirds layout the composition into thirds using two horizontal and vertical lines Rural crafts traditional crafts for practical use, typically in the agricultural countryside Satire humor, irony, riducule or caricature to expose or criticize something Scan lines line, or row, in a raster scanning pattern, such as a line of video on a cathode ray tube (CRT) display Scene setting for part of a story Scifi highly imaginative and futuristic Screenprint stencil based prints Sculpture 3d work made of carved wood, chiseled stone, casting, welding metal, molding clay or wax, assembling materials, etc Secondary color color made by mixing primary colors Selective focusing contrasting in focus subject with blurred elements Shade a color plus black Shape (spiral, zizag, circle, triangle, curve, diagonal) Silhouette dark shape and outline Site-specific art designed for a specific location Sketch loosely defined compositional elements Sparkle flashes of light Special effect visual tricks or illusions to simulate imagined events Splatter splattered paint is spontaneous, improvisational Stain spilled liquid Stained glass colored glass creates colored light Steel silvery look similar to aluminum and chrome but more industrial and not as shiny Stencil used to reproduce images by applying pigment to a surface with holes cut out Sticker die cut sticker effect Still life inanimate objects, like a bowl of fruit Stone made of hard solid nonmetallic minerals Street art but usually public facing, similar to graffiti but done with permission without incorporating lettering Street photography candid moments in public places Strobe fast bursts of light, may be used to illuminate moving subjects Style / type distinctive manner of expression, this post is filled with examples of styles Stylized conform to highly artistic style Subconscious (in technical use, Unconscious) mind not subject to perception or control, but still affect conscious thoughts and actions Subject matter the focus of the work Sublime awe-inspiring, greatness beyond measure Subsurface Scattering light penetrates the objects surface and reflect inside before exiting Suprematism colored floating geometric shapes Superrealism reproducing a photograph in other mediums with a little bit of surrealism Surreal / surrealism / unreal unconsciousness expressed consciously Symbol / symbolism ideas expressed with marks Synthetic materials produced by chemical synthesis instead of naturally occurring, ex: plastics Tarot from trionfri, 15th century european 15th-century Italian playing cards with allegorical content featuring the personification of a place or abstraction Tactile touchable Tattoo inked body skini Technique method employed to produce an artifact, prompt should be paired with appropriate techniques (examples in wood carving would be: chip carving, relief carving, chainsaw carving, whittling, etc) Techno futuristic, lights, electronic Tempera long lasting type of paint made with pigments in a water-soluble binding medium like egg yolk Tension strained, stretched Texture feeling or appearance of a surface or substance, examples include rough, smooth, sharp, bumpy, etc The New Art modern version of art nouveau emphasizing unity and intense sensory stimuli of the modern city Tilt shift photography lens with shifted optics alters perspective to give a miniature effect Tint color plus white, increases lightness Tone grey added to color to darken the hue Translucent light passes through Triptych composed on three sections or panels Trippy op art and psychedelic art united Trope figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression, similar recurring theme similar to motif Typeface / typography design of lettering Ukiyo-e japanese woodblock and painting techniques from 17–19th century Unreal engine / unreal engine 5 / octanerender / octane render / octane similar to render but more scenery, lighting, and effects Value lightness or darkness of a color / hue Vantage point enables interesting perspectives within the landscape Vaudeville pre-radio and film live shows and comedic entertainment Vector non-rasterized computer graphics from geometric shapes defined on a cartesian plane, such as points, lines, curves and polygons Vibrant high-chroma, intensely saturated colors Viewpoint composed as if being observed, often with vignetting Vignette darkening of the edges to frame the work Virtuosity captivating personal style and skill Viscosity thickness of a liquid Voxel value in 3d space, similar to a pixel in 2d space, similar to 8bit but less video game themed Watercolor painting medium with a luminous transparency Wax-print cotton printed fabric Weld / welded joined metal White lightest color with no hue, opposite of black Wide shot typically shows the entire subject, intended to place them in their surroundings Woodcut prints from carved wood done by hand Works Progress Administration / WPA mid 1900’s unemployment relief that included artists during american great depression Zero Group mid 1900 german avante garde movement Ziggurat terraced pyramid Zoetrope spinning device that creates the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of static images in rapid succession Zoom shot closer to the subject Bonus ChatGPT A.I. Quick Hacks Poetry prompts: Stanza = a set amount of lines in poetry grouped together by their length, meter or rhyme scheme. Couplet = a two-line stanza. Tercet = a three-line stanza. Quatrain = a four-line stanza. Cinquain = a five-line stanza. Sestet = a six-line stanza. Meter = the pattern of stressed syllables (long-sounding) and unstressed syllables (short-sounding) in poetry. Rhyme scheme = the pattern of rhyme that comes at the end of each line or verse. Syllable = the single, unbroken sound of a spoken or written word.