AI Art Lessons: Setting the Scene

Nicholas Ptacek
17 min readAug 3, 2022

Generative AI Art tools like DALL-E are about to usher in a new paradigm for the world of design. Here’s one workflow to explore as you get started on your AI art journey.

Creating great-looking art using AI tools like DALL-E is nearly effortless, as long as you don’t really care what the output looks like ahead of time. It can be as simple as asking for “Award winning painting, “Neon Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. Award winning digital art” and boom, you get something that looks like this:

Award winning painting, “Neon Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. Award winning digital art

If we want to create more complicated scenes, it’s not as easy as just describing the scene as we want it to look — that can quickly overwhelm DALL-E with too many specific details, leading to complicated pieces that leave something to be desired when it comes to the final composition.

Co-Creating a Piece of AI Art, Step-By-Step

In order to build a scene that both looks good and maintains internal cohesion with the artist’s vision, we need to build a prompt that reinforces the aspects of the piece that we want DALL-E to focus on. Think of the canvas as a little world you create from scratch, using your prompt to craft the scaffold for the virtual scenery.

You control every aspect of the scene, so think like a virtual movie director: what type of lighting does your scene have? What type of color palette? Architectural theme? Mood? Style?

You can request specific thematic elements from movies, games, and traditional art, along with real-world specifications like focal length, media type, location, camera placement, and mood. Resources like the List of Aesthetics can help set the scene.

If you can think of it, and fill in enough details to make it sound natural, DALL-E will just roll with it:

Tell DALL-E it’s a hovering drone camera, and the output takes on an overhead angle. By combining multiple styles into a single prompt, we can get an end product that’s evocative and still tells a story.

Setting the Scene: Size and Scale

Let’s start by setting a scene. I enjoy evocative art pieces, especially ones that can help provide a bit of calm in this busy world, so that’s the vibe I’m going to go for as a starting point; it will naturally influence the overall mood of the piece as a result.

Here’s a good starter prompt:

A dark empty room. Photorealistic view from windows of spring
garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning studio
photography by DALL-E

A dark empty room. Photorealistic view from windows of spring
garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning studio
photography by DALL-E

We can play with the proportions of the room by specifying the size as vast:

A vast dark empty room. Photorealistic view from windows of
spring garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning
studio photography by DALL-E

A vast dark empty room. Photorealistic view from windows of
spring garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning
studio photography by DALL-E

I’m envisioning something really open:

An enormous dark empty room. Photorealistic view from
windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene.
Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

An enormous dark empty room. Photorealistic view from
windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene.
Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

This is our own little creative world, so we can change things up as we see fit.

I’ve always dreamt of a loft workshop:

A dark empty enormous loft workshop. Photorealistic view
from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the
scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

A dark empty enormous loft workshop. Photorealistic view
from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the
scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

That’s nice and open, but for this piece I want the vibe to be one more focused on art…let’s change it to a creative workspace instead:

A dark empty enormous loft artist workspace. Photorealistic
view from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the
scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

A dark empty enormous loft artist workspace. Photorealistic
view from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the
scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

That prompt got the vibe right, but it messed with the sense of scale and proportion…can we reword it to put the focus back on the openness of the overall space?

The answer is yes!

Setting the Scene: Elements of Focus

It turns out that word placement and proximity within the prompt structure matters a great deal when it comes to the final composition. Simply moving the placement of the words over by a few characters can have a huge impact on the perceived focus of the piece from DALL-E’s point of view, and these changes can influence a piece in subtle ways that really add to the overall magic.

Change the prompt to:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a digital artist.
Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing
only light in the scene. Award winning studio photography by
DALL-E

This keeps the focus on the loft itself, and also goes to show that DALL-E was reading the previous prompt as a “loft artist” workspace, i.e. focusing on a blended concept due to my choice of word placement.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a digital artist.
Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing
only light in the scene. Award winning studio photography by
DALL-E

Understanding the power of word placement, repetition, and thematic reinforcement within a prompt is key to creating beautiful AI Art while still being able to maintain creative control over the final piece to a large degree.

Setting the Scene: Stacking Themes

To create beautiful, natural looking AI Art, you need to stack themes and reinforce them throughout the prompt. Clever wordplay and turns of phrase can make a huge difference when working within the 400-character limit for DALL-E prompts, and there is a vast area of exploration to be had within the Unicode character set.

Changing our prompt to:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a digital artist witch
practicing the arts of cybermagic. Photorealistic view from
windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene.
Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a digital artist witch
practicing the arts of cybermagic. Photorealistic view from
windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene.
Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

By stacking together two themes, we get a subtle witchy vibe to our scene.

Personally, I’d like a bit more of a witchy theme going on here. And just like before, we can use the word placement in our prompt to subtly influence DALL-E’s focus and interpretation. This is incredibly tricky in practice, and very much a learn-as-you-go type thing, because as you change the word placement you change the prompt structure itself – finding the right balance in your prompt wording so the focus of the piece remains true to your artistic vision is an art in and of itself!

Change the prompt to:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. Photorealistic view from
windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene.
Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

And the influence shifts from more of a digital-artist-who-happens-to-be-a-lil-witchy vibe to a witch-who-happens-to-be-a-digital-artist vibe. The difference might sound subtly when worded in text, but check out the effect it has on the scene!

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. Photorealistic view from
windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene.
Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

One of the most interesting aspects of DALL-E is the possibility for prompt optimization, and there are a number of us slowly mapping out prompts that provide exceptionally good output on a reliable basis, and which can act as frameworks for further exploration and artistic creation.

Setting the Scene: Working with a Prompt in Flux

Slight changes to the scene can have a huge impact on the final piece — I wanted to include a tiny element to the scene with this prompt change, but it totally changed the vibe of the entire piece:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her familiar floats serenely
in the room, glowing with phosphorescent rainbow light.
Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her familiar floats serenely
in the room, glowing with phosphorescent rainbow light.
Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

Hmm…so as pretty as that output is, it appears DALL-E misinterpreted what I meant by “familiar,” so let’s try rephrasing the prompt:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. The witch’s familiar is a
rainbow-haired cat. The familiar is fast asleep floating in
midair. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. The witch’s familiar is a
rainbow-haired cat. The familiar is fast asleep floating in
midair. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing only light in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

Well, we have a cat this time, but it’s not floating. This part of the process feels a bit like debugging code.

Sometimes you get lucky and come up with something that works brilliantly, but you have to get DALL-E to believe it would make sense in context. Clearly I didn’t try hard enough here:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. The digital artist’s pet cat
has antigravity boots. Photorealistic view from windows of
spring garden, providing the only lighting in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist
practicing the arts of cybermagic. The digital artist’s pet cat
has antigravity boots. Photorealistic view from windows of
spring garden, providing the only lighting in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

I mean, maybe the anti-gravity boots work and the just doesn’t care. That would be very catlike behavior.

Setting the Scene: Taking Behavior Into Account

When you tell DALL-E that something is happening in a scene, it makes its best guess as far as what you want, as seen with this prompt:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing
the arts of cybermagic. The cat hovers in midair, suspended by the power
of the witch’s magic cyberspell. Photorealistic view from windows of
spring garden, providing the only lighting in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing
the arts of cybermagic. The cat hovers in midair, suspended by the power
of the witch’s magic cyberspell. Photorealistic view from windows of
spring garden, providing the only lighting in the scene. Award winning studio photography by DALL-E

According to our prompt, the cat is in midair, and from DALL-E’s point of view, a cat sitting on a desk counts as midair, a view that’s reinforced by the fact that that’s totally normal catlike behavior. It wasn’t what we were asking for, but it was much more in line with what DALL-E considers something normal and expected to be found within the framework of the creative context we’ve provided.

Setting the Scene: Evoking Feelings

We have control over the atmosphere of the scene, and can style the request so that DALL-E create a piece that evokes specific emotions.

Change the prompt to:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Designed to evoke a feeling of wonder and awe

And we can see how DALL-E adds subtle effects to the overall composition of the piece.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Designed to evoke a feeling of wonder and awe

Setting the Scene: Adding Motifs

We can add whole swathes of visual cues at once by taking advantage of media references like so:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Blade Runner motifs throughout

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Blade Runner motifs throughout

This is an easy way to adopt entire stylistic themes and elements in one go, while maximizing use of prompt space. It’s possible to remix and mashup themes from a wide variety of sources that DALL-E is aware of, and even possible to bring themes out in a piece without referencing them directly simply by stacking the correct styles in the prompt.

Tron motif Prompt:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Tron motifs throughout

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Tron motifs throughout

Vaporwave motif Prompt:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Vaporwave motifs throughout

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Vaporwave motifs throughout

Cybermagic motif prompt:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Cybermagic motifs throughout

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Cybermagic motifs throughout

Introspective motif prompt:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Introspective motifs throughout

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. Introspective motifs throughout

Setting the Scene: Requesting Specific Items

It can sometimes be hard to get the exact vibe you’re going for, and I’ve found it helpful to ask for specific items that can be representative of larger concepts.

I wanted to show that the witch was a bit messy and gets so lost in her works of creativity that the mundane tasks can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

How can we phrase our prompt and get something like this?

Let’s give it a try…

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. The witch needs to pick up her 📚 and laundry. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. The witch needs to pick up her 📚 and laundry. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

Well, the room is a bit more cluttered, but it’s still pretty orderly looking. Let’s try and refine the prompt further:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. A basket of dirty laundry in the corner. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. A basket of dirty laundry in the corner. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

That’s the look I was going for!

Finding the specific prompt that generates the exact effect we want feels a bit like deciphering an unknown language, except you get to use the medium of art as a Rosetta stone to gain insight into DALL-E’s interpretation of it’s input. It’s an absolutely fascinating puzzle, and one that I think will be part of the lasting appeal of co-creating art with DALL-E — it feels like solving a really satisfying puzzle when the prompt finally clicks.

Setting the Scene: Digital Decorations

If we want to refine the style of our scene, we can reinforce part of the original prompt and expand on our witch’s personality even further –– this added dimension allows DALL-E to extrapolate an appropriate look for our witch’s elegant taste profile:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. The witch likes elegant beauty. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. The witch likes elegant beauty. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

Setting the Scene: Musical Vibes

We can further set the scene by adding a musical dimension to the piece. While we might not be able to hear the music playing, we can see it’s subtle influence through visual cues:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Triphop music plays quietly in the background. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Triphop music plays quietly in the background. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

Trance music prompt:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Trance music plays quietly in the background. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Trance music plays quietly in the background. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

Setting the Scene: Specifying a Purpose

We can specify the purpose of our virtual scene, by describing it as a place where art is created:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is where the witch goes to create her art.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is where the witch goes to create her art.

Since we’re reinforcing the concept of “art” in this updated prompt, it has the added effect of providing more of a painting look to the finished image.

As a source of deep magical insight:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her deep magical insight.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her deep magical insight.

Setting the Scene: Using Emoji

Remember when I said we could make use of Unicode characters in our prompts? Well, Emoji are part of the unicode character set, and they provide a really intuitive framework to reinforce singular concepts in our prompts, especially when we run out of room and need to get an idea across in as few characters as possible. Bird app aficionados understand this feeling well.

Here, we’ll ask for a cityscape at dusk motif:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Motifs: 🌆

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Motifs: 🌆

Night with stars emoji motif:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Motifs: 🌃

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Motifs: 🌃

Adding a fireworks motif gives the magic spell a little extra flourish:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Motifs: 🎆

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Motifs: 🎆

Setting the Scene: Weather Effects

We can change the weather of the scene using emoji:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Weather: 🌪

Note how the curtains are blowing, and the weather looks outside the windows matches the prompt. I absolutely love the atmosphere evoked here.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. Her magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene. This is the source of her magic. Weather: 🌪

Setting the Scene: Paying Homage to Influences

One of the things I love most about DALL-E is its ability to help seamlessly blend unique combinations of aesthetic influences into a finished piece. During the creation of this tutorial, I was thinking about some of my favorite creators and artistic influences, especially @crypto_coven and all the web3 witches I’ve met in this space over the past year. Paying homage to our heroes is one of the paths of continuity in the artistic world, one that remains alive and well in the age of AI-assisted Art.

And sometimes, paying homage to our influences makes all the difference.

I still felt that DALL-E’s output was missing something, and thought more about the type of witch who I was envisioning in my mind. I decided that she would be an oscilloscope artist like Kate the Cursed, who makes some of the most unique art I’ve ever seen:

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. A neon oscilloscope sits in the corner. The witch’s magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. A neon oscilloscope sits in the corner. The witch’s magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

There comes a certain point in the generative act of creation with AI Art where you know any further tweaks to the prompt will take away from rather than add to the final product, and it’s time to stop, and share the piece with the world.

A dark empty enormous loft workspace for a witch digital artist practicing the arts of cybermagic. A neon oscilloscope sits in the corner. The witch’s magical spell surrounds a glowing crystal floating in midair. The focus is on the overall evocative feeling of the creative space of a digital artist. Photorealistic view from windows of spring garden, providing the only other lighting in the scene.

I’m really satisfied with how this particular piece turned out, and I think it’s time I let you in on a little secret:

I’ll bet you didn’t even notice, but we took off the “award winning art” training wheels about halfway through the tutorial. Once you construct a scaffold prompt and start filling in the details like you’ve been learning to do throughout the course of this tutorial, you’ll learn how to phrase a prompt that holds up on its own, without the need to specify that it’s “good” art outright.

I hope you’ve enjoyed following along with this tutorial, and that it inspires you to start experimenting with AI art. I’ve found the following resources to be helpful during my own experiments and explorations, and highly recommend exploring them thoroughly:

Essential resources for your AI art journey

DALL•E 2 Waitlist Signup

DALL•E 2 Prompt Engineering Guide

Clip Prompt Engineering for Generative Art

DALL•E 2 Image Database

List of Aesthetics

Unicode Search

The Most Famous Art Movements and Styles

Nicholas Ptacek is a veteran writer and technologist, with close to 20 years of experience in the cybersecurity industry building award-winning computer security software. His work has been featured extensively in print and news media, including CNNMoney, Macworld, and MacDirectory magazine, along with numerous press appearances in publications including The Information and Vice.

Nicholas has been documenting his journey as he co-creates art with GPT-3 and DALL-E. You can follow his AI experiments on Twitter at: @nptacek

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