A.I. Art for Summer 2023

It seems like every day brings the announcement of another A.I. art service and/or another A.I. writing service. And owing to my recent Great Aussie Adventure and busy summer, I was already weeks behind in keeping up with these and MidJourney changes. So many things to catch up on! This is my exploration of and lessons learned in A.I. art for Summer 2023. Click the images below to see a bigger version. For people using smaller devices, please note that this is an image-heavy post.

So far, none of the startups that I've run across can match the generally pleasing results of MidJourney (MJ). Because of the rapid changes, I'm lagging in prompting skills. Prompts that created pleasing images in the previous version are behaving badly and require a lot of fiddling to fix them. On the other hand, MidJourney introduced fabulous new panning and zoom-out features, which are vastly entertaining and useful. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I learn from reading the prompts by others and seeing their results, which is why I share my prompts with you below.

Of the other AI art services I've tested, NightCafé is the most improved, but is about two generations behind MidJouney. NightCafé still produces too high a percentage of perplexing results. However, you should the others for yourself because this is all completely subjective.

MidJourney A.I. Art for Summer

See the captions for the prompts I used and notes on each.

Panning and Zooming

MJ's panning feature tells it to pan up, down, left, or right and extend the image in that direction. Zooming out by 1.5 or 2 makes the initial image smaller, then generates more content all around the edges. These features are very helpful when MJ's original image is only part of the subject, e.g., a table, that you wanted it to create all of. Neither feature is reliable yet; I'd say about 15% of the time, the new images are failures. And sometimes the new extended parts look like they came from some other prompt, but that happens to me regularly anyway. 

Here's an example of a successful zoom-out of one of my favorite subjects, a starship. 

Illustration of an orange starship on a grey landscape background, generated by MidJourneyIllustration of an orange spaceship on an ominous gray landscape, generated by MidJourneyAbstract illustration of a rainforest, generated by MidJourney
Prompt: Surreal minimalism, fusion oil and watercolor, a scifi spaceship –no saucers, astronaut 
NOTE: This is the original starship image. The ship is all in frame, but just barely.
Prompt: Surreal minimalism, fusion oil and watercolor, a scifi spaceship –no saucers, astronaut
NOTE: The same starship, zoomed out by 2. The new parts added by MJ provide context and complexity. MJ also lets you change a setting so you can tweak your prompt on the zoom out. I haven't played with it much yet.
Prompt: isolated, minimalist abstract Australian indigenous painting of the rainforest, dark greens, fig greens, golden yellows, white background, shadow blue –no drips, splatters, canvas, furniture
NOTE: The original image was just the center part where the dark trees are. By panning left, then right, I got MJ to give me more foliage and such to make a nice spot illustration.

Illustrations and Paintings

It's sometimes a roll of the 24-sided dice as to whether I can translate the vision in my mind to a prompt that is even in the ballpark of what I want. I've learned to accept the success when they appear and save the naughty prompt for another day.

Abstract silhouette illustration of 4 cats, generated by MidJourneyIllustration of a portly, green-and-tan colored fantasy dog.Illustration of a fantasy wolf in the clouds, generated by MidJourney
Prompt: flat vector image, black and white silhouette isolated, dogs, cats, logo, minimalist –no people, watermark, shadow, shade, trees 
NOTE: I quite like this illustration of cats and dogs. MJ is sometimes unclear on the requirements for a silhouette, and it can't resist adding colors even when you tell it you don't want any. 
Prompt: [friendly gargoyle-rottweiler hybrid character], ink and watercolors, realistic fantasy illustration, beautiful detail, charcoal grey and lichen green, white background, isolated, petcore –no wings
NOTE: I keep trying to make a realistic living gargoyle illustration. This one definitely isn't what I was looking for, but this beastie has a certain charm.
Prompt: watercolor illustration, isolated double exposure of an abstract leaping cobalt wolf god with a neon blue glow and the night sky, high detail, twilight red clouds, celestialpunk, aurorapunk, white background –no people, splatter, drips, –ar 16:9
NOTE: Another image that's in my head but that I can't figure out how to describe to MJ. Nonetheless, I like this image for some purpose I have yet to discover.

Abstract illustration of an Australian landscape in modern indigenous painting style, generated by MidJourneyScifi illustration of a high-tech metal donut-shaped deviceFantasy illustration of an open book as the basis for a fantasy city with stars above, generated by MidJourney
Prompt: isolated, abstract Australian indigenous dot painting of the female python Kuniya at Uluru, dark reds, sunset oranges, bronzes, white background, acrylic, sky blue –no people, drips, splatters, canvas, furniture 
NOTE: I created this as an accent illustration for one of my posts about my trip to Australia. I liked it, but ended up using the more subtle rainforest illustration above instead.
Prompt: digital painting, isolated round balanced split circle of futuristic sci-fi and urban fantasy concepts, white background, balanced, spacecore, fantasypunk –no people, astronaut, person, splatters, drips
NOTE: This is one of those surprises that I just rolled with. Very little in the prompt would have suggested I'd get a donut-shaped high-tech device.
Prompt: shadow box, open book, stars spaceships planets, simple, minimalist, shiny metallic and subtle glow
NOTE: This was a repeat of a prompt I used in a much earlier version of MJ. The results are different but just as fun. 

Illustration of a logo with two black cats in silhouette with a crown above and stars below, generated by MidJourney
The logo for the two black cats in my house. Don't you make logos for your cats?