AI Art for Winter 2024

Several highly popular generative AI art services continue to roll out new versions. I primarily use MidJourney, but dabble in others, notably NightCafé. I've seen impressive results by others from DALL-E v. 3, but I haven't played with it myself for over a year. The nuances of prompting — describing the image you want — vary significantly across the platforms. These are my adventures in AI art for winter 2024.

Note: This is an image-heavy post. Click the thumbnails below to see larger versions.

MidJourney Version 6

The folks at MidJourney (MJ) introduced the test version of MJ v6. As with all their updates, some improvements are stunning, and some seem to be a step backward. But as of writing this, we're all using the test version (we're all beta testers), so the day-to-day capabilities are particularly hit and miss. An intriguing new feature, sref, is the ability to upload examples and have MidJourney use the style, rather than the subject. When I have a few days with nothing on my agenda, I'll dive into it. In the meantime, GoOnWrite cover designer James wrote a great blog post on what it all means.

Winter (February 2024) Art

Three images with only minor tweaks to the prompt itself, but adjusting the stylization and introducing a little chaos into the mix. That tells MJ to brainstorm for things it imagines are related. All AI's hallucinate, and MJ is no exception. MJ also has a “weird” setting that can have equally unexpected results. 

Abstract watercolor-style clouds in a rainbow color scheme, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: white background, isolated, watercolor banner, rainbowcore, gradient fade to white ::1.1 –no drips –ar 5:2 –stylize 150 –v 6
NOTE: Original prompt, trying for a rainbow-colored watercolor background for a banner.

Abstract image of a stylishly dressed person wearing a mask and carrying an unknown device who is possibly dancing, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: white background, isolated, watercolor banner, rainbowcore, gradient fade to white ::1.1 –no drips –chaos 100 –ar 5:2 –v 6
NOTE: “Chaos 100” is the maximum setting. It's like concentrated LSD for MJ.

Abstract watercolor painting of fish in an overall rainbow color scheme, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: white background, isolated, watercolor banner, rainbowcore, gradient fade to white, Fibonacci ::1.1 –no drips –ar 5:2 –stylize 550 –v 6.0
NOTE: This image is unexpectedly charming. “Fish” is close to “Fibonacci,” right? 

Ships and More Ships

Yes, I still love starships. Therefore, I had to test MJ version 6 to see what it can do.

Illustration of a starship in space with engines firing, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: bright sci-fi movie poster, CGI, galactic space race, sci-fi, futuristic military warship, trending on ArtStation, rebellion, abstract evolution, escape ::1.1 –ar 45:103 –stylize 250 –v 6
NOTE: Telling MJ you want a poster sometimes works and sometimes sends it into a tizzy. Luckily, this prompt worked nicely.

Digital illustration of a starship exiting from an interstellar gateway ring in space, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: Panoramic view from very very far away, small magenta futuristic starship generating and projecting the entrance into a small cosmic powered star gate, blue and yellow wireframe hologram, stabilized wormhole, deep space voidcore, otherworldly, intergalactic, dimensional travel, concept art, full ship, leaving forever, cinematic ::1.1 –ar 4:3 –stylize 110 –v 6
NOTE: I tweaked this prompt far longer than I should have, and only achieved mediocre results. Sometimes it's best to just move to a different subject and think of a better way to approach the subject.

Illustration of a futuristic spaceship, glowing red, in deep space, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: avant-garde futuristic sci-fi spaceship, in the style of interstellar nebulae, redscale film, animated gifs, vivid red with neon accents, pointillist dots and specks, aerial view, ethereal cloudscapes, lasers –ar 3:2 –v 5.2
NOTE: This is a re-run of a prompt I've had success with in past versions. Thankfully, version 6 didn't break it. (See my autumn 2023 post for this same prompt in MJ version 5.2.) 

Conceptual AI Art

These are random prompts and equally random results.

Abstract illustration showing white on one half and blue stars on the other, with starships leaving the blue stars, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: book cover art, sci-fi starships, star map, cosmos, blue magenta white black, minimalist, 2-D, vector art, copyspace, logo, explore the galaxy ::1.1 –no text, words, saucers –ar 2:3 –v 6
NOTE: Probably not the best book cover design, but it might make a nifty postcard or the like.

Photo-style illustration of a blue, purple, and green teapot and cup, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: photorealistic, elegant teapot and teacup, galaxy theme, blue and purple, Rookwood Pottery, moderne table, product photo ::1.1 –ar 2:3 –v 6
NOTE: I likely drink more tea than I should, so I like to create tea set images.

Illustration of a cat wearing a spacesuit in outer space, generated by MidJourney

Prompt: Vaporwave poster of neon outline cat wearing a spacesuit flying through space, stars and planets, charming ::1.1 –ar 16:9 –v 6
NOTE: My cats insisted on more images with cats, so this is what I came up with.

Simple line-art sketch of a sleeping cat, generated by MidJourney


  1. Oh, I get a little name drop and link in this post. There’s another one coming up from me about how commissions actually work with MidJourney that will be interesting.

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