Stable Diffusion Prompt Reference

When I first started using Stable Diffusion, I was overwhelmed by the prompt system. Writing effective prompts felt more like art than science – how could a few words or sentences yield such wildly different images? However, as I experimented more, I began to uncover some key prompt engineering concepts that allowed me to reliably generate stunning AI art.

In this article, I want to share what I’ve learned about crafting great Stable Diffusion prompts. My goal is to provide beginners with a solid prompt reference guide so you can quickly start making amazing AI images too. I’ll explain prompt anatomy, negative prompts, prompt building process, and various techniques. Let’s dive in!

Anatomy of a Good Prompt

A typical Stable Diffusion prompt has 3 main components:

Subject and Style

This describes what you want the AI to generate and how you want it depicted. For example, “a painting of a cute corgi wearing steampunk goggles”. The subject is the corgi and the style is steampunk painting.


Modifiers add details to refine your prompt, like “intricately detailed background, sharp focus, vibrant lighting”. They ensure the output matches your vision.

Artistic Style References

You can reference art movements (impressionism, art deco) or specific artists (Picasso, Monet) to emulate their style. This hugely expands creative possibilities!

Negative Prompt

A negative prompt specifies what you don’t want the AI to generate. They are powerful for removing unwanted elements and enhancing prompt focus.

For example, adding “no extra people, no extra objects” ensures your cute corgi remains the center of attention!

Process of Building a Good Prompt

Crafting excellent prompts is an iterative process. Experimentation is key – be prepared to gradually refine and tweak your prompts based on the AI outputs.

Here is a prompt building workflow that works very well for me:

  1. Start with the core subject and style
  2. Add relevant modifiers
  3. Include negative prompts to eliminate unwanted elements
  4. Review the AI output – make adjustments to prompt if needed
  5. Repeat steps 2-4, iteratively refining prompt until satisfied!

Prompting Techniques

Here are some advanced prompting techniques I’ve found very useful:

Emphasize Keywords

Bold or italicize keywords using markdown to focus the AI, like “vibrant lighting” or “sharp focus eyes”.

Adjust Sampling Steps

Higher steps yield more detailed images but increase generation time. I find 50 steps optimal.

Limit Image Variation

Adding “masterpiece, best quality” signals the AI to generate its best possible image.

Helpful Prompt Reference Websites

  • PromptHero – Search and share top Stable Diffusion prompts
  • Lexica – Expansive visual dictionary of prompt terms
  • PromptMania – Prompt generator with advanced filtering

I hope you found these Stable Diffusion prompt insights and examples helpful! Please let me know if you have any other questions – I’m always happy to discuss prompt engineering techniques. Now go unleash your creativity with AI art!