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How to Use Leonardo AI: Comprehensive Guide to AI Image Generator

17 mins

Marko Georgiev

Published by: Marko Georgiev

17 June 2024, 12:00PM

In Brief

Leonardo AI generates realistic artwork from simple prompts, perfect for all users.

Available on iOS with a browser version, it offers easy access for everyone.

Start by signing up, logging in, and exploring the dashboard and tools.

Create AI images using Fast Tokens, with settings for advanced customization.

Leonardo AI features models like Diffusion XL, Anime Pastel Dream, and more, enhancing creativity.

How to Use Leonardo AI: Comprehensive Guide to AI Image Generator

Artificial Intelligence is constantly evolving, making it a game-changer in every aspect of our lives. Generative AI can help content creators, businesses, and individuals create beautiful, realistic artwork that is indistinguishable from actual photos. One AI tool that has gained fame is Leonardo AI.

It’s gotten so advanced that I could generate a whole image with just a simple prompt! It even looked like a professional artist drew it. So, I decided to share what I learned and teach you how to use Leonardo AI like a professional, whether you’re just starting or have experience with other LLMs.

So, let’s jump right in!

What is Leonardo AI and How Does it Work?

Leonardo AI was founded in 2022 and has constantly evolved, adding new features and customization options. It has over 7 million users that create millions of AI-generated images daily. Leonardo is an LLM designed to generate photorealistic images of real-life objects, people, and even creative artwork.

The barrier to entry for the service is relatively low. In fact, all you need is a computer with internet access to go to the site or download the app. However, for now, the app is only available on the Apple App Store, with the Google Play app coming soon. A single prompt can generate anything you throw at it.

Okay, technically, you can generate the image with only one prompt, but to get the best results, you can also adjust other options.

How to Use Leonardo AI

Now that you know the basics of how Leonardo AI works, it’s time to dive into the creative process of creating high-quality images.

Getting Set Up

For starters, you’ll need to choose which platform you’ll use to access their service. You can use a computer or a phone, but choosing the one you’re more comfortable with will help you be more productive and generate images promptly.

Using an iOS Device

If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you must download their app from the App Store. Download the app by typing “Leonardo.Ai - Image Generator” into the search bar.


Using a Browser

If you’re more comfortable using a computer or don’t have an iOS device, you’ll need to go to the website.

browser app

Sign Up and Log In

The following steps are the same across all devices. You’ll need a Leonardo AI account to use their services. Clicking on “Get Started” will transfer you to their login page.


If you already have an account, you can log in using your email and password. If you don’t have an account, you’ll have to sign up using your daily email address and a strong password.

First Look

After a successful login, you’ll be greeted with their dashboard, which is separated into multiple sections:

main page

The Navigation Menu

The vertical navbar (on the left) shows and describes each section of the tool. At the top, you’ll find your account username, and a dropdown menu leads to account settings and logging out.

Below, you’ll find different AI tools you can use to create your desired image.

The Advanced tab is for more experienced users and contains links to more advanced models and features. Lastly, there is a tab filled with FAQs, news, and various Premium Plans, but we’ll get into that later.

Get Started Here

In the “Get Started Here” section, you’ll be greeted with all the tools and features you can use to achieve your desired image.

Community Creations

Lastly, you can view images and artworks from other creators. You can even add filters based on your likes and dislikes to get more out of your “Community Creations” section.

Your First AI-Generated Image

If you’ve come this far, you already have what it takes to create AI images you like; all that is left to do is experiment with their features. Your page should look something like this. The exact design depends mainly on which device you use, Leonardo, but the same principles apply.

image generator

To generate an image, Leonardo uses a currency called “Fast Tokens.” On the free tier, you get 150 tokens, which are replenished daily. The cost of generating an image can vary depending on the settings you change or your desired image quality. The initial dashboard is a little cluttered, but don’t worry, it’s a lot simpler to use than it seems.

Generating Images with a Prompt

The images below were created using the default settings with the prompt “A sunny day in Los Angeles”:

generated images

These look pretty good, but after I’ve tweaked some settings, changed the dimensions and chose the Cinematic style, this is what I got:

cinematic images

Using Advanced Tools and Techniques

Now that you understand how to create basic images with Leonardo AI, it’s time to move on to some more advanced features.


The Motion tool allows users to animate images, adding movement and vibrancy to their creations using advanced machine-learning algorithms.


If you select ‘Motion,’ you are greeted with this interface where you can select an image and add settings:

select setting

If you click on ‘Select on Image,’ you can select from images you’ve created or those from the community.

select image

Once you confirm your selection and choose motion strength, the image will start to generate. The creation will show up on your profile. Here is the result I've gotten:

Realtime Canvas

The Realtime Canvas supports various artistic tools and brushes, allowing users to experiment and iterate quickly. This tool lets users see their creative inputs and changes in real time, providing immediate feedback and enabling a more intuitive and efficient design process.

realtime canvas

With my little painting skills, the canvas on the left was converted into a stunning art beautiful picture that rivals realistic photos.

The AI Canvas provides a user-friendly interface for painting and drawing, making it easy to add and adjust elements in your artwork.

Realtime Generation

Using an advanced AI image generation tool, Leonardo can instantly change the image's look. The prompt entered is a basic explanation of what the AI model needs to generate as it searches databases and other user-created content.

Just to the right of the image, four sliders alter its look in real-time. As you change the settings, the image instantly updates.

realtime generator

The Real-Time Generation feature allows you to see changes to your image as you adjust the settings. This instant feedback is invaluable for making quick adjustments and achieving the perfect look.

Other Advanced Features and Creative Possibilities

Leonardo AI offers a variety of advanced features that open up new creative horizons for users. Let's explore some of these features and how they can enhance your artwork:

Leonardo Diffusion XL

Leonardo Diffusion XL is a powerful model designed to generate high-quality, photorealistic images. This model is perfect for creating lifelike photos of objects, people, and scenes.

Anime Pastel Dream

If you're a fan of anime and pastel colors, the Anime Pastel Dream model is ideal for you. It generates images with a soft, dreamy aesthetic that is perfect for anime-inspired artwork.

Folk Art Illustration

For a more traditional and artistic look, the Folk Art Illustration model provides a unique style that mimics classic folk art. This is great for creating illustrations with a handmade feel.

Vintage Christmas Illustration

Get into the holiday spirit with the Vintage Christmas Illustration model. This model generates charming, vintage-style Christmas images that are perfect for holiday cards and decorations.

Cute Animal Characters

The Cute Animal Characters model generates adorable animal images that are perfect for children's books, stickers, and other creative projects.

Prompt Magic and Negative Prompts

To fine-tune your images, Leonardo AI allows you to use prompt magic and negative prompts. Prompt magic enhances the creative possibilities by adding more detail and complexity to your images. Negative prompts help refine your results by specifying elements you want to avoid in the generated image.

Portrait Styles and Vintage Style Photography

Leonardo AI supports various portrait styles, including realistic, artistic, and vintage. The Vintage Style Photography model gives your images a nostalgic, timeless feel, perfect for creating classic portraits.

Model Training and Retention

With premium plans, you can train and retain custom models. This allows you to create images with a consistent style and theme, perfect for branding and personal projects.

Leonardo AI Price Plans

As mentioned, specific aspects and features are only available to premium users. When you first create your account, you will be in the free tier and have the option to upgrade to one of three premium plans:


  • Fast Tokens: 150/day
  • Relaxed Rate Image Generation: No
  • Relaxed Rate Video Generation: No
  • Relaxed Rate Upscales: No
  • Additional Pending Jobs: No
  • Private Generations: No
  • Collections: No
  • Model Training: No
  • Model Retention: No
  • Priority Infrastructure: No
  • Concurrency: No
Apprentice Unlimited Plan
12$per month

  • Fast Tokens: 8,500/month
  • Relaxed Rate Image Generation: No
  • Relaxed Rate Video Generation: No
  • Relaxed Rate Upscales: No
  • Additional Pending Jobs: Up to 5
  • Private Generations: Yes
  • Collections: Create up to 5
  • Model Training: Train 10 models/month
  • Model Retention: Retain up to 10 models
  • Priority Infrastructure: Yes
  • Concurrency: 2 Concurrent Generations
Artisan Unlimited Plan
30$per month

  • Fast Tokens: 25,000/month
  • Relaxed Rate Image Generation: Unlimited
  • Relaxed Rate Video Generation: No
  • Relaxed Rate Upscales: No
  • Additional Pending Jobs: Up to 10
  • Private Generations: Yes
  • Collections: Create up to 15
  • Model Training: Train 20 models/month
  • Model Retention: Retain up to 20 models
  • Priority Infrastructure: Yes
  • Concurrency: 3 Concurrent Generations
Maestro Unlimited Plan
60$per month

  • Fast Tokens: 60,000/month
  • Relaxed Rate Image Generation: Unlimited
  • Relaxed Rate Video Generation: Unlimited
  • Relaxed Rate Upscales: Coming soon
  • Additional Pending Jobs: Up to 20
  • Private Generations: Yes
  • Collections: Create up to 50
  • Model Training: Train 50 models/month
  • Model Retention: Retain up to 50 models
  • Priority Infrastructure: Yes
  • Concurrency: 6 Concurrent Generations

Enhancing Your Creative Process

Leonardo AI is more than just an image generator; it's a comprehensive tool that enhances your entire creative process. From generating initial ideas to fine-tuning the final image, Leonardo AI offers seamless integration into your workflow. Whether you're working on a coloring book, a children's illustration, or a complex art project, Leonardo AI provides the tools you need to bring your vision to life.

Using Leonardo AI for Professional Projects

Leonardo AI is not just for personal use; it’s a powerful tool for professional projects. Graphic designers, marketers, and content creators can leverage its capabilities to produce high-quality visuals that stand out. With features like private generations and priority infrastructure, professionals can work efficiently and securely.

Exploring New Creative Horizons

Leonardo AI's diverse models and advanced features open up new creative horizons. Whether you're experimenting with new styles or perfecting your technique, Leonardo AI provides the resources and flexibility to explore your creativity.

User-Friendly Interface and Seamless Integration

Leonardo AI's interface is designed to be user-friendly, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users. The seamless integration with various devices and platforms ensures that you can create and manage your projects effortlessly.

Community and Collaboration

The Community Creations section allows you to see what other users are creating and draw inspiration from their work. You can also share your own creations and get feedback, fostering a collaborative and supportive environment.

Leonardo AI is a versatile and powerful tool that caters to a wide range of creative needs. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned artist, Leonardo AI provides the tools and features to enhance your creative process. With its advanced models, user-friendly interface, and robust community, Leonardo AI is the perfect companion for anyone looking to explore the world of AI-generated art.

That’s it for my guide on Leonardo AI, I hope you learned something new!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Leonardo can be used without spending a penny on the free version, though you will lack some features that premium users will get. Having some extra features and more creative freedom can make a big difference in the message you send with your artwork.

Yes, absolutely! Parallel to image creation, Leonardo has a plethora of other tools and services that can help users express their emotions through various forms of art. A good example is “Motion” where you can generate a short video by including an image prompt.

Well, there are multiple technical reasons why they are different. Firstly, Dall E 3 lacks some of the creative features that Leonardo has, which makes it harder to generate very unique images. They are different AI models, trained differently and with different data, which is ultimately what makes them stand out. It comes down to personal preference, you need to choose what’s the right fit for you.

Yes, Leonardo is safe to use. The platform adheres to industry standards and regulations, making it a reliable choice for creating and managing AI-generated content. Furthermore, all public-generated images will be featured in the community feed, but you have the choice to change the visibility of your images.

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