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The Visualization Handbook. Painting and Visualization

Research Publication

The Visualization Handbook. Painting and Visualization. Michael M. Kirby, Daniel F. Keefe, David H. Laidlaw. Charles D. Hansen and Christopher R. Johnson editors, Elsevier Inc. (2005) pp. 873–891


Art, in particular painting, has had clear impacts on the style, techniques, and processes of scientific visualization. Artists strive to create visual forms and ideas that are evocative and convey meaning or tell a story. Over time, painters and other artists have developed sophisticated techniques, as well as a finely tuned aesthetic sense, to help accomplish their goals. As visualization researchers, we can learn from this body of work to improve our own visual representations. We can study artistic examples to learn what art works and what does not, we can study the visual design process to learn how to design better visualization artifacts, and we can study the pedagogy for training new designers and artists so we can better train visualization experts and better evaluate visualizations. The synergy between art and scientific visualization, whether manifested in collaborative teams, new painting-inspired visualization techniques, or new visualization methodologies, holds great potential for the advancement of scientific visualization and discovery.


This publication is a part of the following research projects: