With her fluid, natural drawing style, Kathryn Rathke has a rare talent for capturing the individual look of the person she’s drawing in just a few quick lines. Authors, singers, politicians – her portraits are instantly recognisable but so simply drawn that they’re always easy for people to relate to.
Based in Seattle, Kathryn sometimes creates an image using just one fluid and continuous line, another trick to hook in the viewer and engage them with her client’s project. According to the Seattle-based artist she owes her drawing skills to her grandmother, who taught her to draw and supplied her with books by Arthur Rackham, Maurice Sendak and William Steig; and her father who was president of an advertising agency and brought home reams of paper for her to practice on.
Kathryn does everything digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator using a Cintiq screen by Wacom. She draws portrait subjects many times over from different angles, learning their facial features so that her final work is instantly recognisable.
Expressive and calligraphic, there’s a unique sense of gesture in Kathryn’s line illustrations. She works in a variety of styles, using shading, texture and coloured backgrounds in different ways to achieve a unique look for her client.
2005 – AI-AP Award
2010 – Communication Arts Award of Excellence
2012 – AI-AP Award
Newsweek, NY Observer, Vanity Fair, Time Out, The Evening Standard, O Magazine, Brooks Sports, Penguin, Make Magazine, Smart Money, Rolling Stone and Welt am Sonntag are just some of Kathryn’s clients.