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Kathryn Rathke

Kathryn Rathke - International line illustrator. Seattle

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.

Approach

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.

Styles

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.

Awards

2005 – AI-AP Award 2010 – Communication Arts Award of Excellence 2012 – AI-AP Award

Client list

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.
Billie Ellish Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Cincinnati Chef with a suspicious moustache
Kathryn Rathke
Musician Patti Smith  Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Post Malone Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
animated action line drawing of happy dog
Kathryn Rathke
line drawing of silly dog
Kathryn Rathke
Strawberries painting
Kathryn Rathke
Food illustration of bread
Kathryn Rathke
University of California Santa Cruz portait of Reyna Grande animation
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Ben Whishaw
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Pencil sketch of a girl
Kathryn Rathke
The Economist Martin Amis animation
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
The Stranger Magazine George Orwell animation
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Animation of Post Malone getting tattoo
Kathryn Rathke
Gif animation of old woman
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Hugh Laurie
Kathryn Rathke
Portraiture of Margaret Atwood
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Gene Wilder
Kathryn Rathke
Gertrude Stein portraiture
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Martin Amis
Kathryn Rathke
Wally Olins portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Canvas painting of Prince
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Romulu adn Remus with Ma
Kathryn Rathke
Young man vector art
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
A pretty lady blinks occasionally Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Alice and Caterpillar watercolor painting
Kathryn Rathke
Graphic art image of rabbit
Kathryn Rathke
Line art of Labra-doodling
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Ms Seal Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Thom Yorke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Roald Dahl Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Samuel Beckett playing chess
Kathryn Rathke
The Economist Muriel Winks animation
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait painting of Yiddish comedian
Kathryn Rathke
Owl logo design by Kathryn Rathke illustrator
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Black and white portrait of Joan Didion
Kathryn Rathke
Martin Amis & Tom Wolfe Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
P.G. Wodehouse holding pipe
Kathryn Rathke
Pencil art of duck
Kathryn Rathke
Male ballet dancing sketch
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Avatars
Kathryn Rathke
Medical illustration of spinal
Kathryn Rathke
Rem koolhaas portrait art
Kathryn Rathke
Engaged couple line art
Kathryn Rathke
Line art portrait of Shel Silverstein
Kathryn Rathke
Portrait of Tom Waits
Kathryn Rathke
Chicago Magazine portrait of Sandra Cisneros animation
Kathryn Rathke
Intelligent Life Bob Dylan Digital portrait
Kathryn Rathke
George Michael Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Shouting Rooster
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
T. S. Eliot vector graphic design
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Chicago Magazine Rick Bayless Yoga magazine
Kathryn Rathke
Coin with dog face
Kathryn Rathke
Black & White Portrait of Seamus Heaney
Kathryn Rathke
Caitlin Moran Illustration For TAP! Magazine
Kathryn Rathke
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Portrait
Kathryn Rathke
Chicago Magazine Jeff Tweedy Portrait animation
Kathryn Rathke
Animal in forest
Kathryn Rathke
Pope ratzinger sketch by Seattle based illustrator
Kathryn Rathke
American Express digital animals Thanks Bird
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn Rathke
Graphic drawing picture of cat and mouse
Kathryn Rathke
Animated line drawing of a famous statue
Kathryn Rathke
Animation portrait of Bush Winces
Kathryn Rathke
Blinking frenchie Animation Gif
Kathryn Rathke
Animation portrait of Roald Dahl
Kathryn Rathke
Chicago Magazine Shakespare portrait animation
Kathryn Rathke
Animation line drawing of woman
Kathryn Rathke
Cheeky fellow 2d animation
Kathryn Rathke
Animation of pretty lady smiling
Kathryn Rathke
Gif animation of wren bird
Kathryn Rathke
Kathryn's portraits strike the right balance between caricature and portraiture. Her likenesses are always spot-on--she interprets, but never over-exaggerates the subject's features. I'm always impressed with the gesture and beauty of her calligraphic line work and the fun she has with the details in her illustrations.
Donald Partyka, Americas Quarterly
"We'll all be cheering when we see this in the theatres at the resolution it was meant to be viewed at! Your drawings are beautiful on the computer screen and i'm sure it'll only be more breathtaking on a giant screen!"
Gary Tam, Imaginary Forces (for illustrations for titles of 2007's Charlotte's Web)
It's stunning Kathryn! I don't know how you do it. And I love the way you have combined the slick lines with the smudgy charcoal too. I have no changes or tweaks. Fantastic! And Paul, the Editor, loves it also. (Plus you got it in early which is an enormous treat for me, it helps me out later in the week, when things get esp hectic.) Thank you so much!
Sarah Habershon - Art Director, The Guardian
Kathryn was a dream to work with. She nailed the sketches and final art, really portrayed the essence of each person perfectly.
Patrick Greenish, Highlights
I just wanted to let you know that I received such lovely, gushing feedback about the logo and your illo. Again, thank you so much.
Kelly Jean Davis, Little Owl Urns
The client is very excited. We are receiving very positive press. Thanks again for your contribution (to the Wendy's logo).
Young-Sun Kim, Big Picture Branding
This woman is a genius! From architects to authors, actors to musicians, Kathryn not only captures likeness but personality – and all with a well considered flick of the wrist. She is a joy to work with and has become, in the nicest possible way, part of the furniture of Intelligent Life.
Intelligent Life Magazine, Martin Lovelock - Deputy Art Director
"That was fast! Kathryn, you are an absolute gem."
Stan Lim, Imaginary Forces (for illustrations for titles of 2007's Charlotte's Web)
I love my owl illustration. Your line work is beautiful, everything I'd hoped for and more. I'll be sure to send you the advertisement that will be put together by my designer.
Peter Rockwood, Rockwood and Perry
"It was our first time working with Kathryn and we're so glad we found her. The assignment went very smooth and easy. Kathryn got the direction from the beginning and sent sketches even before we were expecting them. She also communicated every step until the end and kept us in the loop. The job come out beautiful and it's exactly what we wanted our readers to see. Kathryn did a great job illustrating the story. And as always, it's been a pleasure working with Karen and her team at illustration x."
Monica Simon, Wine Enthusiast
Kathryn has illustrated dozens of head shots for us. Her illustrations are spot-on and the employees LOVE the drawings of themselves. And to top it off - she is easy and fun to work with!
Tessa Sussner - Art Director, Sussner Design Company - Minneapolis
"Thank you so much for your wonderful work and patience, You have been great to work with."
Ben Brannan, The Evening Standard
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