Lines and Colors art blog

Kathryn Rathke

Kathryn Rathke
I’m just guessing, but I have a notion that Seattle based illustrator Kathryn Rathke’s early fascination with art may have coincided with an interest in hand calligraphy.

Her drawings, both black and white and color, are based on wonderfully calligraphic lines — dancing, looping and jogging across the page; at times almost seeming to construct an image in their wake as a byproduct of their movement.

I don’t know whether she works in traditional media or works digitally with a stylus and tablet, but she prepares her finals in Photoshop or Illustrator.

Along with well spotted blacks and judicious applications of fresh color, the fluid and playful character of her lines, in the tradition of line wizards like Al Hirschfeld and Saul Steinberg, gives her images an additional level of visual interest beyond their immediate impact.

Rathke’s clients include The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, The Economist, Time Warner and Paramount Pictures.

[Via LCSV4]


5 responses to “Kathryn Rathke”

  1. You’re right, there’s definitive calligraphic quality in her elegant linework.

  2. People who draw like this make it look easy! If you’ve ever had a chance to see one of Al Hirschfeld’s originals you can see that those beautiful, clean flowing lines are heavily worked and massaged.

    These pieces of Kathryn’s are equally beautiful but if they’re digital it’s a shame that you probably can never see the touch of the hand in them. But they’re really stunning and lively!

    I look at work like this and have a recurring fantasy that someday I will just hold pen to paper and the lines will magically flow with no effort on my part. But that’s not how art works, is it?

  3. Terrific drawings. Always admire artists that can with what seems just a few casually drawn lines to show a character, emotions, actions.

  4. Beautiful line action, Kathryn,
    on the dancer and skateboarder!

  5. Your work is great. Working direct from life in Pen and Wash is a huge challenge and I love it. Your work is a stunning progression, I’d like to develope some of my work in this direction too.
    Thank you for being an inspiration to me, Beverley