Katingeri Krishna Hebbar, was born in Kattingeri in Dakshina Kannada in 1911. He was inclined towards art from childhood because of his dad, who was a part time sculptor, occasionally making ganesh idols. He pursued art and was formally trained at the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, where he was awarded a diploma in painting. After teaching there briefly, Hebbar also did a course at the Académie Julian in Paris in 1949-50.
Line drawing is any image that consists of distinct straight and curved lines placed against a (usually plain) background and is usually monochromatic. It emphasizes form and outline, over colour, shading, and texture. As Paul Klee beautifully puts it, “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk”.
And think of line drawings, and the first illustration which comes to one’s mind is probably that of K.K. Hebbar. He used minimum simple lines without shade to convey more. Facial expressions of his line drawing works were not static but lively.
Hebbar mostly chose Yakshagana (a traditional dance form in Karnataka), Kambla (an annual buffalo race), bhoota kola (ancient ritual form of worship), cock fight and other rural sports and folk arts in his line drawings. Line drawings are now synonym with his name and this unique style has become his brand.
Hebbar won many awards throughout his lifetime including India’s fourth and third highest civilian awards the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan.