He wanted to break away from the academic shackles and explore the meaning of creativity through the portrayal of traditional art forms of India. He studied the illustrations in Jain Manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal miniatures and the murals of Ajanta. He also took lessons in Kathak for about two year under Pandit Sunder Prasad which helped him to infuse rhythm into drawings. He was always fascinated by the antecedents of a sight and its limits.
There are three styles adopted in the work of Hebbar. There is an immediacy, which brings the things seen then there are drawings in which the line twist and turns along with the passing stream of experience and lastly the lines gropes around the curves, circle, and sharp thrust and begins to breath its own strange kind of life. The lyricism and soothing quality of Indian music, the grace of folk and classical Indian dance inspired him to express his feelings in line and colour.
# 1941 Exhb., Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.
# 1945 Solo exhb. in Bombay.
# 1947 Annual Exhb., Bombay Art Society, Bombay.
# 1949 Solo exhb. in Paris.
# 1950 Solo exhb, in London.
# 1951 Salon de Mai, Paris.
# 1953 All India Exhb. of Paintings and Sculptures, travelling to USSR, Poland and West Germany.
# 1955 Participated in the Venice Biennale, Italy.
# 1956 National Exhb., Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1957 National Exhb., Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1958 National Exhb., Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1959 Participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil.
# 1964 Solo exhb. in New York.
# 1969 Exhb., Bonythan Art Gallery, Australia.
# 1971 Retrospective, Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1987 Indian Drawing Today, Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay.
# 1994 Solo exhb., Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi.
# 1999 Exhb., Fine Art Company, Bombay.
# 2003 Manifestations, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, World Trade Center, Mumbai and Delhi Art G
Awards received by K.K.Hebbar:
# 1941 Gold Medal of the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta.
# 1947 Gold Medal of the Bombay Art Society.
# 1954 Nominated as Eminent artist by the Lalit Kala Akademi in its first General Council meet.
# 1956 First Bombay State Art Award.
# 1956 National Academy of Art Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1957 National Academy of Art Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1958 National Academy of Art Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1961 Awarded Padmasri by the President of India.
# 1976 Elected Fellow, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1976 Honorary D. Litt. from Mysore University.
# 1983 Soviet Land Nehru Award.
# 1980-84 The President of India nominated him the Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
# 1985 KarnatakaLalit Kala Akademi Award for Distinguished Artists.
# 1986 Karnataka State Rayotsava Award.
# 1988 Maharashtra State's Gaurav Puraskar.
# 1989 Awarded 'Padma Bhushan', by the President of India.
# 1990 Maharashtra Shasan 'Gourav Puraskar'.
In 1939 he joined J.J. School of Art as an art teacher and taught there till 1946.