For the last three years, self-taught artist Carl Lavia has been at work making incredibly detailed, large-scale drawings of UK cities.
The project, called SKETCHnTHECITY, is made in collaboration with photographer Lorna Le Bredonchel and seeks to document every city in the island nation – 69 to be exact – from an aerial perspective.
So far, Carl and Lorna have created maps of Manchester, Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, and Perth, Scotland.
The first city I sketched in the #69cities project was beautiful #Birmingham it went on show @BM_AG and is now on permanent display @LibraryofBham #LoveYourCity get the mini-print £25 from https://t.co/N5fWKTcqVJ ✍️ pic.twitter.com/aYY9QMc9cL
— Sketch (@Sketchnthecity) December 23, 2018
The City of Stirling by Carl Lavia ? @Sketchnthecity https://t.co/FmotJjaV9J
1 of #69cities founded with @Lebredonchel
| Printed on @Fotospeed Smooth Pearl#drawing #line #documentingbritain #giclee #fotospeed #smoothpearl #fineartprint #carllavia #sketchnthecity #point101 pic.twitter.com/ZCXQb2JPbm
— Point101 (@Point101) June 8, 2018
The 2m ink sketch of the entire city of #Perth #Scotland – the artwork will go on public display in the Perth Museum and Art Gallery January 2019 – Perth will be the 4th Scottish city in the #69cities project with @Lebredonchel ✍️ #DocumentingScotland #art #sketch #maps #urban pic.twitter.com/qmrekfYivX
— Sketch (@Sketchnthecity) December 11, 2018
The process, which takes about two to four months per illustration, involves Lorna putting up a basic pencil ‘scaffold’.
Carl then draws in layers and layers of tiny details, such as landmarks, monuments, famous buildings, and roads, rivers, and bridges.
At first glance, the artworks appear to look like a traditional map. However, a closer look reveals that Carl’s sketches take on a lightweight impressionist style.
Incredible large scale city drawings from #London based Carl Lavia and together with #photographer Lorna Le Bredonchel @Lebredonchel started the #69cities project @Sketchnthecity at https://t.co/q0DTlX82aA "Edinburgh", 2m x 1m, 2017 #art #Edinburgh pic.twitter.com/YhkuKAYjsp
— nettculture (@nettculture) November 9, 2018
The sketch of the entire city of #Manchester took 3 months to create – the original was on display in Manchester's Central Library – available now as a print in 3 sizes – printed on smooth art paper. The smallest is 60x46cm £25 go to https://t.co/N5fWKTcqVJ pic.twitter.com/4amjXBOb29
— Sketch (@Sketchnthecity) December 8, 2018
— Lorna Le Bredonchel (@Lebredonchel) October 2, 2018
The duo also exhibits each artwork in its respective city. They’ve already held shows in places like Birmingham, Manchester, and Edinburgh, and they plan to have another exhibit in Perth at the end of the month that will run until January 2020.
You can learn more about SKETCHnTHECITY here.