Artists Spend 5 Months Creating Enormous Pen and Ink Map of Inverness

Pen and Ink Map of Inverness by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel

After five months of work, artist Carl Lavia and photographer Lorna Le Bredonchel have revealed the latest pen and ink drawing from their #69Cities series. Inverness is the newest city from the United Kingdom to be rendered in ink, with the detailed sketching unfolding across six and a half feet of paper. Now on display at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, this pen drawing of Inverness is the seventh that the duo has completed on their quest to render all 69 cities in the UK.

The piece began with Lavia doing extensive research prior to putting pen to paper. This included watching old film clips of the city and scouring architectural books in order to depict every aspect of Inverness. He then boarded a bus to take into the city, which has a population of around 70,000.

“I did a lot of walking around and looking at what the significant buildings were,” he shares. “It is a lot smaller than the other cities I have done so far and it was a bit of a challenge to flesh it out although there is a lot more of the suburbs.”

The hand-drawn map is a triumph for both creatives, who work collaboratively on the project. While photographer Le Bredonchel spends a significant amount of time documenting the creative process, she also gets her hands dirty during the creation of the drawing. Working in harmony, they are able to let the character of each city unfold across the paper.

In order to capture the soul of Inverness, an array of technical pens were used to draw its characteristic architecture. This includes recognizable landmarks like Kessock Bridge, Caledonian Football Stadium, and Inverness Cathedral. Cutting a winding path through the city is the River Ness, which flows from the nearby Loch Ness—home to everyone's favorite fictional monster.

Inverness isn't the first Scottish city to be sketched by Lavia and Le Bredonchel for the city map series. In fact, the project has focused heavily on Scotland thus far. Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, and Stirling have all had their pen and ink maps completed, though Inverness has allowed the duo to move further north.

If you can't make it to Scotland to take in the original, Lavia is also selling signed, limited edition prints of the Inverness map.

Artist Carl Lavia and photographer Lorna Le Bredonchel are on a mission to draw maps of every city in the UK.

#69Cities Project by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel

Their latest map of Inverness took 5 months to complete.

Pen Drawing of Inverness #69Cities Project by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel Large Pen and Ink Drawing Pen Drawing in Progress Large Pen and Ink Drawing #69Cities Project by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel

All the architecture is drawn with great detail, from well-known monuments like the Kessock Bridge to small shops and residences.

Pen and Ink Drawing City Art Pen and Ink Drawing Pen and Ink Drawing Pen Drawing of Inverness

The finished piece is now on view at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

Pen Drawing of Inverness #69Cities Project by Carl Lavia and Lorna Le Bredonchel Pen Drawing in Progress

#69cities: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by #69cities.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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