Renaissance Artists Day 6: Michelangelo


Today we got to veer off of the painting a bit to sculpting, so J enjoyed that.


  • Michelangelo Buonarroti by Catherine Nichols


Discuss:Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475- 1564) was an Italian Renaissance sculpture and painter. He studied the human body to get his sculptors to look life like. He also painted frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Artist Journal: Print out a work of art for the artist and glue it in the book. Write the title of the work of art and the name of the artist. Write the years of the artist’s life and what type of art he did. Michelangelo sculpted people from the Bible like Moses, Jesus and David. He studied the human body so that his sculptors looked real. Draw a picture of a Bible figure and try to add details like muscle and facial qualities. Give your drawing a title.Renaissance Art Study (64) Renaissance Art Study (65)

Michelangelo Sculpture

Discuss: One of Michelangelo’s most recognizable pieces is his sculpture David. Study the details in the face and hair of the statue.


  • a bar of soft soap (such as Ivory or self-hardening modeling clay)

  • pencil and scrap paper

  • plastic knife

  • modeling tools (optional)

  • sponge


  1. Sketch a persons head on a piece of scrap paper. Keep it simple, and try sketching the front and back, as well as the sides.Renaissance Art Study (66)

  2. Copy your drawing onto the bar of soap by poking holes with a toothpick.Renaissance Art Study (67) Renaissance Art Study (68)

  3. Hold the soap in one hand. Hold the knife in your other hand and press your thumb against the bottom of the bar, cutting slowly toward your thumb. Take off only thin slivers with each stroke.Renaissance Art Study (70)

  4. Use the pencil or modeling tools to add details or texture.

  5. When you have cut out the basic shape, scrape the surface with your knife to smooth it. For and even smoother surface, wet a sponge and wipe the sculpture gently. Allow it to dry.Renaissance Art Study (71)

Sistine Chapel Ceiling

Discuss: One of Michelangelo’s greatest achievements is his fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took him 4 years to paint the entire ceiling while lying on his back. He painted religious scenes. Try painting upside down too.


  • Plastic Table Cloth

  • Paintbrushes

  • Paints

  • Paper

  • Tape


  1. Tape a paper to the underside of a table or chair.Renaissance Art Study (74)

  2. Place the table cloth on the floor under the table or chair.Renaissance Art Study (73)

  3. Place a paintbrush in each paint container and set them on either side of the paper.

  4. Child lays on his back and tries to paint a picture of a Bible scene while lying on his back.Renaissance Art Study (75)

Renaissance Artists Unit Study

Day 1: Giotto

Day 2: Limbourg Brothers

Day 3: Botticellli

Day 4: Da Vinci

Day 5: Raphael

Day 6: Michelangelo

Day 7: Rembrandt