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How Michelangelo created his Paintings


  • Michelangelo would refer to his model collection to see if there was anything he could use from it. Since he had a photographic memory this step was automatic.

  • A Bozzetto , or sketch would then be made on paper, clay or wax. View

  • A terrocatta Model model may be made or even a bas-relief made for the painting.

  • A detailed sketches would be made for the painting. View

  • A large drawing or cartoon would be made if the painting was large. The outlines of the drawing in the cartoon would be pricked, tacked to the painting surface. The cartoon would then be tapped with a porous bag of charcoal The charcoal dots would then be painted as one line View

  • On large paintins where the surface was distored like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, IMHO, Michelangelo would redo the outlines with a brush attached to a long stick. There is evidence of corrected lines when the ceiling was last cleaned.

    Or, he could have used a shadow cast by a model. However, the corrected lines found on the ceiling shows he redew all the lines pounced not just the outline of the figure which a shawdow would cast.

  • Michelangelo would then paint the picture. View