Free Art For All - Wax Sculpture Starring Renaissance Artist Donatello

Click here for the free art tutorial 

*I have never done a wax carving before.  This was a learning experience for both of us.  I apologize that this video is so long.  I encourage you to break it up.  Do the sketch and prep work and then do the carving. 


This lessons concentrates on Donatello di Niccola di Betto Bardi.  In the art world he is known as Donatello.  He was born in 1386 in Florence, Italy and died in 1466.  Donatello was an artist, architect, mathematician and sculptor.  He used 1 point perspective when designing a “Frieze”; not so it would show distance but so that a person standing on a street would be able to see all of the sculpture at the top of the building.  He was hired a lot by the churches; therefore his sculptures were often of Saints and biblical characters.  This lesson will give you a glimpse of what it might be like to carve a statue.



  1. 2.5” x 3.5” bar of wax (or a similar sized bar of soap will also work) from Michaels 
  2. Household tools: Small screwdriver, toothpick or other pointy tool, scoop, xacto knife, paring knife
  3. Strathmore sketchpad
  4. Pencil
  5. Sharpie



Step 1.  Sketch the “I love you” emoji included in video in a 5.5” x 4.5” size and then 2.5” x3.5”

Step 2.  Position bar under the smaller sketch.  Using a pointed instrument poke holes around the hand into the bar.

Step 3.  Take off the wax in small shavings.  Do not attempt to remove more the a shaving of wax at a time.

**it might be helpful to carve on a surface where you can roll up the shavings to either throw away or save for a later purpose.

Step 4.  Round the corners of the fingers when you have the basic hand shape in the wax.

***You can make this as detailed as you want.  Just keep whittling away till it is perfect in your eyes.


The images used illustrating the works of Donatello came from Wikipedia, and we need to thank Cheryl Nielson at @paint my photo for the photo of The Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore.  You cannot really compare the tv show character Donatello to the artist Donatello.  The writers of the comic did not set out to create turtles that would mimic the actual artists.  Some of the jokes in which the TNMT make sometimes refer to an artistic attribute but the actual character actions do not follow suit.