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Joe Castillo’s Face Of Christ

October 27, 2011

A friend of mine sent me a copy of  The Face of Christ by Joe Castillo. I was enormously impressed. As you can see, the artist has incorporated major events from Christ’s life and ministry into the drawing, mostly in the beard and hair.

The rolled away stone of the empty tomb corresponds nicely to where the ear would be, and the stars in the eyes provide a sense of scale for the Star of Bethlehem, which is tucked into the shadow of the nose. I think my favorite touch is using the Sea of Galilee and its mountain backdrop for the right eyebrow.   pen & ink drawing of the face of Jesus Christ by sand artist Joe Castillo who incorporated scenes from the life and death of Christ into the portrait making them actual parts of the face

Here’s a key to the events depicted, along with each corresponding Bible verse (which I verified separately). I found the information on this tribute site.pen & ink drawing of the face of Jesus Christ by sand artist Joe Castillo who incorporated scenes from the life and death of Christ into the portrait making them actual parts of the face, with the corresponding gospel scripture passages from the Bible added

Mr. Castillo is known principally as a sand artist. The term conjures up visions of large sculptures at a beach, but what Mr. Castillo does is very different: using his hands, he draws pictures in sand spread on a light table. The images are projected on a screen for the audience. Sound intriguing? You might want to check out some video clips of Joe Castillo creating sand story art.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

What do you think? Has Joe Castillo crafted something special? Does The Face of Christ speak to you on an artistic or spiritual level? Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Ring Around The Rosary, We All Stand Together

Honest To Gosh Singing Caricatures

Please Throw Money– We’re Broke!

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37 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2011 11:38 AM

    It’s really clever and amazing how it was done. Depicting the story of Christ as illustrations which link together to make up the face reminds me a bit of how text illustration is produced, but in a whole new and better perspective.

    But when looking at the drawing, it really doesn’t look like it was done using a chunky marker pen (as seen in the video). The details are wonderful, I can see why you were so impressed with it.


    • October 27, 2011 4:15 PM

      Always nice to see you, Sabine. You’re right– he musta switched markers! No way he could get some of those fine lines with a “chunky”… : )

      Yes, quite amazing all the illustration talent out there– take yourself, for example… : )

      Many thanks for stopping by!


  2. October 27, 2011 1:12 PM

    Hi Mark,
    I have never heard of Joe Castillo but now I have seen his sand art I’m very impressed. I watched one video and enjoyed watching the process he uses very much. I appreciate Castillo’s art on an artistic level but it does nothing for me spirtiually as I’m not a Christian.


    • October 27, 2011 5:10 PM

      Yes, sand art– man, just when you think you’ve seen every art form… I always had trouble using an overhead projector without the sand! : (

      Re your beliefs: you’re perfect just the way you are. It’s interesting, tho– your kind and altruistic nature is very Christ-like, if I may say so. Many thanks for stopping by.


  3. October 28, 2011 9:55 PM

    All I can say is WOW! That is incredibly utterly brilliant!

    What an amazing talent!

    Thanks for sharing this one, Mark!


    • October 29, 2011 8:29 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it, Inge, and I agree: it’s a brilliant piece of work. It’s easy to forget sometimes that all great art has to begin with an idea, a vision. It’s an extraordinary concept, and it boggles the mind to think of the time and effort that must have gone into laying the whole thing out. As always, thanks for your support! : )


  4. Rev Marie permalink
    August 8, 2012 6:17 AM

    Wow this is amazing. Wackyrev


    • August 8, 2012 7:59 AM

      It certainly is. I’d love to know how Mr. Castillo mapped out each section en route to the finished design. A remarkable creation.

      Glad you enjoyed it, many thanks for stopping by!


  5. algipoo permalink
    August 30, 2012 4:26 PM

    As amazing as Joe Castillo’s work is, I really think that by displaying Christ to America, he lost the competition, that is just the way our culture is today so Anti- Christ… Prayer out, Christmas or Nativity out… The term one nation under God is becoming politically wrong, tolerance in everything but excepting anything that has to do with Christ. You watch and see the unfolding– I hope I am wrong!


    • August 31, 2012 1:07 PM

      It’s easy to become discouraged, and I understand your frustration: our modern secular culture never tires of preaching tolerance, but that doesn’t seem to extend to religion, especially Christianity, which is regularly mocked by the intelligensia.

      I’m not privy to Mr. Castillo’s thoughts, but I suspect he is sustained by Christ’s words: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” (Jn 15:18) As well as: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20) Things haven’t changed much in the last 2000 years. Christ’s words should help sustain us, too. We must battle on and be of good cheer.

      Many thanks for stopping by, my friend! : )


  6. September 8, 2012 12:02 AM

    Fantastic work. Thanks for sharing.


  7. September 14, 2012 7:38 PM

    A creative combination. The person who made this must be a genius.


    • September 18, 2012 7:47 AM

      Agreed. Mr. Castillo is clearly a genius– which gives him something in common with you and me… : )

      Glad you enjoyed the post, many thanks for stopping by!


  8. D. H. Bowdler permalink
    July 27, 2013 1:16 PM

    I was at a church sale and purchased the face of Christ by Joe Castillo but it is not the one that is shown here. It looks like, to me, that it might have been the initial first rendition of the face. It is not near as complex as the one shown on this page. At the lower right of the stone and continuing on to the entire bottom of the stone is imprinted: Seek the Lord and His Strength; Seek His Face Continually. Psalm 105:4. At the bottom of the stone is imprinted The Tennessee Mint and a marking I cannot distinguish.

    Can you tell me something about this work of art?


    • July 29, 2013 10:33 AM

      I checked Mr. Castillo’s website. There’s a page which mentions the Tennessee Mint as follows: “The Face of Christ depicts His story from a humble birth in a stable to His resurrection. This drawing was formerly featured on a marble plaque sold extensively throughout the United States by the Tennessee Mint.”

      There’s another page entitled About The Face Of Christ. It says the “true story” behind the drawing is a “personal drama of bitterness, despair and ultimately, forgiveness and restoration.” Joe wrote a book about it, and it seems that in order to learn the true story, one has to buy the book. However, you can see a snippet of the story here.

      Hope this helps. Many thanks for your interest and your comment.


  9. Janet Beik permalink
    August 28, 2014 9:15 AM

    My sister bought this though the Tennessee Mint , do you know how I could get one , I think it’s great


  10. December 15, 2014 6:05 AM

    I have one that fell and broke, I did glue it back together, but I would like to replace it. How do I find one again.


  11. Bernice Lupo permalink
    December 22, 2014 7:50 AM

    Absolutely stunning. Thanks so much for sharing


    • December 30, 2014 7:40 PM

      You’re welcome, Bernice, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by. A belated Merry Christmas to you, and best wishes for the new year! : )


  12. December 25, 2014 9:38 PM

    Reblogged this on Me 🙂.


    • December 30, 2014 9:00 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Judia, and I appreciate your support. Nice to meet you, and I wish you a very Happy New Year! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  13. January 26, 2015 3:15 PM

    Thank you, Mark.

    I happened to be looking for something in my attic today and found my marbled stone copy of The Face of Christ. It is indeed a most magnificent piece, and as I shared the pic with my FB friends, I was immediately impacted by the workmanship that led to this masterpiece. God Bless Joe Castillo, and God bless you for bringing this back to light. It most certainly is an inspiring work of art, and a gift from the Lord to all whom seek His face continually.


    • January 27, 2015 9:28 AM

      Hi, Miranda. Thanks so much for your kind comment and good wishes. I can recall being totally bowled over when I first saw Mr. Castillo’s Face Of Christ. The concept and execution are brilliant. A perfect stepping-off point for meditation on Christ’s life. I find myself wondering how Mr. C. hit on the idea, and thinking about all the time and effort that must have gone into figuring out how to blend the Gospel account visuals into the portrait. Truly amazing.

      I’m very glad you enjoyed the post and found your copy of TFOC. Cheers, and God bless you on your journey! : )


  14. john mills permalink
    October 15, 2015 11:49 PM

    Are your Bookmarks and Cards still available Mark?.


  15. Colette Stemm permalink
    December 14, 2015 1:19 PM

    I saw the Face of Christ framed many years ago and the image has always filled my soul. How can I purchase my own drawing so I can frame it?


    • December 14, 2015 3:09 PM

      Hi, Colette. One used to be able to buy Face Of Christ prints from Mr. Castillo’s online store. I’ve just visited his site, however, and, sad to say, the online store appears to have been discontinued. I did some googling, but was unable to find anyone offering prints for sale online. There’s a note on Mr. Castillo’s site which says: “FOR BOOKINGS OR INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Grable 615-283-0039” So you might try calling or emailing Tim to ask if prints are available.

      I’m not associated with Mr. Castillo, so I’m afraid that’s the best I can do. Best of luck to you!


  16. Pam Tisdale permalink
    May 12, 2016 4:20 PM

    I am really inspired by the drawing of The Face of Christ. I would like to use that as a craft project for summer church camp. Is there a way to get a release so I can have the kids each have a copy to color for an art project?? Oh, I hope so.


    • May 13, 2016 9:22 AM

      Hi, Pam. I’m not personally associated with Mr. Castillo, so I can’t give you approval to use his work. He does have a website, however, and if you click on the Info tab and scroll down, you’ll see: FOR BOOKINGS OR INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Grable | 615-283-0039 |

      Hope that’s helpful– good luck!


  17. Geri Moser permalink
    January 6, 2017 6:43 PM

    I first saw this art on a Walk To Emmaus bulletin (a 3 night 4 day Christian weekend). Do you know if that may have been his original one? It would have been around early 2000 era. I’m cleaning out and came across the picture and will be showing it to my pastor. Was Joe from the DC, Virginia, Maryland area?


    • January 11, 2017 8:14 AM

      Hi Geri, sorry for the late reply. I don’t know if Joe did any other versions of his Face Of Christ. He was born in Mexico City. He has a bio on his site, and you can read more about him here. He wrote a book about The Face Of Christ, if you’re interested. I don’t know what year he actually created it. Hope this helps. I’m not affiliated with Mr. Castillo or his business in any way. Cheers!


  18. Susie O’Berski permalink
    December 15, 2017 9:28 AM

    I have one if your amazing pieces of art in the face of JESUS, The Tennessee Mint, and would like to purchase more for wedding gifts. Specifically, I have missionaries in India getting married in India and would love to send them one. Please and thank you!


    • December 20, 2017 8:55 AM

      Hi, Susie. Mr. Castillo used to have an online store that sold Face Of Christ prints, but as far as I can tell, the store no longer exists. I did some googling, but was unable to find anyone offering prints for sale. There’s a note on Mr. Castillo’s site which says: “FOR BOOKINGS OR INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Grable 615-283-0039” So you might try calling or emailing Tim to ask if prints are available.
      I’m not associated with Mr. Castillo, so I’m afraid that’s the best I can do. Good luck!


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