I guess I just assumed those amazing little portraits in the Wall Street Journal were done by a computer. It's heartwarming to know that there are people hunched over their drawing boards creating these images, one dot at a time, even as we speak.
Every morning, artists are emailed their assignment — a photograph. After printing it out at around 3 x 5 inches, they work on tracing the photograph with ink dots on a fresh sheet of vellum or white paper. Once they're done, artists scan and email back the finished product.