Once a picture is selected, I use a combination of computer processing and manual manipulation to create the bead plan, which uses around 30 colors. Portraits are assembled by hand on multiple 841-bead peg boards. The final result is lowered into a layer of resin on a museum-grade artist panel sized to exactly match the dimensions of the finished work. This allows the beads to be fully visible from the side.
Portraits can be of individuals, or small groups. They are best displayed where they can initially be seen from a distance (30 feet or more) but then can be approached for closer inspection. The portraits are rather dark when viewed straight on, since one is looking through the beads to the black background. While this can be interesting, I would recommend extra lighting (as used to display the portrait in the image above).