Ah, one of my early loves - pointillism.
It started in high school with a 16"x18" ink image of my brother. In dots. I was hooked from then.
Yes, the methodical dotting, staring so intently that you become cross-eyed. Love it. It's really a meditative process, and can be quite relaxing. The idea is through the buildup of dots, you create shadow and depth, just as though with pencil or paint. Only it takes longer - but because of the preciousness of the technique, the results are soft, realistic and breathtaking.
I took a Film Noir class for an Art History requirement last year. I LOVED IT...I tend to like stark contrasts (exemplified by the master, Caravaggio) and the dark darks against the lights from those movies was just amazing. So I reversed the process to take less time and to change the effect; instead of working up black ink on white, I worked up white ink on black illustration board. The effect is really cool.
The only bad side is that the white ink I used was acrylic, so it dried fast and gummed up my quill. (Oh did I forget to mention I used a quill-dip-into-ink method?) And you don't get as much tone variations from straight white - if you want to get these, you have to mix with water.
I want to do more pointillisms - maybe when I have all that spare time one day :) Sand dollars, starfish, shells, etc...
Pictured above: "My Boys", an unfinished piece composed from several reference photos from last year; my now ex-bf (we're still friends, no worries) and my kitty, Jonah. They were both watching TV, and I found it hilarious and took a couple pictures.