Portraits and sculptures are large sub-genre in the LEGOPunk scene, and have become more accessible in recent years. In fact, LEGO themselves have started to sell kits that do all the heavy lifting for you. In the former category is a portrait from the web many years ago (/me does research, 2001 actually) of singer Tori Amos. Ok, so you have to stand well back. And squint. And have an imagination. But it does work. And it uses fewer bricks than Eric Harshbarger's creations so is well within reach.
There's also created a tutorial on how to make them yourselves.