PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - Gene Dillard has mastered the art of painting people.
So, when he became the victim of a burglary this weekend, he did what he does best, sketching and painting artwork of the thief to help police.
"You sort of train yourself to be observant," said the artist at the Rail Station Studios art gallery in downtown Plano. "It's a way of capturing the personality and the character of the person."
Dillard was working on one of his latest projects, a portrait of Plano's mayor, Saturday when he says a man walked in and began looking around. When the man later left, Dillard realized he'd disappeared with his laptop.
Dillard called police and picked up a pen. He started with a quick sketch.
Then, Dillard put oil to canvas.
"The hair was short on the sides, big on the top," he recalls.
The result is a painting capturing details of the thief, like his gap teeth, his curly hair, and his large backpack with yellow stripes.
"It wasn't very smart to rob a studio full of portrait artists," Dillard says friends have pointed out.
Dillard said he gave police a copy of the picture.
"They said they'd never seen anything that detailed presented as a sketch of a perpetrator," he said.
He is curious to see how well he did.
"It would be interesting if the fellow is caught," he said. "To see if I nailed the likeness."
So, if you do recognize the man in the portrait, call police.
And one more thing… "Maybe let him know – his portrait is ready," said Dillard.
for more features.