Covers of the Week #89: Ron Lesser

Ron Lesser painted covers for various romance imprints and subgenres, and my favorites are his Harlequin and Silhouette designs.

ron lesser cover art

Artist: Ron Lesser

No, Ron Lesser never painted over photographs to create his ultra-realistic covers! But one could be forgiven for thinking so.

The master artist was a prolific book illustrator from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. Lesser designed commissions for the top publishing houses of the day, including action-adventure, westerns, and romance.

Ron Lesser was born in New York City and studied at the Pratt Institute and then Art Students League of New York. He has won many awards from prestigious institutions such as the Society of Illustrators.

In the 1970s, Lesser made a name for himself by creating fabulous movie posters. He worked as a cover artist for about 25 years. He utilized white casein early on in his career before settling on oil. When digital art was introduced around 1992, it pushed him out of the field. Lesser maintained a commercial and fine art career, focusing on the American Civil War and portrait painting. He returned to the publishing world in the 2010s.

Ron Lesser painted covers for various romance imprints and subgenres, and my favorites are his Harlequin and Silhouette designs. The modern style of his art juxtaposed with vibrant images of couples in intimate embraces fit perfectly with contemporary romance.

Look out for a book on Ron Lesser’s artwork to be released in late 2023.

The Covers

For the week of Monday, February 6, 2023, to Sunday, February 12, 2023, our Covers of the Week focuses on some stunning romance covers in the photo-realistic stylings of Ron Lesser.

The Covers from Left to Right, Top to Bottom

  • Camelot Jones, Mayo Lucas, Avon, 1989
  • Stranger in the Mist, Lee Karr, Silhouette, 1993
  • Diamond Spur, Susan Kyle, Popular Library, 1988
  • Wildcat Summer, Lynda Ward, Harlequin, 1986
ron lesser art Stranger in the Mist
Original Artwork for Stranger in the Mist
ron lesser camelot jones
Original Artwork for Camelot Jones.
(She’s a blood-sucking vampire, here. I wonder what the story behind this change in the cover was!)

Your Opinion

What do you think of these covers illustrated by Ron Lesser? Have you read any of these books? Which of our picks do you like the best, if any?

Do you have suggestions or requests for future Covers of the Week themes you’d like to see on Sweet Savage Flame? Let us know, and we’ll do our best to create a gallery of stunning art!

Please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.

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