I was very happy to recently discover this alternative design of Ron Lesser’s artwork for High Plains Drifter (1973). This newly found artwork illustrates segmented movement in the arm of the stranger (Clint Eastwood) holding his pistol. The drawing also depicts the mayhem of exploding buildings and destruction of the town during the film’s memorable and exciting climax.
Ron Lesser’s talent has always been admired and loved by Eastwood fans, with High Plains Drifter always being among the most popular of Eastwood’s film poster designs. New York painter Ron Lesser used to create movie art, including award-winning posters and storyboards for some classic western films including The Way West and A Man Called Horse. He has also painted pieces for the covers of books by legendary western writers such as Louis L’Amour. These days, however, Lesser devotes much of his time to creating paintings of Native Americans, cowboys, and the Civil War. “I am trying to tell a story,” he says. “I like people to look at one of my paintings and feel like they could step into the scene.”
Lesser is known for his attention to detail and for capturing the high drama of life in the West in the 19th century. Native American figures, whether they are posed or engaged in battle, are often set against the magnificent mountains and luminously coloured skies of the frontier terrain. “I am always trying to make the work authentic, like it may have looked back then,” Lesser says. To achieve this accuracy, the artist reads, researches, and consults with experts.
Lesser says he is inspired by the works of some of the country’s top artists as well as illustrators such as Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth. He is represented by B&R Art Gallery, Canyon Country, CA.