Dawn Execution by billyboy

The big view isn’t enough… go HERE and use the slider thing on the left to zoom in, then move the mouse with left click held down to check out the bats !
All image processing done in CS3.

7234 views, 115 faves, 54 features, 20 challenge wins, more late nights than I care to remember – March, 2014

April 2013 Juried Invitational Exhibition

✦ Altered by Imagination ✦ (bless you Rhonda & Polly for being amazing :-) ♥
Art Universe – Halloween gallery (cool!)
Artists Universe – Artist of the Month (:-))
Sci-Fi Group
The Group
Artist on Facebook
Original Entities
Superbly Visual
Love of Eerie and Enchanted Artwork
In One’s Mind’s Eye
Props 2 Props
A Class Of Its Own Art Gallery
Art For Sale
Back in Black
Top Favorites
Vibration in Art and Verse – VAVoom!
Fantasy Art
HDR Photography
Favourite Fantasy Creations
All In Editing (featured artist ♥)
Digital Art Compilations :-(x)
Exaggerated Emotions
The Grunge Art Gallery
The Virtual Museum
Far Out Digital Art
Challenge Winner’s Vault
Creative, Talented and Unknown
Shameless Self Promotion
All Things Twin
Digital Art At Its Best
The Best of Anything and Everything
Avant-Garde Art
RedBubble Boomers
Fantasy and Mystical Things
Witches, Wizards and Warlocks
Magic Realism and Urban Fantasy
Solo Exhibition
100 %
Criminal Minds
Every Little Thing You Do
Inspired Art
Who Are You To Judge?
Wonders and Weirdness of the Universe
Photo Manipulators
Self Taught Photographers
New Dimensions
Creative Images
Featured for a Challenge
Creepy Scary Places

For the record, there is absolutely no WAY me and my new friend BillyBones were gonna let Halloween pass by without doing a collab.
So I went back through my pictures from a photo shoot I did last spring at a medieval castle in Beersel that’s only a stone’s throw away from home (don’t know why I waited 46 years to get pictures of that AMAZING place)…

There’s a torture chamber that’s not easy to find in the myriad of stairways and turret rooms that looked like it would suit, so I asked Bones what he thought of the idea and he just dropped his jaw and said “far-fukkin’-OUT!!”

So we did some shots outside on the patio and in the bedroom in different positions so I’d have options for positioning him in the montage. He was pretty cooperative but got a bit pissy when I told him he wouldn’t get paid. I just told him there was no budget and that seemed to shut him up…

At first I didn’t have a clear idea of what the finished image would be, though the scenario started to evolved as I tried different set ups. Fact is, when I visited that eerie chamber, it was hard not to imagine and actually feel the anguish of torture and executions that happened there in ages past. So I went with that and added some extra elements (like the sword and bondage rings on the walls) to reinforce the story line.

But there was something missing… maybe bats flying round overhead? Of course they needed to be skeletal too, so I searched Google for royalty free bat skeleton images and was totally blown away to find so many to choose from !!
It took absolute ages to isolate all the bones (and that goes for BillyBones’ as well) from the background images and to position everything and balance the lighting of all the elements. But in the end, and in my own distorted and characteristically bent way, I felt it was worth it.
I don’t know how many it’s ultimately gonna appeal to, but it’s my heart felt tribute to my favorite event of the year…
Happy Halloween !!!


Started with an HDR composite of 3 exposures from the torture chamber. Used Photomatix to control the wide dynamic between sunlight through the windows and extreme shadow…

Here’s some of the results from my photo shoot with Mr. Bones (I DID tell him to keep his gob shut… but then thought maybe it would pan out, which it did. Thank God his English sucks!)
Unfortunately his rigor mortis is such that I can’t turn his hands to any position I want so they needed to be shot separately to get required position (for deadtime prayers for example)

The sword was my dad’s from his amazing collection of cool stuff… think he got it when he was a cadet at VPI military academy in Virginia (the bears are another story for another time… :-) The bondage rings were shot at the entrance corridor to the recording studio where I work. Was originally a 19th century factory and they used them to tie the horses. Before executing them at dawn…:-))

… and then there’s the batz…
There’s no easy way to isolate bones from background, even when the background is all the same color. You just need selection tools and a versatile pallet of eraser brushes. And LOTS of patience.
Having removed the backgrounds, I put them each in a separate layer of a new black background. Of course I needed to add some motion blur… hey, they WERE actually in flight, yeah?

If you got to the end of this description, bless you for your support.
And even if you didn’t, I hope Halloween this year (and every year) is all and more than you hoped it would be :-))

Amateur Photographer’s Association – Monster Mash
Far Out Digital Art – Scariest Halloween Challenge
Magic Realism and Urban Fantasy – This Is Hallowe’en
Halloween – This Is Halloween
Exquisition – Halloween Challenge
Top Favorites – Halloween Quick Challenge
All In Editing – Spooky and Scary for All Hallos Eve
Creative, Talented and Unkown – New Work
Freedom in Words and Art – Portal of Your Imagination
Sci-Fi – Once Upon A Time In Another Universe
Freedom Of Expression – Artists’ Choice
Magic Realism and Urban Fantasy – This Is Hallowe`en
Halloween – Skeletons
Bubbling Artists – An Undiscovered World
Halloween – Skeletons
Far Out Digital Art – Avatar Challenge
Pixellations – Perfect Pixellations
Digital Art Compilations – October Spooky Avatar Challenge
New Dimensions – Boo!
Amazing Challenge Entertainment – Manipulated Images

Fantasy and Mystical Things – The Creepy Challange (2nd)
The Group – Haunting Halloween
Art For Sale – Halloween
Love of Eerie and Enchanting Artwork – Halloween Challenge (2nd)
Artists Universe – Halloween Madley
Zingers – Zinger of the Month for October
Sci-Fi Group – Where No One Has Gone Before (2nd)
Light In The Darkness – Your Best of 2012
Artists Universe – Dark Gothic Art
Muted – Avatar Challenge
Amazing Challenge Entertainment – Manipulated Photography
Fantasy and Mystical Things – Ghosts or Spirits
Back In Black – Best in Black
Ceation – Halloween Challenge
Just Fun – Halloween
Layered Up – Halloween is With Us
Art and Photography Showcase – Haunted Places
Halloween (All Year) – My Choice


Yup, first time I ever used other than my own photos…

“Halfanesey":http://www.flickr.com/photos/35071522@N00/ at Flickr (cheers mate, you make bat bone attitude rock!)

“Bre Pettis":http://www.flickr.com/photos/bre at Flickr

“Ryan McJunkin":http://ryanmcjunkin.com/ at ryanmacjunkin.com

“Markus Nolf":http://www.thinkoholic.com/about/ at thinkaholic.com

“Jack Of Nothing":http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuhorvath/ at Flickr

“iwouldificould":http://www.flickr.com/photos/99411713@N00/ at Flickr


  • Donna19
    Donna19over 2 years ago

    It looks like to me that the Anurognathus are wearing gas masks and don’t you think a simple mallet would be more affective than a sword? I went to your website and gotta say Billy Bones the toilet scene….just cracked me up! Didn’t know a bunch of bones could have an expression. This just makes me smile really really big…:)

  • OK Donna, the place did stink of dead stuff so the gas mask thing is NOT surprising…
    And why use a mallet when you got a saber that will chop the skull off in one clean swipe?
    Cool you can dig a bit of skeletal toilet humor, and even cooler I put a smile on yer chops today :-)
    Cheers for the fave !

    – billyboy

  • Nadya Johnson
    Nadya Johnsonover 2 years ago

    Wow! Fave for sure!! Although… you do have to ask, “can you really die twice??” LOL!! Awesome work!

  • Nadya, on the run up to halloween… the more times you die the better!!
    Think I need to move to Galena btw…:-)
    Hugz for the fave !

    – billyboy

  • Carol and Mike Werner
    Carol and Mike...over 2 years ago

    Awesome Collab, Billy . . . you and BillyBones did a great job.

  • Thanks C&M, he’s feeling pretty pleased with himself… chillin’ out with a beer as I type…
    Actually he’s a pain in the butt when he’s pissed. Think I’ll throw some hot coffee on him. That might add some cool tone to the bones…:-)
    Cheers for faving!!

    – billyboy

  • Carmen Holly
    Carmen Hollyover 2 years ago

    OH finally a great new work from BillyBoY! Great work..keep them coming.That is an amazing place & perfect for you scarrrrry scene for Halloween.

  • Hiya Carmen! Yeah, I know it’s been ages. I took lots of pictures with this guy drinkin’ beer and sitting on the toilet and playing the organ and stuff… but it took me a while to come up with something a bit special. So cool you dig it :-)

    – billyboy

  • Guendalyn
    Guendalynover 2 years ago


  • Grazie mille Guendalyn!!
    Jeeze yer hot when you speak Italian…
    Dig your new avatar too :-)
    Cheers for the fave !!!!

    – billyboy

  • linaji
    linajiover 2 years ago

    Ohh wow BB.. nice work as I know how much you two have bonded since you discovered him in America. I am sure his bones are breaking with the joy of your vision for him and the Halloween. hehehe you crack me up! And of course seeing your skills again always satisfies.
    Good Lord, your abilities are neva rusty!! damn!

  • So you noticed what a blast we’re having??
    It’s kinda like having a puppy without having to clean up the mess :-)
    OK, having said that… it’s not too cool when he vomits beer.
    But it smells better than dog poo.
    So cool to see ya Lina, and hope your Halloween rocks. Even though it’s a bit warm for it in SF… need to get yer bones chilled while tick-or-treating…
    Cheers for the fave!

    – billyboy

  • Cynthia Lund Torroll
    Cynthia Lund T...over 2 years ago

    I had a feeling you were going to present BillyBones in some very Halloweenesque way!

    Oh, pun not intended!


    How is it you are able to give us expression on these guys??


  • Assuming you mean the bats… I did work with the jaws on some, and the positioning with the big guys actually seemed to change their expressions as they locked vision.
    And if you meant the kneeling guy… well, he IS praying for his life after all. Even though he’s already dead. Hmmm…
    The pun, whether or not intended made me grin evilly :-)
    Thanx for the fave!!

    – billyboy

  • Raymond Kerr
    Raymond Kerrover 2 years ago

    Cool image !!

  • Cheers Raymond, cool to see ya!

    – billyboy

  • … and cheers for the fave :-)

    – billyboy

  • Rita  H. Ireland
    Rita H. Irelandover 2 years ago

    Wow now that’s one bad ass image! So creative and fun!

  • Thanks for the appreciation Rita!
    Wish I could find the skeleton of my Jeans Bug… that would open up a whole new world of opportunity :-))
    Cheers too for the fave !!

    – billyboy

  • Christina Brundage
    Christina Brun...over 2 years ago

    Wow, fabulous work! Spooky! And I wish RB let us see everything as large as your link does. It sure makes all the difference!

  • Cheers for clicking the link Christina!
    Panoramio isn’t quite the community site that RB is, but the graphic display is awesome… especially the way you can zoom in to full resolution, just like working in PS!
    I only use it just for images that need a big view like this one, but WOW does it work!!
    Thanks for stopping by and diggin’ the spook :-))

    – billyboy

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.