Huw Jones



Process - Glazing

Layers of acrylic paint thinned with mediums - retarder, flow enhancer and best of all slow-dry blending medium.

The layers dry quickly, they are fairly translucent, creating thin veils that make the forms less certain, more suggested.

Once the first layers are dry, they invite more layers, re- drawing and re- defining, blurring then sharpening, each layer adding to the 'envelope' of light.

 I'm not getting anywhere near the richness of Monet's Cathedral and may need to go back to oils, although there is no knowing what combination of mediums Monet used. At the moment I'm enjoying working with acrylics and exploring the various qualities of acrylic mediums.

Colour . Monet realised that colour perception is very complex. He followed Eugene Chevreul who published his colour theory in 1839 and particularly explored complementary colours. The glazes add to the complexity of colour, but can also muddy and dull the colours. M's use of colour makes forms melt into each other, sink or advance. I am usually restricted by the actual colours in the scene and it's difficult for me to break away from that and to feel free to play with colour.

The slow dry blending medium and water made a good glaze with raw sienna, alizarin crimson and raw umber. The thin paint sinks into the pits and grooves of the previous layers and shows up the gestural brushstrokes and marks.

Then worked into this while still wet with a sticky liquid paint . Unfortunately this lost a lot of the excitement of the previous stage.

Glazing is a scary process. There is always a chance of losing something important underneath, on the other hand it can add depth, subtlety and meaning, a more complex artwork.

Hi Andrew,

Yes,I haven't chosen one yet, but those are all from the same Chapel, which has Classical features, some may be a bit more Gothic, and some are just plain! I need to find one with more surface detail I think. I've done thirty small ones but it's as much about exploring the paint qualities as about the buildings. I'll send some more out soon.

Best wishes,


> On 19 May 2015, at 16:24, Andrew Smith <> wrote:

> Hi Huw,

> Many thanks for this. I was going to ask you from your previous email about the chapels and if you were going to pick one that would be your 'Monet's cathedral'?

> Kind Regards,

> Andrew

Since the visit to the National Gallery of Wales I have been working from Monet's painting from the Rouen Cathedral.

An idea developed to create 30 small paintings to reflect Monet's series which also had the same amount. When put together these would be about the same size as the painting in Cardiff.

The differences in scale would provide some interesting problems.

I recorded my painting methods over the last two months, and intend to use some of these processes together with some ideas about Monet's processes.

As soon as I started the series it pushed me towards new methods which I hadn't used before, mainly concerned with transferring multiple images and building up areas of paint quickly, including printing from acetate sheets and paper, painting through stencils.
The series is still in progress and I will probably use some of my usual processes, particularly glazing and scumbling.

  Claude Monet. Rouen Cathedral: Setting Sun (Symphony in Pink and Grey)
1892–189 Oil on canvas. 100 x 65 cm
Collection Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

The qualities I was aiming at from looking at the Monet were working with impasto, using palette knife and wide brushes and re-working the paint while it dried, using an alternating vertical and horizontal strokes to create a mesh of varying tones and gestural marks, using complementary colours to create a shimmering effect as if the forms are melting into each other. Another thing which I realised was that I was able to make an equivalent of the sky colour with ultramarine blue, white and a bit of viridian green. This seems to work well with the complementary pinkish wall of the cathedral
There's plenty of things I can dig deeper into from these. I've read that Malevich was influenced by the Cathedral series and that Pollock has a painting called Cathedral which may have some connection, so I would like to find out more in the direction of gesture and simplifying of forms towards abstraction. I also see Rothko-ish qualities in some areas particularly in the shadowy doors.

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