Janes was born in Swansea, and first met Thomas, who was a few years his junior, at Bishop Gore School. A mutual friend was the composer Daniel Jones. Janes studied art at the Royal Academy in London, while Thomas was also in the city, and he painted three portraits of Thomas during the 1930s. His works may be seen in the National Museum of Wales, the University of Wales at Swansea and the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. He also produced portraits of Vernon Watkins, James Govier, the painter,etcher and engraver, William Grant Murray and Gwillym Thomas the ceramic artist.