Why do some artists slash their edges?

This is probably a naive question but I will ask it anyway. A number of very successful artists will often make a stroke or two at right angles to some of their edges. Are they trying to draw attention to the edge? Soften it? Is it not just distracting? Is it just a personal style thing?

I think you have answered your own questions. It can be used to soften or lose an edge, to create glow near a highlight, to pull unifying color from one area into another, or to just mess up a too-tight canvas. I suppose used randomly or to excess, it could be seen as affected or applied style, which some might find distracting. Try it, you might like it.

An Occasional “Edge-Slasher”

P.S. For some real “slashing” inspiration, watch Julie Ford Oliver’s ArtByte Tutorial on “Fracturing.”

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I have to say that I don’t do any fracturing myself but I have seen that in some paintings. I have seen it expertly done sometimes, but sometimes I think it’s too over-done and obvious. If I used that technique, I think I would make it either smaller or more transparent. Sometimes I’ve see it in a painting that was so obvious that it was the first thing I noticed and my eye was constantly drawn to it. Just my opinion.

It is a personal style thing, a way to soften an edge and create some energy to a painting at the same time. Works well with abstract or impressionistic style paintings.