A variegated edge is used to intermittently break and soften a hard edge that is attracting too much attention. The process is similar to softening a hard edge, but the edge is only softened in a few places to ease back the attention it draws. Varying the size and spacing of these softened areas helps the edge blend into the painting.
The distant mountain in this painting was applied as a solid, hard edged mark then broken and manipulated in a few places with a clean, damp brush. This process has to be carried out quickly as once the paint starts to dry, problems will arise. The riverbanks were also softened and broken in a similar manner.