I love brushes.... I have more than I will every be able to use if I were to use them all - but the right brush for the job is very important. I am always trying new brushes for the right spring, flow, line, softness, and control.
Here are some of the brushes that I use regularly:
I normally paint smoothly, so a solid support is more to my liking. I typically use Ampersand Gessobord.
I primarily use M. Graham, but also Old Holland and Gamblin. For my whites I use Titanium White, but will also use Zinc or Flake white for more opaque areas.
Paint consistency is very important as well, so I use a few mediums depending on the stage of the painting and the desired glossiness.
Note that to "oil out" a painting in order to remove the dry/flat areas in the painting, I will use a 50/50 mix of Galkyd and Gamsol Orderless Mineral Sprits (OMS). More recently, I have been using SVALOS Diluant Thinner for my thinning (Livos).
For cleaning I use one of the thinners above and then use a clear liquid dish washing soap (no fragrances or color) and water.
I use Gamvar Picture Varnish as a final varnish.
My typical painting process generally includes these steps:
Note that in many cases I will not need the glazing step, but will instead have multiple sessions of the Second Painting (OK, otherwise known as the Third Painting, the Fourth Painting, etc. until the painting looks right to me).