I belong to a few yahoo users group and recently, the above question was posed. I thought you’d be interested in my answer.
I generally have 2 of each brush for landscapes and seascapes.
I find with florals, I generally use only one of each brush.
With portraits, I have two sets, but generally use only one set.
With Tall Ships, I use only one set at a time, except for the ¾” soft brush. I find that’s the only brush I use 2 in. I think mostly its because I’m absent-minded. (Side note. I use my portrait brushes to paint most of the Tall Ships.—I use a 1” brush to paint the sky and ocean undercoating and use #2, #4, #6 flats for detailing the ocean and ship. Sails, Riggings, etc…. are done with the portrait brushes and a #1 liner. A #0 liner will work just as well.
Wildlife and Still life are pretty much the floral brushes with a mix of landscapes and the #2, #4, #6 bristle flats.
I love those last 3 brushes.
And they’re only 99 cents each.
And you only need one of each. Bristles are so easy to clean with just paper towels.
A lot of cleaning can be simply done by wiping the brushes with a paper towel. I generally clean the brush if I’m going from a light to a dark color. It’s amazing how the smallest amount of white will prevent you from getting your color. All other mixes, I’m pretty much able to wipe the brush with paper towels and go into the next color, light or dark.
When I do clean, I use baby oil. Havn’t used thinner in a very long time.
It’s mostly a matter of what you’re use to or what works best for you. The solution….experiment.
Start with two each, if that’s not enough, add more brushes.
I don’t use but one mop though.
Excuse me, blender.
Hope this helps.