Brushes are ancient tools and have developed to serve many specialized uses. To see some of the brushes, not usually shown in most art catalogs, look at the New York Central on line Supply Catalog, pages 68 to 105.
The following collection was accumulated over many years in the studio for the application of ink, watercolor, gouache, acrylic gouache, casein, sizing, gesso, acrylic colors, oil colors, varnish, and some miscellaneous uses. They are versatile to be sure.
The pencil in all of the photographs is to show the relative sizes of the brushes between the groups.
On the left: Winsor & Newton, fine sable No.7 series, #8, #6, #4, used for water colors.
On the right: Proart synthetic sword liners, Large, Medium and Small. The have a very fine point and a large reservoir above in the wide part of the brush. They paint crisp lines both straight and curved. By mixing oil color to the correct consistency they can paint hairs as in this portrait.
On the left: 1-1/4 inch synthetic wash brush, soft large Chinese, and #10 Rekab squirrel mop.
On the right:#10 DaVinci synthetic hair quill, #16 Creative Mark squirrel hair quill and #5 DaVinci synthetic hair quill. Quills can hold a lot of watercolor or ink and are flexible.
Here is a sample of a #10 DaVinci quill from a design portfolio for Sundance Catalog.
On the left: Signet Robert Simmons bristle, #4 egbert, #8 flat, #8 filbert and #9 round.
On the right:#10 #20 and #30 Langnickel Sable flat. They can be used for watercolor and oil color. Two of the brushes have been shortened to fit in my paint box.
On the left: 2 and 1 inch foam brushes
On the right: #30 Blick Mega white bristle flat, #2 Escodo domed bristle sash, #1 Escodo bristle sash and a 2 inch bristle gesso.
Not shown in this collection are a few synthetic bristled brushes. They were for a brief interlude with acrylic paints. Having worked in oils for so many years, it was difficult to adjust the feel of acrylics and their properties.