AND... After a 7 year hiatus from "figure" painting I attended a figure drawing workshop at Jonathan Bickart's Sculpture Studio. I was going to bring charcoal and keep it super real and then I decided that if I'm going to use photoshop for a living I should us it for everything.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet
Brushes: See brush swatch above. The tip has an irregular
shape (that I stole from someone) and the other important
element of it is that in the Brush Settings/Other Dynamics/Opacity Jitter that you set the Opactiy Jitter to "Pen Pressure" this give you a nice soft brush you can blend with.