I can still remember the painting set my parents got me for Christmas one year, it was one of those paint by number sets of some horses. I even remember opening it and the smell of the paint in all those little pots that came with it – but most importantly I can still remember the fear of going outside the lines and worst of all my inability to stay within them :-))
I was 9 when I painted this, the only surviving oil painting of a bird from my early years (1969). Not remarkable I will admit, but knowing what I do now, I would guess the brushes I was given were pretty awful – not that one should ever blame the tools, but if they are not any good . . . they make a huge difference to what you can do, so my advice is buy the most expensive ones you can afford and I would always say, buy natural rather than synthetic.