As a self-taught painter, I've needed to learn about my materials on my own. Of course, artists with an official education learn on their own, too, but they are often steered in certain directions based on the advice they receive from their professors and fellow students. I get some advice as well, but most of my contacts don't use oil a lot. One uses acrylic but mostly does engravings, another is an oil-pastelist, and another still works with knives. In short, there's only so much one can read without actually getting to work, and that's exactly what I've done.
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He has a point because good brushes do perform well. If you learn to paint with good brushes then you'll produce paintings with those brushes. They load differently, they apply differently, and keep their shape better than cheaper brushes. But that's it. Many people reading this will probably think,"whoa, that's it?" Yes, that's it. Whether or not this makes a difference to you is up to you. I say this because I'm poor and can't afford high-quality brushes. My brushes get beat up. I use them hard and I clean them hard, and I do have to buy new brushes on occasion. But I've learned to paint this way. Again, you can argue the quality of my paintings all you want, but you can't argue that I haven't learned to do things with my brushes.
So what's my advice? Buy brushes that you can use. If that means spending a lot of money on a high-quality brush because you need a specific type of performance, then go buy it. If that means you can make do with other brushes, then do that, too. It's what I do. I have a lot to learn, and I still have a lot of room to improve, but I don't need to spend a lot of money to do this.
This is different from paint, btw. I almost exclusively use Schmincke Mussini paints. This is because paint does actually look differently. In my opinion it's important to use high-quality finished products such as canvas and paint. It's the tools that one uses to create these finished products that are up for debate.