Vegans look away! A few months ago I discovered the joy that is painting with a squirrel mop. They can be expensive but the Harmony brand is great and so affordable it doesn't need to last as long as Da Vinci or Isabey. What I dislike about squirrel is the fragility of the hairs and they lack of snap. On a whim I picked up a size six Silver Black Velvet brush not knowing what to expect from a squirrel synthetic combination. It got great reviews and was on sale at a great price. Love at first stroke. It keeps the best point of any brush I own, feels great in my hand and is more rugged than a pure squirrel hair brush. I now have added a size 10 round with a few more shapes heading my way. I can get a full set of brushes for the price of a single Kolinsky brush!
And they now make travel brushes! I'm in trouble!