One of the questions I get asked the most is about what colors do I buy? Of course you can always buy a kit and 95% of the time these colors will be in that kit. If you are feeling adventurous you can go through and buy the following colors which will give you a good basic palette:
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Yellow Ochre or Raw Sienna
Viridian Green (Thalo or Prussian)
Prussian Blue (Winsor or Thalo)
The other item that is imperative to any watercolor artist (hobbyists) is a palette with deep wells. Any palette will work but if you are looking to paint watercolors on a regular basis I recommend one with deep wells and a lid. You can get these at any craft or art store for around $10 (I paid $4.00 for mine). I recommend not spending much more than that on them. Especially on a plastic one because they do break quite easily.
I also recommend having a Fine Sharpie so you can label the wells as you go. The more you get into watercolor you will understand why the labeling is so important. Many times I have wanted to use Paynes Gray and have dipped my brush in Indigo or Sepia. The other tool I recommend having is a pair of pliers for those stubborn tops. There is nothing worse than trying to get a stubborn top opened.
Another point I want to make is you don’t need expensive paints to make great paintings. In my opinion mastering a more expensive paint especially in watercolors can be quite challenging. I recommend starting with a basic pan of Crayola Watercolors and if you like it then move onto investing in watercolors. Painting is a skill that if you don’t train (aka: paint) on a regular basis you will get rusty. Watercolors should be fun not a burden. Remember I have over 20 years experience in painting (painting or sketching close to everyday of those years – 7300 days I have been painting) so don’t expect to be able to paint like me after the first time or even the 100th time. I have over 7,000 days in experience on you so don’t be discouraged enjoy it that is what painting is all about