When I was first wanting to try watercolors, I somewhat skipped over the student grade paints which are more binder than pigment, and bought the artist grade paints I read would work best in the long run. Since the artist grade paints are higher quality, (more pigment than binder which means better coverage, better mixing) I think they are easier for a beginner to use- but they will cost more. I believe there are quite a few people who have tried then given up on watercolor paints because they didn’t seem to act as expected – and that’s likely due to the paints being used – not due to operator error.
Before purchasing my first tube, (I buy them individually) I did oodles of research to figure out which colors would be the best for a beginner palette. I started with tubes of red/blue/yellow in cool and warm shades, (cool/warm mix best with the same but it’s not set in stone.) and then I started to get a little crazy with convenience (pre-mixed) colors.
After having this palette for several years, I’ll tell you that I ended up not using many of these colors. I discovered I liked working my abstracts with a few specific colors and the rest have pretty much become neglected. My advice to anyone wanting to work with watercolors is to buy artist grade paints (I like Daniel Smith’s brand) and buy just a few colors at a time so you can mix & experiment. Watercolor paints are easy for anyone to use but can take a lifetime to master.