I now LOVE Daniel Smith watercolor paints! But many other manufacturers make high quality lovely paints. Winsor Newton offers high quality paints and also a few tutorial videos on their sight.
Quality will matter, but I do not recommend that a beginner break the bank on paints.
Colors. You will want a blue, red, yellow, green, probably Raw Sienna and Payne's Grey. But honestly, there are SO many colors to choose from! I prefer to let students experiment with various colors to find those that resonate most with them. My most favorite color is Payne's Grey. Greens can be tricky. I like Sap Green best. A Hansa or Cadmium yellow is good. As far as blues, I like a Winsor Blue with Red Shade and a French Ultramarine. And Daniel Smith Pyrol Orange is a new favorite color.
If you are new to watercolor you will want a palette with a cover if you use tube paints. You simply cover what you haven't painted with and reuse. reuse. reuse. reuse. These paints really go a very long way.
If you'd like to know more, here is a great blog entry about watercolor paints, pigments and why the good stuff costs more.
OTHER SUPPLIES / MATERIALS
Masking fluid, brushes (round and flat), paint pallet, sponge, salt, saran wrap, gauze, gator board, staple gun, painter’s tape, pencil, eraser, tracing paper, paper towels. More about them later.
Giving credit, where credit is due. My watercolor knowledge came later in life for me. From the kind and thorough instruction of Tom Herzog.
In college, I thought I was too cool for watercolor and only hung out with Oil, Acrylic and Screenprint. I now know who the real cool kids are. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to learn about the medium of watercolor.