What is a good basic watercolor set for beginners and for artists who want to start painting with watercolors?

Some questions we are often asked:

“What colors do you suggest for a beginner to get started?”
“What colors should I get if I want to paint with watercolors?” 

Choosing a palette of colors is very personal, and at its most basic, the choice needs to include a yellow, red and blue for a primary mixing set. 

“Which yellow, red and blue to get started with?” 

We recommend the DANIEL SMITH Sketcher Half Pan Watercolor Set

This handy, thoughtfully selected group of 6 DANIEL SMITH colors was developed over several years by Sketcher Artist Liz Steel (with helpful feedback from other artists) to be an excellent starter palette of watercolors, perfect for the beginner, the artist who wants to upgrade to DANIEL SMITH Watercolors and the on-the-go artist who needs a good basic set to take with them.  

Because the set is made up of half pans, it is an excellent value to get started with six DANIEL SMITH Watercolors at a lower price than six 15ml tubes would be, and well priced for gift giving too! Currently, Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors are on sale for 30% off! Woo hoo!

The colors in the set were carefully chosen for their ability to mix beautifully making gorgeous and useful secondary colors as well as huge spectrum of other colors.  An important part of choosing the colors was including 2 primary triads [yellow, red & blue] in what Liz Steel calls a “Bright Primary Triad” and an “Earth Primary Triad“. Having two different primary mixing triads within the set makes color mixing fast, easy and successful for painting.   

Bright Primary Triad”, for quickly mixing bright colors:

Earth Primary Triad“, for quickly mixing earthly colors:

Color mixing grid of the Sketcher Half Pan Watercolor Set
organized by Liz Steel’s 2 primary triads:  “bright primary triad” and “earth primary triad”

With these two primary triads you can confidently mix a huge range of useful and beautiful colors, both within each of the triads and mixing combinations of the two triad colors together. 

The Sketcher Half Pan Watercolor Set was designed to be a solid foundation palette of colors to get started painting with watercolors for beginners, and are a great introduction to DANIEL SMITH Watercolors for more experienced artists.  The Set was also designed to work wonderfully with add on colors as each artist later chooses additional colors to personalize their palette for their particular subjects. The Set even includes 9 empty half pans ready to fill with additional colors from DANIEL SMITH tube watercolors! Now that you know these are on sale for 30% off, what are you waiting for?!