Paints are manufactured in either pre-formed cake pan sets or in tubes that you squeeze into your own palette. If you buy tubes, you will need a “working” palette in which to squeeze your colors. A working palette is a blank plastic tray with pre-formed wells for your colors, a large central mixing area, and a cover. (Walmart has one for around $3/4) Winsor-Newton Cotman (lower end) Daniel Smith (higher end) are both reputable manufacturers of quality pigments, so choose those that give you the best deal. I recommend the following colors:
(YELLOWS) Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Aureolin Yellow (REDS) Rose Madder Genuine, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson (BLUES) Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue (EARTH TONES) Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Warm Sepia (GREENS) Pthalo Green(“Winsor Green” in Winsor/Newton pigments), Sap Green (DARKS) Payne’s Gray (LIGHTS) Titanium White
If you prefer buying a cake set. pick one with at least 12 colors. That covers cool and warm primaries, earth tones and hopefully a white but white can be purchased separately as a tube in addition to the cake set if it is the set already.