If you are new to watercolor painting, there are a few ways that you can purchase your paints. One way is very similar to that of children’s watercolor sets you may have used in school. The dried cake pigments are mounted into a case that allows you to use the paints by sweeping a wet brush across the cake to life up the paint. Watercolors can also be purchased in tubes for more color choices. When watercolors are purchased in this fashion, you can use them straight out of the tube for darker pigments or you can also let them dry and use them much like those student grade watercolor sets. If you have watercolor tubes, I highly suggest purchasing a watercolor palette.
What I love about having watercolors like this is that I can choose colors that I like and I have the ability to set up my palette the way I choose. Each palette comes in different sizes as well as a lid to keep them protected and clean while being stored. I actually own two watercolor palettes. One is for my less expensive watercolor tubes and the other larger one is full of more high end watercolor tube paints.
When you get your palette, you will need to layout where you want each color to go. I generally lay each tube into a separate section until I like the order. Then you will gently squeeze one color into each section. Take a brush and gently move the paint around to help it level out making sure that when the paint dries, it will adhere to the bottom of the palette. After putting all of your colors into the palette, let it set out uncovered over night and let the pigments harden. This could take more than a day so just be patient. The left over paint in the tubes can be stored away for when you need a stronger, darker color for your paintings.