If you can afford only one brush, buy a #8 round red sable watercolor brush. Otherwise buy the best synthetic or synthetic-blend brush you can find. Adding a round #4, #12 and a 1″ flat would come in handy for detail work and
large washes. Most manufacturers have starter sets that contain very usable equivalents.
Select a set of watercolor paints. A beginner 12-color set is a great deal. Most sets have a good selection of basic colors you’ll need for transparent watercolor painting.
If you prefer a higher quality paints in individual tubes; I suggest getting a professional or student grade in the following palette of colors for beginners:
Cadmium Yellow Light Pthalocyanine Blue
Cadmium Yellow Medium Pthalocycnine Green
Cadmium Red Medium Hooker’s Green
Alizarin Crimson Burnt Sienna
Ultramarine Blue Burnt Umber
Choose any palette with plenty of areas to mix paints in. Large mixing area can be substituted with trays or square ceramic dishes, at least 8"x 8".
Use any watercolor pad, block, or loose paper with a weight of #140 or higher. Student grade is perfectly enough for our practice purposes, and professional grade(100% cotton) is fine too with a much more expensive price.
The Art Center in Arcata has everything you need on my class list. The friendly and knowledgeable staffs can help you with all your needs. You also get a 20% student on non-sale items discount too.