I'm always asked about the paints I use - my preferred brand is Liquitex artists acrylics for a couple of reasons:
First, it doesn't seem to bother my family like other brands, unfortunately though I do love Golden colours, they seem to off gas more volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals which are dangerous to human health and the environment and to which my family is extremely sensitive. Pigments which colour paint are the biggest carrier of VOCs. Paints, glues and varnishes are the biggest culprits. And many products also contain formaldehyde as a preservative.
Second, the lids are easier to open and close and it's nice that the tubes can stand upright which means less storage required for me and a better opportunity to see the colours available on my tabouret.
My favorite all-time basic palette is titanium white, pthalo or prussian blue, napthol crimson or pyrrole red, and yellow medium azo or yellow light hansa. I used to use cadmiums but I've read many studies on the exptreme toxicity of them (highly poison) so I've been trying to change the basic palette to something a little less toxic over the past few years. Though I still have much to learn, and hope some day to be able to mix my own colours, something easier on the environment and on my own body.
My secondary palette consists of shades of the basic palette: alizarin crimson (a deep, rich, transparent red), bright aqua green (a lovely turquoise), dioxazine purple (which creates lovely mauves when mixed with white), and vivid lime green. I don't purchase orange as I prefer to mix my own and with the yellow can mix a beautiful turquoise or lime green so I don't always have that in my toolbox either. And, it's funny, but I feel guilty using a pre-mixed purple as well but I splurge once in awhile. I'd have to say, though, that the crimson is so beautiful that I cannot resist. It's something I just can't mix on my own. I was taught to use the primaries and white (no black) so, oddly enough, I still tend to stick with that - though I do vary the red, yellow or blue I purchase to create a new mix of colours.
NOTE: Liquitex also carries a primary colour pack called 'MIXING4' which includes yellow medium azo, pthalo blue, quinacridone crimson and titanium white and is quite economical.
It's interesting, kind of funny really, how I remember Liquitex from my childhood as they created a popular craft product known as 'liquid embroidery' which my mother tried. I had a hard time getting over that 'craft' label when I began using these paints but have now used them happily for eight years and love their vibrancy. I also love the richness of the pigment as I can mix them with water and glazing medium to use as liquid acrylics and they still retain their vibrancy. I miss being able to use oils, their buttery consistency and sheen, but I've found that these acrylics allow me to fulfill my passion. And really, what else do I need?