We've tried pretty much every brand of artist-grade watercolor out there, and Holbein is our uncontested favorite. The color selection is beautiful, with great options for both bright colors and natural shades of green and brown. Every color dilutes smoothly to create a wide range of saturations, from ultra dark to subtle and light. Holbein watercolors are satisfyingly transparent, without the chalkiness and opacity of cheaper paints. They're also excellent for mixing, making it easy for you to produce any color you want without muddiness.
This starter set of six 5 mL tubes is small, but don't let its size deceive you. The paints are highly concentrated, so these little tubes go a long way. The colors included are crimson lake, vermilion hue, permanent yellow deep, viridian hue, cobalt blue hue, and burnt sienna. Made in Japan.