Keep your pigments consistent with each medium you choose to use. Whether your preference is acrylics, oils, pastel, watercolor and/or colored pencils, your knowledge of color mixing will greatly increase if you keep the palettes the same. In other words, don’t buy the sets, buy individually. This will cost more, but will greatly benefit your learning to mix colors and your art.
Each brand and medium have many different names for the same pigment. A great idea is to learn your pigment numbers. You can find the pigment name and number on good paints. The number can be located in the back or the front of the tube and looks like this: Ultramarine Blue, PB29. Poor quality paints usually come with a tell-tale sign such as a cute name like Pumpkin Orange or Frog Green. Others have normal pigment names, but do not have the pigment number. Aside from Old Holland, which I think doesn’t provide a number, stay clear from the number-lacking paints.
Some pigments like PY3 have many names. PY3 is basically a light yellow-green. The names could be Hansa Yellow Light, Hansa Yellow Pale, Lemon Yellow or Brilliant Yellow, depending on the manufacturer. To find out the pigments of each paint, visit the manufacturer’s Websites you can find my favorites under Artist Resources.
* Colored pencils users: you’ll have to compare the approx. color and the name and color with your paints. They don’t always have the pigment numbers.