Shimpaku junipers are a good choice for beginners. They tend to tolerate us beginners fairly well. I have 3 shimpaku’s that I picked up from a bonsai nursery. Two of them I have in a bit larger pots, unstyled and left to grow. The 3rd I have in a small bonsai pot and I like to practrice with this guy. Stacking limbs to make foliage pads. Keeping the underside of the pads flat. Removing both the thriving and struggling growth to try to ballance the tree. This will allow me to practice before the other two get bigger. The bark tends to be a beautiful red color.
Reference for above picture-http://www.reflectionsinwater.com/stock,cuttings_and_seedlings.htm
This is one of my Shimpaku junipers. I am hoping to make a phoenix graft with it. Shimpakus are pretty hardy plants. I only have 3 small ones but will continue to let them grow and develope.