On this page, there are links to several tutorials covering all manner of artwork, including sprite art. No guarantees on how long the links will last, but then, the beauty of using a wiki is that anyone can submit corrections to them. Hopefully, this should provide a very good base of knowledge to work from. None of these can substitute for practice, rather these exist to guide your practice, and help it to improve your skill rapidly, rather than having you flog away at simple cartoon forms for years and not learn anything.
As stated in some of Jetryl's other tutorials here, do not jump into the sprite tutorials and ignore the works on general or figure drawing. If you intend to draw sprites well, the ability to draw and visualize the subject in a general sense is an absolute prerequisite. Without exception, the best sprite artists are such because they have good basic art skills; understanding of shading, light, proportion, edging, foreshortening, etc.
You can't fake those - even if you never practice anything but spritework, the tutorials for "higher art" are very applicable, and will improve your spriting skill considerably.
General Art Instruction
Andrew Loomis is a master of his field. READ HIS BOOKS. They are classics, and are of pristine educational calibre, but unfortunately have been out of print for a long time now and will not enter the public domain any time soon. If you have any interest in drawing human beings though, they will help you more than the rest of the tutorials on this page, combined.
Copies are highly priced and hard to find in most cases, how ever due to demand pirated copies are widely available online. While we don't endorse piracy his books are a great resource and should not be missed.
I personally recommend starting with "Fun with a Pencil" and "Figure Drawing for all it's Worth".
For anatomy George B. Bridgman actually taught Andrew Loomis and is was well regarded for his contributions to art education, his books are still in print and pretty cheap, if you can pick up the smaller individual books I highly recommend doing so, "Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life" is a large collection comprising of most of the same drawings and text but due to the changed order and layout is not nearly as good as the originals, luckily some of them have recently entered the public domain and are available from the Internet Archive.
"Constructive Anatomy" seems a good place to start, "The Human Machine" is much more useful as a reference.
The Kodak company made the following, very comprehensive introduction to composition. These rules apply to pictures as well, and will help you when laying out the subjects in a picture.
The following site has a very high-level and overbearing tutorial on color theory. It's quite useful to experts, but will probably confuse a beginner. http://handprint.com/HP/WCL/wcolor.html
Itchy Animation has, amongst other things, a tutorial on the rarely-covered subject of the behaviour of light and its effects on color (rarely covered from an artists' perspective, that is).
Carin Perron has posted an excellent tutorial on the basic principles of animation.
GFXartist.com has several tutorials from different artists, including the painter Craig Mullins, who has, for nearly a decade, been the favorite artist of wesnoth's art slave "Jetryl," and has a good chance of keeping that position for the rest of either fellow's time on this earth. (J- I can't say enough good things about that guy; I would honestly rank him among the greats, like Rembrandt, or Picasso - he's *that* good. The tutorials posted on that site do him little justice - for a better sample, his personal site is http://www.goodbrush.com/ , which has over a thousand of his works.)
Itch Studios - no relation to the above link, has a good general tutorial on methods in art, including choices of color and lighting.
Digital Painter Henning Ludvigsen has posted several tutorials on his portfolio site.
The excellent pencil artist Mike Sibley has a series of tutorials on techniques he uses on his site. Though some are a bit specific to drawing with graphite, his discussion of negative drawing is very useful to any artist.
The following website, titled "portrait-artist.org", offers quite a few good tutorials on portrait drawing. Though it might not live up to the 'tall order' implied by its name, it's fairly comprehensive:
This website already features a couple of great painting tutorials and has potential to grow.
The following (informal) class on the forums of the Megatokyo webcomic steps through various steps of character design with numerous examples:
(this is the final post in the series with links to all the steps)
Tutorials on using Computer Graphics Software
Good-tutorials.com has over 8000 various tutorials covering different aspects of the popular program, "Adobe® Photoshop®."
Cell-shading/Comic Art Styles
Farlow studios has a number of excellent tutorials on pencilling, inking, and coloring. So long as one can draw, this covers all the computer techniques used to turn a pencil drawing on paper into a colored digital image (including ways to make said pencil drawing that ease the coloration process). A good introduction for people unfamiliar with the computer aspect.
DeviantArt member Naysha has posted (in her gallery, amongst other images) the following tutorial on painting flesh tones. It has some decent tips for beginners.
DeviantArt member Chrysa has posted (in her gallery, amongst other images) several tutorials for drawing in the anime style. Some of them, such as the hair tutorial, may be helpful in shaping line art for strands of hair.
DeviantArt member pokefreak has posted a tutorial on how he cell-shades premade black and white images for Shannaro's translations of the Naruto Manga series.
Kazu Kibuishi draws a webcomic called "Copper". He has an extensive tutorial on the process of how he creates his comic, from initial sketches, to inking, to coloring on the computer.
The Polycarbon site has been around for a number of years. Patrick Shettlesworth has posted up several basic drawing tutorials, along with tips on computer techniques which can be used to really spice up art in a photoshop-like program.
Pens and Pixels has several very good tutorials on advanced cell-shading and coloring techniques.
Though focused in parts on the mechanics of running a webcomic, and the rather contrived "art lifestyle" that such people try to act out, this site does contain a number of good, basic tutorials on cell-shading.
Joe Brudlos has put up a few tutorials for the process he uses in creating pages in his webcomic, "Alpha Shade". There's are two tutorials for Photoshop, covering the creation of clouds and explosions, respectively, and two tutorials on creating cell-shaded imagery in Macromedia Flash.
Julie Dillon has a few of her tutorials up on the "How to draw Manga" site. Though obviously focused on the style favored by Japanese comic artists and animators, it does cover all the basics of cell-shading rather well, and also covers basic figure drawing in the style.
Dan Kim's website Clone Manga has at least four comics in the works, currently, most in rather atypical (and thus, refreshing) styles. He has posted two drawing and coloring tutorials, for use in a photoshop-like program.
Though not so terribly informative, this tutorial is being linked based on the vast amount of time which the game "Oni" stole from Jetryl's teenage years.
A bunch of general manga comic, cellshading and misc computer art related tutorial.
With a name like SpriteArt.com, this site actually manages not to disappoint. Tutorials from several artists are present, as well as a good deal of gorgeous pixel art, but is currently down.
Zoggles has a wealth of tutorials made by many different people, some good, some bad.
A russian site featuring several tutorials - you may need to click on the "English" link to view the site in a language you can understand, unless you have the privilege of knowing Russian.
A fellow named mark posted several tutorials at the following site. Most of them are fairly decent:
The following is a forum post on some spriting forum containing a list of links to different pixel tutorials. Some are of banal quality, your mileage may vary.
A rather large Japanese tutorial on spritework. Note that the tutorial is only in Japanese, and that the html does not automatically set the page to the Shift-JIS text encoding, which is necessary in order to view the page. Even if you don't understand the text, following along with the pictures may be more than enough to teach you something. There are several pages to the tutorial, the arrow links to switch between are at the bottom and top.