PPC: Are you gonna make your sprites a normal, 'modern' resolution or are you going for a retro look?
I'm a fan of the retro look myself, from back in the day when there was an actual limit to sprite size; it lent everything a certain uniform style, and the loss of detail tended to leave more to the imagination. I'm of the opinion that Super Nintendo graphics generally looked a LOT better than Nintendo 64; well-done 2D is a lot better than low-poly or poorly done 3D. Super Metroid is a prime candidate for my favorite game ever.
Of course, it takes a special kind of skill to make attractive sprites in oldschool resolution.
But either way, I think you should go for a 'uniform' style, so to speak... There's nothing that turns me off to a game more than a background art style and a sprite style that clash. I guess this happens when they're drawn by different people, probably because amateur prjects don't have an art director (speculation on my part).
...I'll mostly be teaching you how to draw stuff using different methods, rather than depending on filters and the like too much...
Whoa, wait, make that stuff public!
Make a running tutorial thread. Doesn't matter if you're specifically helping PPC, it'll still be nice to have as a reference for the rest of us.
If nothing else at least archive the help you give him so you can post it later or something... pretty please?